Monday 4 April 2022

LOWBROW JAZZ by Elementary

The launch of a new fragrance company is often accompanied by a “bells and whistles” approach to marketing, and the inevitable combined saturation of every social media channel. It absolutely gets you noticed, and very quickly, but whether this initial interest is lasting is another thing. That’s why more and more companies are taking the slow and steady approach, in the hope that they will create loyal customers that are genuinely interested in the brand. Elementary did exactly this when they launched at the end of 2019 and, now in their third year, it’s time to revisit the creative duo and rediscover Lowbrow Jazz.

Elementary was founded by Steve Foulkes and Becky Stacey. As is often the case, the pair had always had an interest in fragrance but their chosen careers saw them go off in different directions. However, they came back to this initial fascination with scent when they both realised that they had grown a little tired of the high street fragrances that were on offer. They’d started to explore the more niche market of natural perfumery, also discovering the often prohibitive price tag, and so wondered whether it was something that they could get involved with at a more affordable level but with no compromise on quality.

The pair enlisted the help of a natural perfumer who, to their very detailed briefs, created a debut collection of three fragrances. Steve has always been very transparent that he is the Creative Director of Elementary, not the perfumer, and this honesty is very refreshing in a traditionally “smoke and mirrors” industry. Even though these are natural perfumes, all of them display a delicacy that is rare in this style. Unscheduled Wander became a leather chypre scent while Lazy Sage journeyed into delicious citrus aromatic territory, and both of these I've previously reviewed. However, Lowbrow Jazz was still waiting to be discovered.

I’ve ended up leaving a year between each of Elementary’s fragrance reviews, but the final one certainly doesn’t disappoint. The inspiration for Lowbrow Jazz was to celebrate the fun side of life, to not take everything so seriously, and its captured the idea of sax-driven jazz played to you on a warm evening perfectly. Steve describes it as ideal for those that are “in the mood to let loose and go a little wild”, and it definitely delivers. If there’s one thing that we’ve all learned in the past few years it’s that we need to block out the madness every so often, and that's where Lowbrow Jazz comes into its own.

The fragrance opens with an incredible burst of bergamot and galbanum, so you get a vibrantly green beginning that is wonderfully piercing. This is followed by an aromatic blend that is sparklingly jarring, with clove and cardamom the immediate players, but it eventually drops down into an enhanced peppery basil. However, the development of the fragrance goes in a completely different direction. You get a smoothly dry resinous quality coming through, with balsamic benzoin and frankincense giving that woody and slightly leathery note, before an earthy vetiver completes this deliberately daring fragrance. Lowbrow Jazz feels as if it’s literally glinting off a saxophone, and is perfect if you’re you’re looking for a scent with attitude.

Lowbrow Jazz is available from the Elementary website at priced at £65 for 50ml. You can also read my original review of Unscheduled Wander from 2019 by clicking on the image below. [Sample provided by Elementary]

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