Published on November 5th, 2016 | by The Perfume Expert
Perfume Reviews | The Different Company
The Different Company, raising the bar for niche perfume but in an accessible way!
I am a big fan of niche perfume houses. They are the ones who are really moving the fragrance industry forward, pushing the envelope of scent combinations, rare ingredients, and packaging. But sometimes, these independent brands can be intimidating and often they seem to think the more strange the better.
But I’ve recently been exploring a new brand who sees perfume in a whole “different” way!
The Different Company is a parisian perfume house started in 2000 by Jean Claude Ellena and Thierry de Baschmakoff. Their vision is to bring different, contemporary and elegant perfumed emotions to the wearer. Focusing on unique ingredients and combinations, this brand highlights rare notes and interesting mixtures to create fragrances that almost smell like they were made just for YOU…”because you are not everyone”….you are DIFFERENT!
Almost an antithesis to mainstream perfume companies, The Different Company strives to not only add unique fragrances to the market but to do so in a creative way without compromise; using the finest ingredients to produce scents of ultimate luxury.
The Different Company proposes an open field for creativity and gathers unique perfume composers among the best worldwide from Jean Claude Ellena, Celine Ellena, Christine Nagel, and Bertrand Duchaufour to name a few. So unlike the big mainstream perfume houses who use a single perfumer for all their creations, The Different Company uses a collective of scent creators to curate a collection of fragrances each with their own vibe.
But the main reason why I think The Different Company is revolutionary in the niche fragrance world, is that they are an approachable perfume house to those who have yet to explore this new world of independent beauty.
How they accomplish this is by having three different collections that reflect the level of passion and sophistication of your perfume palate. So there is an entry point for everyone, whether you are a amateur perfume-lover or a connoisseur of scent. L’Esprit Cologne, Juste Chic, and Collection Excessive.
The L’Esprit Cologne collection is for those who are just entering into the world of fragrance. The scents are more accessible, wearable, and easy to understand. Fragrances in this collection are not of a lesser quality or ingenuity, but they are more palatable to those who have previously only worn more mainstream scents.
In the spirit of fresh vibrant colognes but in a dense eau de toilette concentration.
Two fragrances that really portray the fresh cologne nuances of this collection are South Bay and White Zagora, both created by Emilie (Bevierre) Coppermann, who has created all of the L’Esprit fragrances. These scents really capture the essence of a true Cologne, meaning they are inspired by those shower-clean scents that are splashed on throughout the day.
South Bay is a luminous citrus fragrance that is light and breezy like a breath of fresh air!
“This fragrance is the eternal young, fresh and sunny Miami, at the heart of the Art Deco….let’s groove”
The composition opens with an effervescent blend of Grapefruit, Mandarin leaves and Tamarind. Woody accords of grapefruit tree with peppery Freesia flowers and Eglantine (Rosa rubiginosa) develop as the Citrus fades.
But in the dry-down when base notes of creamy Sandalwood, dry Vetiver and smooth Suede mix with these fading Citrus notes, you get more of a maturing woody-citrus scent.
The fading of fragrance is a real scent journey. It reminds me of climbing to the top of a grapefruit tree to pluck a grapefruit and taste the tart juices, then brushing up against the green leaves as I climb down the thick bark of the tree, ending my journey by sitting on the dirt in the dry grass while I finish eating my fruit!
White Zagora is a dainty Oriental fragrance based on Orange Blossom accords refreshed with luminous Citruses. This is not your typical heavy, rich Oriental! Instead, think of it more like a fragile China doll! Delicate and pretty.
Named after the largest oasis in Africa, this fragrance evokes an elation of freshness.
“Between the oasis and the desert, a soothing and relaxing moment of freshness and peace.”
Opening notes are Neroli, Citruses and a faint hint of Bergamot, as an overture to the Orange Blossom at it’s heart. However, this Orange Blossom seems to make way to sweet Peach Blossom sweetened with a dainty hint of honey Tuberose.
The Peach nuance remains as it’s The base is warmed with Osmanthus, White Musk and glowing Amber.
Because of all it’s dainty sweetness, it’s hard to believe that this is considered an Oriental. I would consider it more of a fruity white-floral. Regardless, it is perhaps one of the prettiest fragrances I’ve smelled in a while. A perfect scent for younger perfume lovers, or for more innocent outings like Sunday brunch, a baby shower, or for afternoon tea.
The Juste Chic collection is for those who love perfume and wanting to explore more unique combinations of notes. Created by Jean-Claude and Céline Ellena and Christine Nagel, These fragrances start to incorporate more sophisticated notes and pairings that inspire the wearer to move beyond their comfort zone and explore more rare scents of the world.
I decided to feature two scents from this collection, Bergamote and Sublime Balkiss, both of which take traditional fragrance concepts but use contemporary compositions to transform these classics into modern scents.
Bergamot is one of the most classic notes used in the perfume industry, but it is often associated with more earthy “hippie” fragrances, but not this rendition. This Bergamot scent is sunshine in a bottle! Uplifting, fresh, and vibrant like a Summer’s day!
“Without constraint, with a light heart, wrapped in a sweet perfume of escape, inspired by those long summer days”
The thing that makes this scent so different from other Bergamot fragrances on the market is the high concentration of pure Bergamot oil!
The nose behind this fragrance is Jean-Claude Ellena. Top notes are Bergamot (70% Natural Oil) and Ginger; middle notes are Orange Blossom and Green notes; base notes are Rhubarb and Musk.
It is the zesty Bergamot and Green notes that give off a sunny day and fresh cut grass feeling. But add in the softness of Orange Blossom, the sweetness of Rhubarb, and a hint of Musk and you get an inviting scent that warms with your skin.
Bergamote brings the outside in. It is an ode to zest green Bergamot but done in a sophisticated way. This is a great every-day fragrance for those with an active lifestyle as it exudes positive energy!
Another tradition fragrance combination is what’s known as a Chypre, usually containing Oakmoss, Labdanum and Citrus (also Patchouli and Musk is also commonly present in modern Chypres). Some people are put off by Chypres as they think they smell “old lady” like. But Sublime Balkiss is NOT your grandma’s Chypre! This is an evolved, sophisticated Chypre evolved to a sweet nectar that is ultra-wearable yet modern.
Sublime Balkiss, created by Celine Ellena, seems to mimick the ambiance of a classic Chypre but revolutionized in a sweeter more smooth way. A contemporary take on the classic Chypre scent. Named after the Queen of Sheba this regal Chypre is alluring and draws you in to it’s powerful beauty.
“Sublime and we are bewitching. Balkiss and eternal, perfect beauty.”
The zesty Bergamot supplies the citrus note whereas the Patchouli mixed with the sharp metalic Violet Leaves give the impression of Oakmoss to further the ode-to-chypre. But instead of highlighting just these, unconventional notes are used to create a more ambiant scent; rich, deep, sweet, and organic.
It is a sweet bursting Bergamot and Berries that is reminiscent of wild blueberry picking in an autumn forest. Lush and syrupy dark Berries mixed with soft Musk add a sweetness and richness to the scent that dances around the green notes like a magical forest.
But the whole fragrance is deepened with Bulgarian Rose, indolic Lilac and Lily of the Valley, and smooth Leather. These notes ground the fragrance so the Chypre notes don’t overpower the mysterious effect.
Sublime Balkiss is a deep, mysterious, and intellectual fragrance. Great for colder weather and well suited for those who have more of a serious side.
I was so impressed with this fragrance that I have now made it my signature scent! It really is in my opinion the BEST modern Chypre on the market!
Lastly, the Collection Excessive, created by Bertrand Duchaufour is for those who are interested in stepping into the world of haute parfumerie. Rare and precious natural ingredients concentrated in powerful and complex fragrances.
The utmost luxury in fragrance creation. This collection pushes the boundries of contemporary fragrance creation and refines the palate of those who wear them.
I had the pleasure of trying one of these fragrances, Aurore Nomade which is the epitome of what The Different Company represents. It’s innovative, daring, and sumptuous.
The nose behind Aurore Nomade is Bertrand Duchaufour and uses what he dubs a “Sinbad accord”: star fruit on a tree in the sun, with apricot-y freesia accents and a touch of juicy, melon-y green, topped with a flash of aged rum!
“We are on an heavenly island in the middle of the Ocean. It’s seven in the morning and the first light of dawn illuminates this celestial landscape. The sand is already warm, the nature offers us its delicious and complex scents while the sun continues its inexorable rise in a clear blue sky.”
The top notes blow my mind right from the start, containing such a bold yet perfectly executed concoction of over-ripe Banana, Star fruit, spices of Cinnamon and Nutmeg, along with Aqua notes, burnt Rum and powdery Artemisia. It’s hard to write about how this fragrance smells by listing such unusual combinations, but trust me, the end result is addictive!
I think the closest thing I can say to describe it is, Banoffee Pie, but Banana with burnt caramel soaked in Rum and eaten on the beach! It’s a Gourmand, but a sexy masculine spicy gourmand. The most sophisticated gourmand out there!
The middle notes are where this scent really kicks it up a notch as sultry Ylang-Ylang, rose-like Geranium, hot Cloves, tropical Frangipani and animalistic Indoles take this to a hidden treasure level!
The base notes are powdery Immortelle, smooth Sandalwood, Amber, sweet Vanilla and soft Musk. But this is one of the only fragrances I’ve experienced, where the base notes act only as binding agent for the other top and middle notes.
What I mean by this is that the captivating combination of over-ripe drunken Banana mixed with hot spices and sexy tropical flowers is so alluring and intoxicating that the base notes only hold these notes to the skin rather than define the scent.
One of the most unique fragrances I have ever smelled, this scent is what defines The Different Company! It’s complex, modern, creative, and luxurious!
A great masculine Gourmand scent for a man (or woman) who thinks outside the box and who like an adventure and who isn’t afraid of a little bit of danger!
To learn more about The Different Company, visit their website here:
To experience and purchase one of these gorgeous scents for yourself, visit LuckyScent.com
[This article features Press Samples courtesy of Amerikas Inc. This in no way affects the honest opinions of the author.]
The Perfume Expert Rating
Summary: The Different Company is a niche perfume house that creates some unique and truly innovative fragrances without being pretentious or too "strange" for those who are used to mainstream scents. The quality is outstanding using the highest quality of ingredients, yet with a modest price point, these scents make an ideal entry point to niche perfume.