3 agosto 2012

What we do in Paris is secret:
Ropion likes to play with fire

"With your cherry lips and golden curls
you could make grown men gasp" Cherry lips - Garbage

Coming to Paris for some good cool hunting one can't miss for sure Colette in the "to do" list. So last January I stepped into the famous concept store adored by fashion junkies and aside smelling for the first time the whole Le Labo line, I saw a curious brand about which I didn't find that much online yet: A Lab on Fire.
A burning lab but also an "excited" lab is the ironical double meaning of this brand born from to the creative genius of Carlos Kusubayashi, who also launched the lascivious S-Perfumes.
But where the main theme of the latter was outlined by sinful names like 100%Love, S-ex and Lust-Luxuria, A Lab on Fire wants to focus on the fragrance itself. Is it possible nowadays to have a good quality perfume created by a great perfumer from an original idea with good raw materials for a fair price? The answer is yes. A Lab on Fire fragrances are all sold in a 15ml atomizer for less than 25 euros and since they are going to attend to the forthcoming edition of Pitti Fragranze, you have a chance to discover them.

Despite following the wave of clinic minimal-chic from the '90s, the hand-made lab's test-tubes inspired packaging is decorated with funny metal plates and an almost fetish soft-touch rubber cap covering the spray atomizer. Anyway the liquid is what matters and you can understand it starting from the mysterious and improbable names of creations like L'Anonyme ou OP-1475-A (OP stays for Olivier Polge) or precisely What we do in Paris is secret. The scents are completely different from each other but all of them have a common sense of avantgarde and classic mix and when it comes to Dominique Ropion playing with burning test-tubes, you can't expect anything else but surprising reactions.

Generally I'm not a gourmand guy but smelling the titbit Ropion baked even my biases had to raise the white flag. What we do in Paris is secret is in perfect Ropion style: a masterfully smoothed cabochon revealing under the monolithic surface its mellow, iridescent colours. Since the beginning the gluttonous aspect is emphasized by a tart, slight candied cedar peel-like citrus opening. Then it grows very diffusive thanks to the heliotrope almondy halo rendering an illusion halfway between macarons and lilac. Clove and above all cinnamon are just a hint but perfectly fit this floral-edible harmony keeping the juice far from getting cloying.

Anyway what makes What we do in Paris is secret really irresistible are the basenotes that don't follow the oriental recipe from citrus straight to crème caramel. Instead it makes you wonder if what the secretly do in Paris is a delicious clafoutis still lukewarm eaten while at the lady sit at the nearest table powders her nose and her man rolls some blond tobacco. The cherry and peach fruity-aromatic contrast is longlasting and to die for, with atlas cedarwood, balsams and cumarine underline tobacco and even a leather hint. The result is a modern amber with Krazy Krizia, another amazing underrated Ropion creation dating 1991 as a distant relative. Maybe it's because of the cherry, maybe because it's an almost addictive juice, maybe because it's provocative on and man and funny and sexy on a woman, but weating it made me think of Shirley Manson all about rock and cherry lips.

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