Thursday, 18 July 2019

MON ÂME by 1907 Perfumes

When a new perfume company is launched it is often because the founder has a love of fragrance or has previously worked in the perfume industry. However, occasionally it is because there is already a family heritage that exists, whether it be dormant or not, and that sparks the idea to tread gently once more into a very overcrowded marketplace. With many brands vying for a piece of the pie, some carefully curated history can help to set you apart from the others. This is exactly what happened with Evka Škovranová when she launched 1907 Perfumes and, four years later, the beautiful Mon âme.

Slovakia may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a new perfume brand but that is where the history of Evka Škovranová’s family is rooted. It begins with her grandmother who used to supply the Countess Stepan and Count Andrassy with cosmetics, cleansing products, and also fragrances. You have to remember that to be a supplier to any of the noble courts around the world was a huge honour, and was also often an invited position. Over time these court perfumers were replaced in favour of large companies, but it wasn’t the end of the story for Eva’s grandmother.

The formulas that she had made for the court had been carefully recorded and it was one of these journals that inspired Evka Škovranová to revisit her grandmother’s legacy. She started by making soap and says, “We took her old recipes, which we had to adapt for modern regulations, but customers started asking for shampoo and other products. Then we started thinking about perfumes.” There were existing formulas in the journals but Evka knew that she would need to collaborate with a perfumer to present a collection that was “a contemporary take on the traditional.” This first collection of eleven scents launched in 2014.

The initial fragrances each centred around a key ingredient, for example Heliotrope or Galbanum, but 2018 saw the launch of Beneath The Surface. This duo of perfumes felt more complex that the previous series and took as its moto, “How we really live our life, and who we really are, is hidden beneath the surface.” Genevieve is a richly supported aldehydic floral but my favourite of the two has to be Mon âme. The description says “There is nothing so deep inside us as everything that we have put there by ourselves,” and this powdery woody fragrance really does reach into your soul.

Mon âme opens with a very subtle citrus, not sharp at all, and is almost immediately joined by a touch of apricot. However, you don’t get to experience that for long because a beautiful wave of powdery orris almost breaks over you before the floral touches of jasmine, rose, and lily of the valley come into view. It’s not overly floral at all and, when the tonka bean starts to come through with a fizzy almond-like sweetness, the combination of cedarwood and sandalwood adds a duality of dryness and creaminess that is heavenly. There’s some white musk in the base, but it doesn’t dominate, and perhaps a touch of sensual labdanum?

Mon âme is available from the company’s website at 1907.sk and also from shymimosa.co.uk in the United Kingdom priced at £5 for 2ml or £155 for 50ml. [Sample provided by 1907]

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