Thursday 24 September 2020

USE ABUSE by Jusbox Perfumes

The routine of tuning into Radio 1, flicking through the latest issue of Smash Hits, or eagerly awaiting the next episode of Top Of The Pops was the only way that the majority of us found the latest music in the 1980s. We were in the pre-internet age, bedroom walls were covered with posters of your favourite bands, and there were many attempts at a Morten Harket haircut! The explosive colours matched the wonderfully outrageous wardrobes, and this was a real period of “excess all areas.” So, hold onto your hats because it’s time to discover Use Abuse, the eighties-inspired powerhouse fragrance from Jusbox Perfumes.

When Chiara Valdo and Andrea Valdo founded Jusbox Perfumes in 2016 it came out of a deep love of music. This sibling duo wanted to celebrate the artists, the times, and the feelings that you get when you hear your favourite song. They cleverly hitched their wagon to the burgeoning resurgence of vinyl records, another love of theirs, and branded the entire range to match. Caps were fashioned to look like an LP, that’s long playing record for those of you not yet converted to analogue, and all of the fragrances were released as a 78ml, which is a reference to the size of the very first commercial record.

The original quartet of fragrances consisted of 14Hour Dream, Beat Cafe, Micro Love, and Use Abuse, but it’s the latter that we’re revisiting. The eighties were a time of incredible variety in music, and there was a creative extravagance coupled with an overdose of ideas that ran through the entire decade. It was bright, brash, and brilliant. Chiara and Andrea once again decided to focus in on a particular band for Use Abuse, as they have with every release, and their decision was to celebrate the music of Queen. However, they also wanted to tap into a core message of the eighties, you could be anything that you wanted to be.

Now, I wasn’t a big Queen fan at the time, but Jusbox Perfumes have once again included a playlist that sums up the scent. Nestled in the middle is Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon, which celebrates its thirty seventh birthday this month. Taken from their 1983 album Colour by Numbers, Boy George’s androgynous flamboyance feels like the perfect fit for the extravagant Use Abuse. The task of creating the fragrance fell to Antoine Lie, who was born in Strasbourg. With the eighties being his university years, and also when he began his perfume training at Givaudan, I wonder how much of his own musical journey is in Use Abuse?

An incredible blend of tuberose, jasmine, and peony pretty much erupt from the bottle but they’re accompanied by an electrifying citrus pairing of bergamot and mandarin. Very quickly a resinous incense appears, which is given a smoothness thanks to a sandalwood and musk combination, before a touch of salted skin adds an all-night partying quality that is reminiscent of those youthful evenings of discovery. The fragrance feels refreshingly linear, meaning that it pretty much gives you everything at the beginning and very slowly becomes quieter. So, with a longevity of twelve hours plus, there’s plenty of time to add Marilyn's Calling Your Name to the eighties playlist. Bright, brash, and brilliant.

Use Abuse is available from the Jusbox Perfumes website at priced at €160 for 78ml. [Sample provided by Profile PR]

CALLING YOUR NAME by Marilyn (1983)

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