What an honor to end this first year at Charenton Macerations by having Christopher Street recognized on six Best Perfume 2013 lists. And what a first year it has been… What started out as a crazy idea to tap into the world of activism and revelry synonymous with West Village life and bring that inspirational energy into the world of olfaction, has grown well beyond the scent captured in the bottle, opening the door to further discussions on history, gender politics, and how to approach developing fragrances. This first year has been more incredible than ever could have been anticipated and to sweeten things even more by making the “Best of” lists of so many people I respect, and in the company of so many great independent brands I admire, is simply amazing. Here’s just a quick round up of what people are saying about Christopher Street:
Bois de Jasmin: Best of 2013 in Perfume – On the Linden Trail
Christopher Street is the type of perfume that’s as rare as snow leopards and pink diamonds. They simply don’t make ‘em like this anymore. It’s an old school chypre (mossy, leathery blend) that has lots of character. The green, crushed leaves and sweet spices hide its whisky voiced sensuality, and as with many classically minded fragrances, it required me to court it slowly and patiently. If you like perfumes like Aramis, Robert Piguet Bandit and Estée Lauder Azurée, it’s a worthy contender.
I respect the house Charenton Macerations because the perfume, Christopher Street, is not only a brilliant composition but it tells a story. Every detail of the perfume is perfect. There isn’t a more thoughtful indie line out there; I’m certain of this.
Everybody, meet the fragrance I wore most of the summer. I had been eagerly awaiting this new brand’s first release, Charenton Macerations Christopher Street. The story is rich with history of the joy, freedom, revelry, individualism, pain, violence and turmoil of a particular area of New York City- The Village. I have two major associations with that neighborhood– the happy memories of spending time with my mother there on our occasional trips, and the riots of Stonewall in 1969. You can fit thousands of lifetimes and experiences in this bottle of shimmering, combustible, energetic fragrance, and the imagination and artistry that went into making this a perfect fragrance for either gender, for any situation, is rather mind blowing to me. How to explain the Willie Wonka-esque everlasting drunken salty lime note? I don’t know, I guess you’d have to ask Ralf Schwieger, who composed it. There is a lot of creative transparency and lore to pore over on the CM website, and it all makes for interesting reading. At the end of the day, though, Christopher Street, in its purposefully modest packaging, is one of the fragrances I reach for the most, and my favorite thing to smell traces of on my clothes.
The Non-Blonde: Best of 2013: My Perfume Picks
Charenton Macerations – Christopher Street is a wonderful representation of New York City. Gender-bending, fun, yet political and carrying centuries of history.
Charenton Macerations Christopher Street– Creative Director Douglas Bender collaborated with perfumer Ralf Schwieger (Michelyn’s Perfumer of 2013) to create a very personal vision of Greenwich Village’s Christopher Street. What could have turned into a vanity project instead turned into a giant fragrant hug which invited everyone to join in.
As in 2010 for Atelier Cologne, [Ralf Schwieger] demonstrated his ability to be an integral part of a start-up; Ralf worked closely with Douglas Bender of Charenton Macerations on the provocative, Christopher Street. Simply stated, Ralf Schwieger represents all that is great about this industry.
Plus, I am thrilled also to be mentioned on GoodSmellas’ Carlos J. Powell’s Favorite Perfume Releases Of 2013. (Thanks to Carlos and everyone at Peace ? Love ? Perfume for not only helping get the word out about Christopher Street, but for some really terrific conversations.) Here’s an excerpt from an interview I did with Carlos during last year’s Elements Showcase.
Thank you to everyone who helped make 2013 so successful for Charenton Macerations. Special thanks to Ralf, Fred, Margaret, Hannah, Jenn, Stephan, Benjamin, Caroline, Vivian, Chris, Careena, Jordan, Karen, Gloria, and most especially to Alton. There would be no Christopher Street or Charenton Macerations without you. I cannot wait to share what’s in store for 2014.