Monday, 23 August 2021

INBETWEEN by Choreograph

The idea of being left to our own devices is something that we’ve all had to embrace over the past year, and people have dealt with it in very different ways. There was a lot of time to fill and, while some of us caught up with the mountain of Blu-rays that had magically appeared, many perfumers knuckled down and used the opportunity to concentrate on long anticipated projects. Hitting the pause button changed the schedules and space appeared in the diary. Choreograph is one such example, and Adey Zookrow’s fusion of experimental fragrance with original music has come at just the right moment.

The idea of pairing perfume with melody is nothing new, many companies have done it before, but the difference with Choreograph is that the music is created to accompany the scent. In the past brands have taken existing songs or classical pieces, and it often doesn’t quite fit together. I’m saying this from the personal experience of seeing a fragrance from conception, through to creation, and unfortunately to cancellation. The advantage that Choreograph has is that the perfumer, Adey Zookrow, is also a composer. This means that the same inspiration has been used for both the scent and the song.

Adey has composed original music for over 25 years, and so the idea of notes making up a chord fed perfectly into his fascination with fragrance. As a self-taught perfumer, he methodically worked his way through ingredients to discover how they blended together and also, on occasion, how they clashed fantastically. Perfume, like music, needs dissonance within it to fully appreciate the beauty when it reaches its conclusion. That is often the hardest part to learn as a perfumer, we always want everything to smell ‘nice’, but Adey has grasped this concept perfectly in his debut fragrance.

Inbetween
is built around an aquatic magnolia, and that’s pretty much all we’re told. In a time of note pyramids and ingredient lists, Adey Zookrow has instead taken the decision to leave it up to the wearer to trust their instincts. Whatever you can smell is all that’s important. The song that accompanies the fragrance is available by scanning the QR code on the box, or via the website link, and is sung by Eddie Pile. It sets the scene for the fragrance and, for me, took me straight back to Nice. Soft jazz being played at a beach gig outside the Radisson Blu hotel as the sun sets. So, apprehensively, it’s time for me to share what I think I smelled.

Inbetween is the first in a planned series of eight fragrances and opens with a fantastic rush of pear eau de vie, which is a colourless fruit brandy, before being quickly joined by the waxy scent of magnolia. This is the star ingredient but is by no means the end of the story. An oceanic aquatic quality then comes into play, the scent you get from being on a beach, and is closely followed by a green mimosa pairing that displays that dissonance I mentioned earlier. There’s possibly a touch of jasmine and sweat pea in here, but it’s very subtle, and this is where the fragrance seems to momentarily pause.

The second half of the scent goes in a different direction, and has a whisper of Je Reviens about it. There’s a nod to the famous jonquil and narcissus pairing, with its orange blossom, violet and lilac nuances, and the appearance of a dry vetiver really anchors this memory. A final touch of whisky-like ambrette continues that eau de vie brightness, before a skin-sweet tonka bean signals that the sun has unfortunately set. I can't wait to see what follows Inbetween, but remember I’m guessing at the ingredients. The question is, will you agree?

Inbetween is a limited edition and comes with a cover illustration by Freya Douglas-Morris. It's available in two sizes from the Choreograph website at ChoreographPerfume.co.uk priced at £20 for 7.5ml and £100 for 50ml. [Sample provided by Adey Zookrow]

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