Monday 26 April 2021

ROSE CHARCOAL by Emmanuelle Moeglin

When a new company truly grabs their customers’ attention then the sky really is the limit. A small and intimate start-up can, over time, take its place as a fully-fledged and successful brand. This is what happened to Emmanuelle Moeglin and her Experimental Perfume Club. Originally launched in 2015, they've just opened their new shop in London’s historic Monmouth Street and it promises to add a new experience to this theatrical thoroughfare. With the paint still fresh on the doors, I took the opportunity to visit and delve into Emmanuelle’s collection, and within seconds I fell for the wide-eyed charms of Rose Charcoal.

The Experimental Perfume Club came out of a realisation that fragrance fans wanted a more hands-on approach to scent. There were many self-taught and hobbyist creators that needed guidance and support, and that is where Emmanuelle Moegin came in. A graduate of ISIPCA, the famous French perfume school based in Versailles, she opened her first public lab in 2015. With either the option to drop-in and work solo, or else to book time with Emmanuelle on her own or as part of a group, the Experimental Perfume Club quickly gained a solid industry reputation and also a loyal following.

Such was the success that the company moved to Dalston, then onto Hackney, before achieving a permanent space in Selfridges. This coincided with the introduction of a series of six blendable scents. Rather than the idea of layering, Emmanuelle’s perfumes could either be worn solo or actually be physically mixed together to create a custom fragrance. This resulted in the possibility of a multitude of combinations but, if you were unsure of your own abilities, there was also a curated collection that Emmanuelle had personally created from those original six scents. One of these is Rose Charcoal, and it was an instant hit with me.

When I met with Emmanuelle I told her that the legendary Dress Circle shop used to be two doors down from her. This was the ultimate showbiz hangout for thirty-four years, and where any performer visiting London would make a beeline for. So I asked whether she had a fragrance that could convey the wide-eyed excitement at the thought of that old musical theatre shop and, as the Cambridge Theatre is also next door, whether it was possible to include the scent of a theatre as its doors were finally reopened. Emmanuelle cleverly combined Rose Rhubarb with Sandalwood Musk, and the result was Rose Charcoal.

The fragrance opens with a tangy burst of rhubarb and blackcurrant but, alongside this fruited beginning, you also get a touch of uplifting citrus. However, in the background is an almost green-leaved pink pepper, and this begins to pull up a suede note from the base (which becomes more leathery as it develops). The rose in the centre is given an edge thanks to an earthy vetiver, so stops the whole thing being jammy, and the final pairing of powdery amber and sandalwood really completes a feeling of opulence. If you imagine the excitement of going into a theatre again, with those plush velvet seats and the dust hitting the footlights, then that is how Rose Charcoal makes me feel... and there's even a whisper of Leichner Face Powder.

Rose Charcoal, along with the individual fragrances that make up the blend, is available from the Experimental Perfume Club website at priced at £125 for 50ml. You can also click on the image below to read my “Stephan's Six” interview with Emmanuelle Moeglin from 2017. [Sample provided by The Experimental Perfume Club]

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