Uèrmi (Wear Me) is an Italian concept driven range of perfumes inspired by textiles. The fragrances are made by Takasago perfumers including Antoine Lie, who is responsible for the joyous White from Puredistance. The scents cover a range of territory from light and milky (Washi) to more experimental (Latex).
“Perfumes and fabrics share an elective affinity with our skin. Both are literally worn by us, becoming a subtle or strong expression of our personality. That is why UERMI = WEAR ME = INDOSSAMI. Perfumes and fabrics caress and gratify in real time our senses… smell, sight, touch in particular. They powerfully evoke memories. An old pair of velvet pants or jeans, a tweed jacket, a silk tie or a scarf, a cashmere sweater … can reinstate a fragment of our past. A fabric, just as a perfume, can make us travel through time.” (Uèrmi website)
I have to admit that I’m drawn to the concept of this collection, as I’ve loved fabrics from a young age, when I helped my mother select material for the dresses and skirts she sewed for me, in what already seems like a bygone era. It’s true that fabrics, like scent can evoke memories, time and place. So while I’m not usually drawn to concept ranges, in this case there was a certain level of intrigue to see where the inspiration would lead. There are eight fragrances in the line and here is a quick sniff run down.
Denim : Philippe Bousseton : 2014 : Listed Notes : Pink pepper, neroli, tuberose, ylang, oak moss, amber, patchouli, vanilla, musk
The textile of my daily life. The ubiquitous cloth that revolutionised wardrobes and the casual staple of children, men and women around the globe. Jackets, jeans, skirts, shorts, overalls and I’ve seen some denim boots this season, in a reworked 70’s style. I really wish I’d kept my patchwork denim jacket from the 90’s – it would be perfect for right now. So how does this smell? It’s a casual perfume and is well matched to the concept. A slightly sharp greenish tuberose is the main player here, lending a floral tint to the white musks and woody base, with a faint spiciness in the dry down. Denim is relaxed, casual and friendly.
Cashmere : Jean Jacques : 2014 : Listed Notes : Olibanum, jasmine, osmanthus, sandalwood, patchouli, grey amber, vanilla, musk.
Ahh the lovely cashmere, worn so well by Ms Monroe is a winter wardrobe staple, now thankfully democratised by the likes of Uniqlo and co. Cashmere is a light oriental, incorporating an ambered, sandalwood touch with a round, soft feel that I do think conjures the plush, comforting and nourishing properties of cashmere rather well.
Suede : Antoine Lie : 2014 : Listed Notes : Saffron, plum, muguet, gayac, incense, deep suede, animalic notes, leather
This is the smell that translates really well to the material in question as it’s an accord that many of us will be familiar with if you’ve worn leather perfumes. It opens with vigour and smells like warm leathery saffron with a hint of flowers and a dark fruity bite from the plum. The scent is reasonably linear on me but maintains a warmth and richness as it transitions from a dark brown leather, to a softer, beige toned suede.
Silk : Jean Jacques : 2014 : Listed Notes : Grapefruit, dill, tangerine, lilac, neroli, cypress, fig pulp, musk, cedar wood, iris
An elegant fabric with a cool and elegant sheen, this perfume is driven by fig with a delicate touch of woods and iris. There’s a light, fresh quality to the scent and it feels bright and optimistic like a blue sky day. It’s a lighter style fig than others I’m more familiar with such as Olivia Giacobetti‘s classics Premier Figuier (L’Artisan Parfumeur) and Philosykos (Diptyque). The gorgeous emerald green silk dress in the image above is worn by Keira Knightley in the film Atonement.
Washi : Antoine Lie : 2015 : Listed Notes : Milky accord, peony, lilac, cashmeran, tonka bean, musk
Call me ignorant but I hadn’t heard of this fabric before. Washi is rice paper and the fabric of the same name is composed of the paper in combination with a mix of silk, cashmere, cotton or linen. Apparently Washi is an ecofriendly product with antibacterial properties that also functions as a sunscreen. All rather high-tech. The scent is light with a somewhat airy nature, yet has a milkiness combined with the florals, tonka and the ambered cashmeran that lends a touch of sweetness. Very pleasant.
Tweed : Jean Jacques : 2014 : Listed Notes : Black pepper, violet leaves, benzoin, ambroxan, dark musk
Tweed, the rough woollen fabric I associate with the English countryside and the royal family has served as an inspiration for perfumes past. I’m thinking here of Tweed by Lentheric and Creed’s Green Irish Tweed. Uèrmi’s version is a gourmand with a peppery fizz up top, and perhaps not what I would have associated with the textile. I imagined something a little more rugged. It’s not over the top on the sweetness barometer and it feels slightly leathery to me as well. Wearing this though, I can now see that this is actually a good fit for the fabric. The tang of the pepper is akin to the slight nuzzle as the fabric touches skin. As your skin becomes accustomed to the textile, it seems to soften the longer you wear it, pretty much like the scent.
Latex : Antoine Lie : 2014 : Listed Notes : Ozonic marine, aldehyde C12L, indole, rose oxide, saffron, vinyl accord
The most daring perfume and textile in the range. It smells like rubber and vinyl stretched over limbs juxtaposed with a bizarre marine accord. Latex is a perfume that I’ve found interesting to wear. At times it made me feel queasy but without doubt is the most memorable scent in the collection. It’s not something that I would want to wear – it straddles the experimental line for me and for some reason I’m seeing superhero suits at the seaside. For those of you who are drawn to scents of the avant-garde persuasion then this may be right up your alley. Latex is also one of the more long-lasting perfumes in the range.
Velvet : Jean Jacques : 2014 : Listed Notes : Sicilian lemon, elemi, cardmom, spearmint, cedar wood, patchouli, vetiver
Velvet is a favourite fabric – I adore it in clothing and interiors. It should be sumptuous and plush and most definitely not the crushed velvet variety. I was expecting something sensuous with a touch of bohemian rhapsody in its perfumed translation. Well I’ll just say that this vetiver centric scent did not agree with my skin at all and smelt like toxic grass fires. I’m sure not everyone will have this olfactive reaction, but there’s obviously a chemical in here that interacts very badly with my skin.
My take on Uèrmi is that it’s a hipster brand due to the concept and styling and can easily imagine the perfumes radiating coolness on the shelves at Colette in Paris. The collection is thought-provoking and should kick-start conversations around scent possibilities. If you prefer fragrances that have a semblance of a natural feel, then Uèrmi will not be to your taste, but that’s not the intention here. These perfumes have a highly synthetic, and contemporary vision, more likely to suit those that prefer modernity in their fragrances, or who are looking for something that flies under the radar. The perfume that made the strongest impression is Latex. It pushed my perfume appreciation a little further and really ran with the overall concept.
For where to purchase : Please see the Uermi website for further details. Roullier White sells the range in the UK at 105 pounds for a 75ml bottle.
Notes : Images : Main collage : Jane Birkin in denim : marieclaire.co.uk :Madonna in latex : pinterest : infinity.net : Kate Moss in silk and velvet : marieclaire.co.uk : Queen Elizabeth in tweed : isabeldeyork.com : Ali McGraw in suede : classiq.me : Angelina Jolie in velvet : vogue.com : Keira Knightley in silk : lesbeehives.com : Marilyn Monroe in cashmere : thesun.co.uk Denim collage : Marilyn Monroe : pinterest :Charlotte Rampling : Debbie Harry : vogue.com Latex collage : Madonna pink : dresstokillmagazine.com : Uermi Washi – Megan In Sainte Maxime : Uermi discovery box : Uermi
Disclaimer : Samples borrowed from a friend. Opinions my own.