Gwen and I visited Saltridge’s in Burlington recently and Nancy Saltridge introduced us to the latest addition to her fragrance assortment, Agonist. This line from Sweden was launched in 2008 by Christine Gustafsson and Niclas Lydeen – two Swedish designers with a background in fashion and visual communication. Their 100% natural fragrances, created in collaboration with prominent perfumers, “are inspired by the Nordic climate and culture…fresh with a vigorous weight and beautiful low tones.” Agonist.com
Their first four fragrances were introduced in individually handcrafted glass bottles – works of art, really – which were created in collaboration with glass artist Āsa Jungnelius at Kosta Boda, the world–famous crystal glass company. This made Agonist incredibly expensive, around $1200 a bottle , but the line, which has since expanded to eight fragrances, is now available in affordable regular glass bottles. Thank god, because this means I could buy Liquid Crystal.
Liquid Crystal “… is inspired by the process when the 1000 degree hot melted glass, slowly but intensely changes in shape, and suddenly freezes and solidifies for eternity. Sharp top, warm base and immersive body. “ An aromatic spicy scent, it was created by Fabrice Pelligrin, the nose behind Diptyque’s extraordinary Volutes, Do Son and Eau Duelles, and other fragrances for Thierry Mugler, Roberto Cavalli and Reminiscences.
Bergamot and absinthe are a cool green mix out of the bottle, slightly fresh and soapy with overtones of ripe orange, and then lavender starts to rise up, astringent and aromatic with its unique herbal twist – it’s just a beautiful mix with the citrus notes. There’s a brief minty effect, then the lavender sharpness is slowly softened by spices, cloves, more orange and hints of vanilla. Liquid Crystal takes on a more harmonious tone, and at this point I’m reminded of Guerlain’s Jicky. It’s starting to become sensual, more animalic and less herbal as the incense and patchouli heart notes unfold underneath the lavender, but surprisingly the scent has a sheer weightless feeling to it.
In the dry-down vetiver, amber, tonka, labdanum and cedarwood create a divinely powdered warmth, providing a lush backdrop for the marvelous green lavender note that has been there from almost the first whiff. The scent takes on woody, spicy, slightly smoky and dry tones, with faint wafts of vanilla and caramel, but is so masterfully constructed that at the end, I can still detect that special essence of fresh sun-warmed lavender. Not too sweet, too flowery, too rich, it wears lightly on the skin, a perfect veil of magical scent.
Notes: Bergamot , Absinthe, Oriental Spices, Cloves, Sicilian Orange, Lavender, Incense, Patchouli, Vetiver, White Amber, Tonka Bean, Labdanum, Cedarwood
Parfumeur: Fabrice Pelligrin