Review of Six Scents, No. 6: Teen Spirit by Preen and Mark Buxton
by Jessica M
Six Scents is a limited-edition series of fragrances produced in collaboration between perfume “noses” and fashion designers known for their innovative approaches. No. 6 in this series was created by perfumer Mark Buxton for Preen, the London-based design duo of Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi. It’s described as a composition of hazelnut leaf, rhubarb, bergamot, seashore accord, red pepper berry, rose, magnolia, violet wood, sandalwood, and musk, inspired by “an English summer garden after rain.”
On my skin, the tart rhubarb and citrus notes of No. 6’s opening are followed by a breezy, slightly salty heart. The drydown is a blooming of rose petals and fresh leaves, with a basenote that reminds me of driftwood. This fragrance has above-average staying power for an eau de toilette. It’s cleanly designed but not dull, and it’s unusual without being overly complicated or self-consciously weird. The mix of green, berry, and floral notes reminds me a bit of Diptyque’s L’Ombre dans L’Eau, and its rhubarb accent might also appeal to fans of Bond no. 9’s Bryant Park.
Preen is one of those fashion lines that occasionally catch my eye in the pages of Vogue and other publications. I don’t have the funding (or the necessary physique) to wear Preen’s designs, but I admire their urban romanticism. Preen’s Fall 2008 collection was partially inspired by the late Kurt Cobain’s wardrobe of layered plaids and slouchy thermal knits, and No. 6’s proper name is Teen Spirit, which must be a tribute to Nirvana’s first hit single. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” indelibly captured a specific moment in youth culture and marked the mainstream appearance of the “grunge” style in music and dress. For me, “Teen Spirit” was simply one of those rare “I-remember-where-I-was-the-first-time-I-heard-it” songs, so this fragrance’s name probably clinched my decision to purchase it.
Each Six Scents fragrance includes a booklet describing the entire line in detail and giving credit to everyone involved with the project. I’ve been using it to read about two other scents that caught my attention: No. 1 (Urban Tropicalia), a sophisticated fruity blend with a dominant black-currant note, and No. 4 (Diagonal), an androgynous composition of peppery wood and black tea. (No. 4, created for the designer Gareth Pugh, also has the coolest box design of the series: a rock-and-roll skull against an Op-Art background).
Last but not least, Six Scents has a charitable component: a percentage of the net proceeds benefits the non-profit organization Designers Against AIDS and the International HIV/AIDS Awareness Education Center in Antwerp, Belgium. For more information about the Six Scents project, and for a complete list of retailers selling these fragrances, see the Six Scents website [http://www.six-scents.com].
Preen photo credit: Style.com