Thursday 16 July 2020

BLACK POWDER by Jusbox Perfumes

Inspiration comes in many forms and that couldn’t be truer of the perfume industry. When you consider the thousands of fragrances released every year it becomes clear just how important it is to choose the correct subject. Many wonderful creations are undiscovered due to badly conceived marketing or a basic disinterest in the concept, but there's a company that has absolutely nailed it in every respect. Combining a love of evocative scents with a rapidly accelerating analogue trend, Jusbox have given us a fragranced vinyl experience that will have you reaching for your turntable. It’s time to discover Black Powder.

The worlds of fragrance and music are much closer than you might first imagine. If you think about it, both of them can instantly produce vivid recollections of times and places in a way that simple conversation can’t. They also share many terms such as notes and chords, and they each ultimately succeed because of the combination of individual ingredients or harmonies. It’s this link that the founders of Jusbox wanted to explore, but the question was how to fuse the two in a way that would allow the audience to go on their own journey of musical reminiscence.

There can be very few pastimes that are as worthwhile as putting a vinyl record on a turntable and settling back to listen to that perfectly imperfect sound. Okay, I’m saying this from the point of view of the massive record geek that I am, but vinyl sales are continuing to grow every year. They significantly dropped around 1989, because of those pesky little compact discs, but the trend has well and truly been bucked. It’s this fantastic vinyl revolution that Jusbox have tapped into and, by focusing on genres and icons, they've managed to produce a series of evocative fragrances that really are a musical rollercoaster.

Black Powder was created by perfumer Julien Rasquinet. Originally studying under Pierre Bourdon, he is now based at IFF. The idea of the fragrance was that it represented the end of the 80s, with its political crises and the emergence of the so-called Generation X. The musical inspiration is singer Kurt Cobain, because he is seen as that generation’s spokesperson, but it actually took me to the launch of Kim Wilde’s debut album. The fragrance seems to scream Kids In America and Water On Glass, with its anti-establishment edge, and has a rawness that you also find in the fragrance. So let’s see if Black Powder is a case of Chequered Love.

Black Powder opens with an impression of darkly spiced berries but this is immediately joined by a leather accord, although it feels as if it also has that salty quality that you used to get with original denim jeans. As the scent warms you start to get a hay-like tonka bean sweetness coming through alongside a note of frankincense, which has a resinously smoky edge. The fragrance continues to develop into a patchouli and amber area, with the leather always remaining prominent, until a final touch of what smelled like galbanum-esque vetiver meant that I had no choice but to grab my black denim and turn up the volume.

Black Powder is available from the Jusbox website at and also from Selfridges priced at £140 for 78ml. [Sample provided by Profile PR]

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