Monday 10 April 2023

COSMIC BURN by Ankermade

A bottle of Cosmic Burn, a perfume from Ankermade
One of the changes brought about by the curtailment of travel during the past few years was that people actively started to look for new ways to experience unfamiliar locations and unexpected situations. Whether through literature, perfume or music, it opened the eyes of customers all around the world. Shopping local is still a cause to be championed, but shopping internationally also brings with it an added originality. This was the situation when I first discovered the Los Angeles based Ankermade. Their Machine Shop fragrance had been fantastic, so I had no option but to revisit the company and bask in their Cosmic Burn.

Ankermade was founded in 2018 by Susan Ankersen, who is originally from Denmark. She relocated to sunny Los Angeles to study at Santa Monica College but, as is the way with many artistic people, her creativity could not be constrained to her chosen subject. She instead moved into the jewellery business, designing her own precious and semiprecious range that featured in top magazines and in the TV series Ugly Betty. However, a lifelong fascination with the world of fragrance saw her enter the highly competitive world of scent and, in a traditionally masculine environment, she succeeded in creating a dynamic collection.

This dynamism is surely influenced by her love of the scented experience, and by that I mean perfumed exhibitions. This has formed a core part of her business, and has seen her travel from Houston with her NASA Olfactory Art installation, through to the London Design Museum’s “Moving To Mars” experience, and more recently creating the fragrance of “Lost Illusion” for the Lynchland exhibition at California’s Torrance Art Museum. This multifaceted approach to scent means that she is fearless when it comes to blending, and it’s this respectful irreverence that lies behind the excitement that is Ankermade perfumes.

A bottle of Cosmic Burn, a perfume from Ankermade
Cosmic Burn
is described as “honouring man and our quest for adventure”. Now, this isn’t some exotically tropical creation, but instead the “exploration of materials rarely used in mainstream fragrance”. We can all agree that high street perfumes are, on the whole, wonderfully pleasant. However, this can also make them decidedly dull. With Cosmic Burn you're invited to travel through a fog of uncertainty, where your senses are heightened to the method of travel, before arriving at an unexpected destination. Don’t be expecting shimmering citruses here, because travel more often than not means getting down and dirty.

Cosmic Burn opens with the scent of a vaporous incense mist but, accenting it, there’s also an intoxicatingly campherous green edge. This opens out onto a metallic neroli note and, in an unusually early appearance, a dry cedarwood. The development sees the promised idea of travel arrive thanks to the scent of a tyre-like black rubber, along with a salty leather that almost denotes the traveller, before a pine quality hints at the addictive top notes from the aroma of petrol. The idea of your arrival is ultimately communicated in an otherworldly blend of oakmoss and a patchouli-laced amber accord which, alongside a fascinating touch of burnt guaiacwood and mint bourbon, completes a vibrantly scented journey of discovery.

Cosmic Burn is available from the Ankermade website at priced at $50 for the 10ml rollerball or $95 for 29ml atomiser. [Sample provided by the company]

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