Comme des Garcons has a number of scent collaborations under its belt: ranging from Daphne Guinness, Monocle Magazine, artek, Undercover, the recent Serpentine Galleries launch and soon Pharell’s “Girl”.
The previous Comme des Garcons and Stephen Jones collaboration was an exciting and confusing fragrance: searing aldehydes, charred violets, hot mineral facets, powder, spices and woods. Wisteria Hysteria, created by Nathalie Feisthauer, is the second chapter, and is the antithesis to the original fragrance.
Aldehydes of the clear, white, waxy variety present themselves alongside a stark white rose bouquet – carnation and wisteria are named in the notes list, and there is the vague peppery sensation present suggesting them. A whisper of sweetness runs throughout, and the perfectly rounded, seamlessly arranged resinous base, ice-creamy benzoin stands against silvery incense, and rendered starchy clean by a gigantic dose of laundry musks. Orbiting around the entirety of the fragrance is a faint dustiness. The notes have all been bleached of their colour, immersed in a flash freeze and have been left cold: a sensation reminiscent of freon gas filling a whitewashed room.
It’s a pretty, delicate and fragile fragrance, that is both surreal and unreal. As the original was described as a “violet struck by a meteorite”, I would suggest that Wisteria Hysteria is an alien bouquet caught in the rings of Saturn, endlessly lost in the vacuum of space. That, or this is what minimalist apartments should smell like.
I look forward to CdG and Stephen Jones continued collaboration, and hope that the next chapter is just as audacious and exciting as the first two. They can take another 6 years if they need to.
Comparable fragrances to sniff out: Aldehyde 44 by Le Labo, Iperborea by Lorenzo Villoresi, No. 5 Eau Premiere by Chanel, and L’Eau Froide by Serge Lutens.