An edited version of this article by has previously appeared on CaFleureBon by Megan In Sainte Maxime.
Rewind the clock five years and you may remember a perfume with an IQ. Entitled Intelligence & Fantasy it announced the arrival of The Beautiful Mind Series Volume 1. The brain behind this fragrance was Geza Schoen with help from his muse, Christiane Stenger, a grandmaster of memory. Schoen, the perfumer behind this series has a vast body of boundary pushing work. He made a grand statement with the minimalist Escentric Molecules range of scents. He is also the nose behind the Ormonde Jayne line of perfumes.
The wait has been quite some time coming for the installment of Volume 2 : Precision & Grace. For Volume 2 the classical ballet dancer Polina Semionova (principal dancer at The American Ballet Theatre) has served as Schoen’s inspiration and collaborative partner. Precision & Grace evokes the dancer’s creative oeuvre. Ballet is renowned for gruelling training regimes of Black Swan intensity, before the reveal of technical perfection and hard-earned moments of alluring perfection. There are many clips on YouTube that showcase her talents and I am guilty of getting side tracked. Her performances are mesmerising. Semionova dances with a fierce combination of strength, grace and precision. Here is a clip that I love called Dancing In The Rain that is amazingly fluid and sensual and helps to bring the perfume to life for me.
Nose : Geza Schoen : Year : 2015 : Notes : Pear, Egyptian Jasmine, Plum, Sandalwood, Musk, Freesia, (from Fragrantica)
A Williams pear note dominates in the opening stages of Precision & Grace. It’s crisply sweet but doesn’t tread on gourmand territory. As a general rule I haven’t had much luck with pear as a note in fragrances. That said, I love the sensation of eating a juicy pear that oozes ripeness. It takes some skill to reproduce the crispness or juiciness of the pear in a perfume without having it smell like a functional product. With the addition of a squeeze of citrus notes, Precision & Grace manages to achieve this feat with the pear tending crisp as opposed to ripe. At first the perfume seems to have a shy innocence but slowly stirs to shed the remnants of tulle as it’s swept aside to reveal an Egyptian jasmine. It’s a fresh, bright jasmine with a fruity aspect rather than the indolic, night blooming style.
Step by step the perfume takes smooth lilting movements reminiscent of a dancer warming up. Then moving unconsciously, unhindered by the mind, the body takes over. There’s a smidgen of Schoen’s beloved pink pepper and the fruity jasmine is amplified by supporting flowers that provide volume. These include mimosa, osmanthus and freesia. The perfume really takes flight now with swirls and pirouettes. The addition of plum blends with the flowers to create skilled smooth lines.
The fragrance reaches its zenith with the introduction of the sandalwood and musky base that plumps Precision & Grace with a velvet like texture. This comes as a surprise and is skillfully blended so one doesn’t notice the transformation as it occurs. It’s a welcome change and lends some extra flight and frisson. It has an element of warmth and Schoen intimates that he wanted to give the impression of the dancer’s body becoming heated as the dance wears on.
Precision & Grace is an uplifting, pretty perfume with a lightness of being. It’s fruity and floral but never cloying and would be very wearable in the heated months to come. It is contemporary, light and buoyant with a slight powdery feel to the florals. There’s a freshness here that offers those moments of excitement, when you’re at the theatre transfixed by the intricacies and exhilarating moments of a performance. It’s a tender perfume yet there is strength and determination in its posture.
Disclosure : Sample received from The Beautiful Mind Series via Ca Fleure Bon. Opinions my own.
Notes : Featured Image mine : Paulina Semionova : top left and bottom right : theballetbag.com : top right : pinterest : bottom left : Vogue Italia April 2012
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