Listen to the beat, Jardins d’Ecrivains Junky

Jardins d’Ecrivains is a brand that takes inspiration from literature. With all these older and current books available, imagine how many different perfumes could be based on them. The newest fragrance – Junky, which launched at Esxence in Milan this March was brought to life thanks to Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict by a beat generation writer William S. Burroughs and published as William Lee as an author in 1953. It’s a semi-biographical text.

Right from the starting point Junky presents itself as a very green perfume. There’s a lot of galbanum resin in the opening, which gives this very intensive, almost pungent odour of green stems and dried grass. After 15 minutes of playing solo the cannabis accord joins in. It is probably my first time to experience cannabis in a perfume and I’m happy to learn something new. Especially that in this perfume it does bring the aroma that I would describe as warm hay, wheat with a little bit of coumarin to it. It’s really fine-smelling and it gives a powerful start to the composition. The stage created with cannabis and galbanum lasts for around 1 hour.

After that time the composition of Jardins d’Ecrivains Junky becomes more substantial when the woody accord of palisander rosewood appears. This rarely used perfume materials adds some more tenderness and character, at the same time being elegant and smooth as if the wood was polished. No splinters to be found here. At this point the fragrance has a really great aura to it with a lot of aromatic potential to smell around the wearer.

The evolution of the scent slowly takes the wearers of Junky to the territory of more powdery and slightly floral tones. Violet emanates the aroma that is delicately sweet but not candied and there’s also something dewy about it. Gardenia on the other hand is really powerful and full-bodied in this fragrance composition, definitely covering the weaker violet accord. After 3 hours I could smell the note that I was dying to experience in Junky – iris. In this creation you get to experience the iris which is minimally powdery and mostly smells rooty, a little bit earthy. It also develops a lovely buttery vibe after some time when gardenia weakens.

Later on Junky becomes heavier and develops some greater density yet it doesn’t feel to powerful when you smell it on the skin. It’s strong and it’s the kind of perfume that makes a statement but not in a screamy or show-off manner. Cashmeran gives a silky vibe that somehow makes me also think of a suede or delicate leather as I find something slightly waxy in there. A woody vetiver effuses a nice aroma that causes Junky to develop a bigger volume of a fragrant cloud around the person wearing it. At the end of 5th hour some changes in the scent structure begin.

The balsamic quality of Junky by Jardins d’Ecrivains cumulates successively, slowly, minute after minute the scent becomes more balmy and tender. Dark and smoky incense fills the air around, making it slightly foggy and silvery. At the same time it feels airy and lightweight. What really surprised me in this perfume is that even though it’s incense that takes the lead it doesn’t feel cold (or churchy) like in many other perfumes. Even the usually metallic juniper which is a pair for incense in this perfume, it doesn’t give much of its metallic vibe. Just the aromatic stuff.

For the next few hours the notes in this new perfume loosen and tighten. Once you can smell most of the notes that appeared so far as if they were separated one from another but after a while this feeling subsides and everything seems to be blended so perfectly and seamlessly that you can’t separate iris from gardenia or vetiver from cashmeran. Isn’t that a funny thing how much a composition  can change in a short time or how differently our nose can work though it!?

The very drydown of Junky is composed of oakmoss and myrtle. The first one gives another woody facet to the perfume as well as there’s something slightly powdery, shrub-like and a bit raw about it. The feeling I get is connected with the imagery of an autumn forest with broken branches and colorful leaves on the ground. Myrtle adds kind of mediterranean vibe with a smell that is herbal. A little bit like maquis in fact. There’s also a twist in the drydown, where a floral bouquet appears out of no-where. I don’t pick any specific kind of flower – I just smell flowers, a nicely composed combination that’s like a cherry on top of the dessert.

Despite the fact that Junky from Jardins d’Ecrivains was inspired by a novel about a drug addict, it doesn’t smell like a scruffy men sitting on the pavement in the dark alley. No! Just kidding! I was never afraid it might smell like that. Spending more time with this perfume made me understand that it’s an addictive fragrance and this is the association with William S. Burroughs book that one should find in this scent. Anais Biguine did a great job with her new perfume. She mastered the ingredients to create a very unusual perfume that fits the beat generation concept. Junky is concentrated at eau de parfum level and is available in 100 ml bottles of typical Jardins d’Ecrivains design. The sillage is strong for many hours and the longevity was +12 hours on my skin.

[note] All pictures are my own, all rights reserved. A bottle of Junky was a gift from Anais Biguine.

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14 thoughts on “Listen to the beat, Jardins d’Ecrivains Junky

  1. Lord, it sounds like it develops in a very schizophrenic way. I am interested in checking this out as I like their creations. Boy, I think I need to check out Esxence in the future. It seems you walked away with bottles galore!

    • lucasai says:

      Now that you mentioned the word “schizophrenic” I think that the development could have something to do with they way someone feels while being hay, after taking drugs.
      I’m sure you’ll like it, it’s less challenging than Orlando 🙂
      Esxence is great, people are really open to you and they like to give presents. Although I got the presents from people I already knew for months, like Anais Biguine, through often email correspondence

  2. hajusuuri says:

    Sounds like a great-smelling perfume! Bendel’s carries this line – I’ll have to try it. Perhaps they’ll have it at Sniffapalooza!

  3. Jillie says:

    This sounds perfect for me! Does that make me a junkie?? Well, I suppose I am an addictive personality ……..! Thinking about writers and drugs, I realised that of course a lot of our eighteenth and nineteenth century literary geniuses were opium addicts. Drugs probably really do “expand the mind”, but sadly they do other things as well. Better to get a harmless fix from a lovely perfume, and this certainly does seem rather gorgeous. Great review again, Lucas, you describe it so well.

  4. rickyrebarco says:

    Interesting and detailed review as always. This one sounds too challenging for me. I was never fond of the smell of cannabis and I abhor oakmoss. Oakmoss and my skin chemistry just do not mix. I’ve quit trying to make that combo work when it never does. So I will not be trying this one, but I would like to smell it on someone else. The violet and iris notes sound nice.
    My favorite unusual violet fragrance is Comme des Garcons Les Incenses: Zagorsk. That is a lovely smoky incensy violet, surprising, but works perfectly. Zagorsk always reminds me of an old stave church in Russia with incense soaked into the wood over centuries with a little vase of violets on the altar.

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks Ricky!
      Too bad that oakmoss or cannabis sound too challenging for you. Have you ever tried some Parfum d’Empire, like Azemour for example? They have an oakmoss in the base but it’s almost impossible to notice.
      I have not tried Zagorsk but I like Kyoto, my mum wears it too.

  5. […] OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT JUNKY:  CaFleureBon, Chemist in a Bottle, Now Smell […]

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