Monday 15 January 2024

CÅKE by ånd fragrance

A bottle of Cåke, the new perfume from and fragrance
We place a lot of importance on words and titles in everyday life, and the same is also true in the world of perfumery. The difference with the latter though is that words can very much be open to personal interpretation. If you think about “note lists” versus “ingredient lists”, “fragrance families” versus “fragrance styles”, or even “eau de parfum” versus “eau de toilette”, you’ll begin to see how it’s not as clear cut as it might first seem. So, this brings us to the latest release from ånd fragrance. Cåke is the name but, if you’re expecting a gourmand overdose that means a trip to the dentist, then you’ll be happily relieved.

Simon Constantine launched ånd fragrance back in 2020 and, even though some people would have delayed until the following year, he managed to provide us with much-needed perfume escape from the COVID world that we were all then experiencing. His philosophy was, and still is, very simple - create fragrances that respect both nature, the environment, and which also monetarily giveback to the communities that harvest the raw materials. It’s this grassroots approach to sourcing his ingredients that has made ånd fragrance an industry leader in actually committing to a real program of Corporate Social Responsibility.

The ingredients Simon has focused on in the past have included Dutjahn sandalwood, Marda Moge frankincense, Kayapo tonka bean, and Madagascan vanilla. However, for many, it was his combination of Douglas Fir, Shore Pine, and Western Red Cedar from The Great Bear Rainforest in his Båre perfume that really brought the company to their attention. In the new fragrance it was decided to concentrate on Fairtrade Cocoa absolute from Colombia. Harvesting cocoa is notoriously damaging to the environment, due to deforestation, but their new agroforestry methods can dramatically reduce this, and also contribute a much lower carbon footprint. So, you can have your cake and eat it!

The box for the perfume Cåke, the new perfume from and fragrance
When we hear the word “cake” our thoughts will probably go immediately to a tooth-cloyingly sweet confection. These type of perfumes fall into the category called gourmand but, if the perfumer is clever, they can also contain ingredients that provide an unusual aspect, an exciting variation on the genre, or simply an aroma that opens the fragrance to a whole new audience. We’re always instinctively searching for new experiences, and so finding a perfume in a category that we might not normally be attracted to is always an adventure. So, put your preconceptions to one side as we cut into Cåke.

The fragrance opens with the aroma of candied peel but, in your mind, think of it having a coating of chocolate around it. There’s a pinch of cinnamon in here as well, that adds a bright spiciness to the opening, but those touches of lemon and orange are always peeping through. The development of the scent seems to deliver a hint of cognac and dates, so quite decadent, before the full effect of the bitter chocolate-like cocoa absolute comes through. It also feels like there might be a touch of patchouli in here to add extra depth and some iris to give a dusting of icing sugar. Cåke isn’t your typical gourmand but, with a final smooth pairing of tonka bean and vanilla, it’s definitely delicious.

Cåke is available from the ånd fragrance website at priced at £35 for 10ml and £125 for 50ml. It’s also available as a solid perfume and a candle. [Sample provided by ånd fragrance]

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