No question: Blood Concept is one of the more unusual fragrance houses out there right now.
With ‘blood type diets’ being quite the thing, this takes the notion of individuality one stage further. Giovanni Castelli (former fashion designer and a photographer) and Antonio Zuddas (a copywriter), from Italy, launched their revolutionary collection of perfumes with a quartet of four unique fragrances, one for each blood group. So you’ve A. And B. And O. And AB. And compelling they are, too.
Blood Concept explained to The Perfume Society, ‘As perfume creators we’re intrigued by the fact that the scent you wear can reveal Freudian clues about you. Your smell is about instinct, identity, personality. That’s why we chose blood as the subject of our concept, because like scent, it reveals information about you as a human being. Our concept is about declaring one’s identity and celebrating our relationship with Nature.’
And here’s the thing: Blood Concept fragrances don’t really smell like blood. But the founders explain, ‘Each does have a lingering metallic end note: something that makes them recognisable and binds them together: a sort of trademark.’ Each of the fragrances was actually created to represent a phase of mankind’s evolution.
So type O (Absolute Suede) is animalic: ‘a steel first inside a leather glove’, with leathery notes evoking animal skins, and aromatic hints of cypress, cedar and thyme, with a final gourmand trail of amber, suede and incense.
A (Green Cachemire) captures all kinds of greenness, bursting through the earth: hints of tomato leaf and anise: ‘Versatile, complex, capable of transmitting peace and serenity’, as they put it. (Or as the Cafleurebon website describes it, ‘The sweat of the farmer toiling in the fields and the whiff of blood put into every turn of the plough…’)
B (Wonder Tonka), meanwhile, is ‘a cup of chocolate and a “special” cake from a coffee shop.’
As Giovanni and Antonio told Fragrantica, ‘Every fragrance composition was created as a mix of relevant elements of the era in which every blood type came out. O is the first blood type, the oldest one, so it has to be deep, strong, like first human beings. Then comes A, when people started to eat vegetables and get more sedentary. Then B, when people started to travel and mix habits and foods. The youngest type is AB, born when people started to mix themselves with different blood types (A+B).’
After the sleekly-packaged original collection – which had the blogosphere abuzz – came the Black Series: same ‘concept’, but expressed using mysterious and deep notes which, as they explain, ‘are created to bring darkness under a spotlight, new roles of seduction, increase sexual healing and need for power.’ Colours differentiate the different collections (as you’ll see above): red labels for The Red Series, anthracite grey for The Black Series and ultramarine for The Upside Down Series, ‘dedicated to the blood of trees’.
XY Nude Wood and XX Metro Velvet joined the line-up in 2016 – again, entirely androgynous (and said to have been inspired by David Bowie). XX Metro Velvet contains an extract of the most feminine of flowers, the rose, ‘prisoner in a composition with a masculine base’: orange and saffron slide into incense, immortelle, lily of the valley and rose, closing with patchouli, guaiac, styrax and vanilla.
XY Nude Wood revisits masculine cedar and vetiver, blending into notes of coconut flowers and cinnamon, tonka bean, lily of the valley, with the narcotic edge of sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, labdanum and benzoin. As they put it: ‘It is the image of a new femininity, strong and decisive, able to give new force to the world around…’
The original springboard for the whole collection is that fragrance should suit the wearer, in a deep way. And despite the daring – maybe even shocking – name, there actually turn out to be no rules, with Blood Concept. No need literally to choose the one which matches the blood group on your medical records; you’re encouraged to test them all and choose whatever suits, regardless of your blood type.
And we’ve had an intriguing – and surprising – time, doing just that. With not a drop spilled, on the way…
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