Monday, 6 December 2021

PÅTCH by ånd fragrance

There are certain ingredients that will forever be associated with a particular decade, and it can be very difficult to shake off those attachments. Just the mention of the name can conjure up forgotten times or misplaced lovers, and it can often be hard to see beyond these memories. However, if we do, there’s a whole new scented world to experience. One such ingredient is patchouli, and it instantly pulls up images of the 1970s. Creating a new interpretation of this iconic aroma has been tried many times, with varying success, but the latest attempt from ånd fragrance is an absolute winner. It’s time to discover Påtch.

When Simon Constantine founded ånd fragrance it was initially met with a little scepticism. Its premise was to use ingredients that were directly sourced from indigenous communities, and so support them in a much more direct way than the usual bucket rattling or donations. This sounded great in principle, but would the fragrances also be able to stand up on their own in a very competitive marketplace? The answer was an unreserved yes, and Simon was able to show the wider industry a new way of “giving back” that could actually directly benefit the ingredient producers’ lives.

The company launched with five fragrances and, at the time, Simon said to me, “If I use my creativity correctly I can connect people to places in a tangible way, and I think people are hungry for that. Fragrance has got to have more meaning.” His latest perfume focuses on patchouli, and it’s sourced from the Aceh region in Sumatra. This area has seen massive deforestation, which has also affected the habitat of the native orangutans, and so supporting local patchouli farmers gives them an alternative to the systematic felling and logging of the forests. By purchasing Påtch you really are making a difference.

The fragrance is the first to be featured in the company’s new ådventurer Subscription Box. It’s £29 for 10ml, plus you get two 2ml samples, but you can cancel the subscription at any time. When I tell you that 10ml is usually £35, you can see what a great Christmas offer this is. Alongside the perfume, Simon’s wife Vicky has also created a limited run of candles that match each of the fragrances in the collection, including Påtch. The jars have been hand decorated in the ånd style and the throw is absolutely fabulous! These are truly premium candles, and you also have the knowledge that you’re making a real difference.

So, with very few notes given for Påtch, here are my impressions. It opens with a green aromatic quality, almost like a galbanum and coriander pairing, before a piercing citrus arrives. This really feels like it sets the atmosphere of the scent, and starts to push you towards that forested vegetation. However, the appearance of the deliciously earthy patchouli, and the merest touch of peppered rose, absolutely places you there. The rose tries to make more of a mark, but is never allowed to dominate, although the osmanthus does add a subtle apricot and violet touch. A wash of oud offers a wonderfully resinous, yet tempered, edge to the fragrance, but a final dash of earthy oakmoss and sugared tonka brings you back to that forest floor.

Påtch is available from the ånd fragrance website at andfragrance.com priced at £129 for 50ml, £35 for 10ml, £6.50 for 2ml, or as part of the ådventurer Subscription Box for £29. The candles, in each of the six fragrances, are £45 each and exclusive to the ånd fragrance store in Poole, although they can be purchased by contacting the company directly through their website. You can also click on the image below to read my "Stephan's Six" interview with Simon Constatine from September 2020. [Fragrance was gifted / Candle was purchased]

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