Monday 12 November 2018

STERLING and HATTERAS by Fulton & Roark

When we think about perfume we rarely also think about gadgets. The world of fragrance is almost revered and the prospect of having it sullied with gimmicks and novelties would be sacrilege. However, there have already been many questionable bottles and applicators, but the latest “gadget” owes a lot to a much-loved part of perfume’s history. Fulton & Roark have launched a range of solid fragrances that draw on the earliest tradition of having your scent contained within a wearable wax. Encased in a magnetic sliding container, they have made solid perfumes sexy. Let me introduce you to some streamlined silver.

Kevin Keller and Allen Shafer founded Fulton & Roark in 2012 and their goal was pretty clear, to create a range of products for men that fitted into their daily lives. What does that mean? Well, simply that the bags than most men use are generally less spacious than a ladies handbag, which means that it is less likely that they will carry a fragrance around with them to refresh themselves with. So, what if a way could be found to easily fit something into a trouser or jacket pocket? That way a midday perfume boost would be available to everyone.

Keller and Shafer’s answer was to return to the classic style of a wax perfume. These “concretes” used to be a very fashionable way for fragrance lovers to carry around with them highly concentrated floral extracts but, whilst Molinard popularised these soliflores, the style was ultimately discarded in favour of the standard alcohol version. Fulton & Roark have released their eight scents in a brushed metal container that slides open to reveal the contents. Carrying the logo, and easy enough to fit in the hand, this is a beautiful piece of kit, but how do the scents hold up?

Sterling is a wonderfully smooth leather fragrance that is named after Mount Sterling in the Western Mountains of North Carolina. It opens without the usual fanfare of citruses but, instead, goes straight into a heart of smooth tobacco with the merest hint of rose. There would seem to be a slight ginger and cumin spice combination that welcomes the leather accord and, alongside a delicious vanilla and tonka bean, has a beautiful warmth on the skin. A vetiver note is blended perfectly with the more resinous amber ingredients, and this means that Sterling definitely leans towards a more oriental style.

Hatteras is a completely different story. It’s described as a modern fougère and definitely delivers. This fragrance does open with a wonderful burst of bergamot but very quickly the lavender and tonka bean appear. The latter’s almond smoothness is kept firmly under control by an earthy vetiver and a good dose of oakmoss. Evocative of forest walks on a warm day, the incense note adds a mystery to the scent whilst touches of cedarwood provide the perfect elegance. Inspired by Hatteras Island, this fragrance is on the edge of chypre and was my personal favourite from the whole collection.

For more information about Fulton & Roark you can visit the website at where Sterling is priced at $60 and Hatteras is $42. [Samples provided by Fulton & Roark]

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