Monday 11 April 2022

RAW GOLD by Thomas De Monaco

Attempting to make changes to an established industry is always difficult, especially when we’re talking about the perfume industry. There are so many expected stages, including everything from the process to the final reveal, that it can often feel like a new fragrance is just the latest off a conveyer belt of launches. There are companies and individuals fighting this perception, actively trying to do things differently, and their successes absolutely deserve to be celebrated. One such partnership is Thomas De Monaco and Fredrik Dalman. They’ve challenged both convention and communication in their first joint venture, Raw Gold.

Thomas de Monaco is a Creative Director, Photographer and Artist who manages to divide his time between Paris and Zürich. Now, working in the world of visuals has always seen him having to translate emotion and inspiration into pictures, and so it was not unexpected when he began to wonder whether he could do the same with fragrance. He enlisted the help of the perfumer Fredrik Dalman and, together, they set about creating the scent of Thomas’ adolescence. It would take three years before the limited run of 1,400 bottles were released at the end of 2021, and the launch was handled a little differently.

Thomas told me, “The hardest part was to work without marketing, but I wanted Raw Gold to be authentic in every way.” He isn’t a fan of the marketing machine, or paid partnerships, and so he took the decision to send a few bottles to reviewers in the hope that their honest opinions would spread the word organically. After a career that had included the likes of Chanel, Cartier and Hermès, he knew that the fragrance would have to speak for itself because there wouldn’t be the traditional advertising budget. Now, I would describe Raw Gold as an exciting and nostalgic fragrance, but let me take you a little deeper.

The perfumer chosen to create the scent was Fredrik Dalman, a graduate of the Grasse Institute of Perfumery and now the in-house nose for Mona di Orio. He was tasked with recreating Thomas De Monaco’s late 60s and early 70s adolescence in all of its unpolished glory. Fredrik told me, “The memories and stories that Thomas shared with us were so full of emotions. The challenge for me was to find the raw materials that would translate these emotions into scent.” Thomas prefers to think of a fragrance as having layers rather than the traditional pyramid so, with that in mind, I think it’s time to unwrap Raw Gold.

Embodying a time when “innocence and guilt were in the balance, when lust and love won the day,” Raw Gold feels as though it ignores the usual citrus opening and plunges immediately into more decadent territory. There’s the duality of sweetened cognac partnering with a coffee note and then a creamy lipstick accord is offset by a dry vetiver. However, the appearance of a peppered rose is startlingly intriguing. It seems to attach itself to the incredible leather accord and contributes to the sexually-charged scent of nightclub bodies circling each other, before honeyed animalic touches definitely imply that a good night was had by all. Raw Gold is an addictively original scent, expertly created, and perfectly treads the line between love and lust.

Raw Gold is available in a limited release of 1,400 bottles from selected stockists, including Aedes in New York and Le Secret du Marais in Madrid, and is priced at €280 for 50ml. For a full list of current stockists you can also email Studio De Monaco. [Sample provided by Thomas De Monaco]

No comments:

Post a Comment