Confidential and new British fragrance label Neandertal have brought to fruition the central project they've been working on, whose aim is to recreate the possible scents that Neanderthales knew, transposed to modern days. Wait. What? This is about a historical fantasy. Neandertal Perfume Dark & Neandertal Perfume Light are two compositions by perfumer Euan McCall...
"If Neanderthals still walked the earth, how would their unique olfactory system influence their perception of perfume organoleptically? what materials would the 'modern' Neanderthal have an affinity with now?".
Perfumer Euan McCall responded to these questions informed by materials available throughout ancient history, present day, creating a symbiosis between product, materials, and this historical concept."
With the vogue and democratization of genetic testing which helps you assess the percentage of Neanderthalian genes you possess, prehistory might not be as far removed as we thought.
The flacons of perfume made out of porcelain are individually handcrafted by Kentaro Yamada. Each fragrance is limited to 100 copies and refills are available upon request.
Both compositions showcase a hot mineral accord meant to evoke the knapping process.
In Neandertal Perfume Dark, there is "a soft citrus and oddly transgressive iodine element that might suggest Neanderthals in present day."
Top - Pink Pepper WC, Tangerine, Tomato leaf, Hinoki, Aldehydes, Violet leaf & Grapefruit.
Heart - Caraway co2, Ginger absolute, Rose, Saffron, Tobacco, Guaiac Heart, Frankincense serrata co2, 'Leather' accord & Myrrh.
Base - Labdanum absolute, Patchouli MD, Vetiver, Cedar, Amber, Oud, Sandalwood, Cashmeran, Musk & Vanilla.
Neandertal Perfume Light is said to be a sweeter, white musk take on the prehistoric brew.
Top - Marine accord, Aldehydes, Hinoki, Juniper, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Mandarin and Pink Pepper
Heart - Galbanum, Saffron, Caraway co2, Ginger absolute, Tobacco, Angelica, Frankincense and Myrrh
Base - Sandalwood, Vanilla, Tonka bean, Amber, Musk, Cedarwood, Styrax absolute and Vetiver.
While the concept is novel and striking, it remains to be seen how disorienting or evocative it truly is on the perceptual plane. A mainstream yet thought-out perfume such as Terre d'Hermès has made a flinty, mineral accord be of this day and age. Very early human history however is still an imaginary, olfactory territory less well covered by perfumery although the art always tries to make us be in touch with our primitive, instinctual sides.
Each 10 ml bottle + 10 ml refill is priced at £240.