Austria has produced a number of artisanal houses that have brought exquisite perfumes to market in recent years... and it is safe to say that Viennese fashion legend Helmut Lang might have paved the way.
Lang's "universe" is comprised of fashion that is relaxed and formal in equal measures - it is not so much the idea of high fashion, but rather, a sensitivity towards correctness and detailing in garments that appeal as basic items. Few designers can take casual clothes to the precipice of being avant garde, without being "fussy", in the manner way Helmut Lang can. Lang's portfolio of perfumes followed suit... they were explorations in simplicity and refinement; understated, minimalist, and keenly edited.
In April 2013, the pair launched Drop No. 01 Eau de Parfum to accompany their fashions.
An overture to wanton sensuality, Drop No. 01 Eau de Parfum is described as:
"...the result of an orgiastic night, a warm, dark and sparkling fragrance for sophisticated, modern and cosmopolitan women (and men)."
When first applied to skin, one is immediately awash with a zesty, bitter citrus accord, and a rush of Indian jasmine... star-shaped blooms heavy with indoles create a sultry, devoutly feminine aura around the wearer. There is nothing apologetic about this floral opening - it is every bit as 'present' as Robert Piguet's famed Fracas. Amongst the narcotising white florals I sense a ribbon of green - lily of the valley perhaps? - and a soft pink band of rose. Deeper below, a fragrant woody-resinous foundation of amyris / elemi amplifies the sexually-loaded context of the perfume, and brings with it a more masculine facet. There is a certain sexual alchemy at work as the womanly floral facets and vigorous masculine aspects unify. A warmer, ambery characteristic is furnished by fragrant myrrh in the trail.
This fragrance - in its style and approach, at least - shares a similarity with those of Fankhauser and Ruthner's mentor, Lang. It is straight-forward, linear, and uncompromising.
Drop No. 01 boasts 99% natural ingredients, 95% of which are of certified organic origin, making it one of the first (if not the first) natural designer perfumes in the world.
If the description of the scent itself doesn't completely enchant you, then perhaps the flacon will! With a tip of the hat to Austrian craftsmanship, Wendy&Jim have collaborated with the second-oldest porcelain manufacturers in Europe, Augarten of Vienna to produce the magnificent Vulpini "Fox's Head" flacon. The stunning skull receptacle is sold independently of the perfume, and can be refilled at will. It is available in "White" and "Wiener Rose". The fox's skull was chosen as a totem of strength and cleverness and serves as the perfect vessel for a perfume of such a bewitching nature.
Drop No. 01 is available in 30ml and 50ml sizes at a cost of €110 and €180 respectively.
The Vulpini fox skull flacons start from €370.
For further information, visit the Wendy& Jim website and facebook page.