Monday 21 March 2022

FÅR by ånd fragrance

Whenever I interview people for “Stephan’s Six”, the question about their first scent memory often gravitates towards deliciously scented food. The aroma of fresh bread, the sweet scent of buttercream, or even zesty homemade lemonade, these subconscious childhood fragrances can really shape our future perfume preferences. No one can forget the experience of biting into an unripe gooseberry, or getting to lick the uncooked cake mix off the spatula, so finding all of these sensations combined in a perfume is an unexpected treat. Får from ånd fragrance is the latest in their collection, and it’s every Bake Off fan’s dream.

Simon Constantine launched ånd fragrance in 2020, right in the middle of a global pandemic. The project had been underway for some time but, rather than put it on hold, he courageously pressed forward with a concept that became more important than ever. His goal was to feature an ingredient, or suite of ingredients, in each of his five perfumes that was directly sourced from ground roots manufacturers. This meant that they would receive a fair price and, more importantly, prompt payment. Some of these ingredients had never been used in fragrance before, and it added a whole new meaning to Corporate Social Responsibility.

Sånd featured Dutjahn sandalwood, Frånk offered Marda Moge frankincense, Beån showcased Kayapo tonka, Måd focused on Madagascar’s vanilla, and Båre used a suite of ingredients from Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. This was followed by Påtch in 2021, which spotlighted Sumatran dark patchouli, but there was something zesty on the horizon. Simon’s latest fragrance takes Portuguese yuzu as its star ingredient and, as Simon explained, is actively supporting regenerative farmers in the Alentejo region. This area has been ravaged by wildfires and the land has previously been overworked, so the profit from their precious citrus fruits is literally being ploughed back into the soil.

Yuzu is often simply thought of as a zesty and piercing top note, but it honestly holds so much more mystery. It's a citrus medley wrapped up in a single ingredient. That’s why, when Simon Constantine decided to use it in Får, it was guaranteed to offer a mouth-watering experience. He’s used it alongside biscuit and bakery notes, which are always reminiscent of childhood. Broadway actress Laura Osnes once said about her Grandmother, “She would make muffins in the morning and I would wake up to the smell, and run out to the kitchen to eat them!” So, let’s discover whether Får will also have us licking our lips and longing to take a bite.

Får opens with an incredible pairing of yuzu and lime, but this isn’t just another citrus cocktail. The yuzu offers up notes of lemon zest and cedrat, before its bergamot facet even provides an aromatic touch. A sherberty quality adds effervescence, reminiscent of Jacques Guerlain’s sparkling Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat, but the gourmand aspect’s arrival takes it in a different direction. You get a tonka bean and meringue-like sweetness but, adding to the patisserie quality, there are also whispers of cherryish heliotrope and rose water. The final development sees a dry cedarwood note mixing with a sensuously buttery labdanum, summoning up a biscuit or pastry crust, and confirms that Får is a delicious addition to the collection.

Får is available from the ånd fragrance website at priced at £125 for 50ml, £35 for 10ml, £6.50 for 2ml. It’s also available as a 200g candle for £55. Click on the image below to read my “Stephan's Six” interview with Simon Constatine from September 2020. [Sample provided by the company]

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