Monday 29 August 2016

QUENTIN by Deco London

Inspiration comes in many forms, with everything from fabric to fantasy, but periods of history and literary characters have also featured heavily. Whether an "homage to" or a "recreation of", they can help a perfumer move outside of the established styles and trends. 4160 Tuesdays' Sarah McCartney successfully achieved this with the Gatsby and City ranges, using ingredients that were in circulation at the time, and Goodbye Piccadily, which is a recreation of a moment in history using current ingredients. It is this second approach which Deco London also took with their first collection, so come with me and let's meet Quentin.

When Sophia Fannon-Howell launched Deco London in 2015 it came with the brief to “deliver nostalgic glimpses of exuberant times”. What this meant was that her collection of six fragrances would represent different characters that could have been found in the twenties. These were never going to be historically accurate creations but rather “classic fragrance accords with modern wearability”. She released three male and three female scents, each called by a name from the period. After trying them all I found myself smitten by Quentin, who Sophia described as “charming, stylish and debonair”.

Quentin opens with a huge burst of cinnamon laced bergamot, but before you get too comfortable there is an appearance from the patchouli and moss. It almost seems to stop your exit, so you’ve got no option but to discover how this fragrance plays out. There also seems to be a hint of galbanum in there providing an airy greenness to the blend. Now, in the 1920s geranium was a common ingredient in gents colognes, indeed it's in all the male fragrances from Deco London, but unfortunately it fell out of favour. It's so good to see it back and given space here. It's joined by a gentle clove carnation and an engaging tarragon, which gives an "aromatic" side to this Woody Spicy scent.

Two of the main base notes already show themselves at the outset, but once the aromatic edge starts to settle we get confronted with an earthy vetiver. Now I’ve always championed the aroma of vetiver, it’s something that I’ve grown up with, so to have it in a noticeable amount here is heaven. The sandalwood becomes apparent as the scent dries down on the skin and provides a smoothness to the overall perfume. Amongst all of this is a leather note. Now, leather notes can either be clean or dirty, but unfortunately here I didn't get that wonderfully "slutty" note of labdanum which is normally used to make the accord. I don't see that as a problem though because I think that it would have taken Quentin in a very different direction.

Deco London describe Quentin as “elegant, luxurious and long lasting", and I would have to agree. For more information on the range, and for details of stockists, you can visit You can also read Sophia Fannon-Howell's "Stephan's Six" from February 2016 by clicking on the picture below.

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