Oscar Wilde — “I can resist anything except temptation.”
*This article first appeared on the CaFleureBon site
The legendary minimalist but more-than-perfectionist Oliver Cresp teamed up with his daughter, Anaïs, and her partner, Jack Miskelly, and created the original, fresh and sleek Akro brand. (the name comes from the french “accro” – short for “accroché” or “hooked”)
The collection is a six-headed serpent, each focused on the olfactory translation of a vice, luring us to pick our favorite poison: the “harder-better-faster-stronger” early morning adrenaline surge of a bitter, dark, perfect ristretto in Awake; a noonday demon smokes a lazy joint, holding hands with the green absinthe fairy, eyes half-closed, breaths entwined all minty in Haze; to properly scratch that munchies itch we have the decadent and deep bitter chocolate of Dark, and for a good cigarette and fine whiskey fix, Smoke & Malt will have you covered.
Irreverent, unapologetic and raw (but still conceptualized), they all share a cohesive thread of neo-punk ”take it or leave it” attitude that leaves me humming the chorus of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for life” whilst smelling my wrists.
I purposely left out the one fragrance we will focus on in this article: Night. Yep, the one about sex.
All throughout history, ritualistic celebrations of love, sex and fertility seem to converge in the month of February, bearing different names: dies Februatus, Lupercalia, Dragobete, Valentine’s Day.
We see the peacock spreading its tail bearing different colors these days, but the essence of the game remains true, simple and… the same. Zooming back and forth in time, from the new rite-gestures of the Tinder swipes to the ancient jars filled with names, from the blood-smeared foreheads of the Luperci to the red of freshly-applied crimson lipstick, from the goatskin whips to the latest BDSM-inspired designer attire, nothing is that new, is it?
A note from the brand: “A drink in the flat. A taxi. A warehouse party, somewhere in the depths of Hackney Wick, the Olympic Stadium guiding your way. You pay, you drink, you dance. Your eyes meet another pair across the dancefloor, in a nanosecond between strobe flashes. You follow them to the bar, you say something stupid. You buy them a drink. You move to the smoking area, and then back to the dancefloor. You talk. You dance. You touch. You kiss. You book another taxi. You spend the night in bed, and the day in the pub. You make plans to see each other again, but never do. Night is the smell of those long-lost, one-night dalliances that stay with you long after they probably should.”
In Akro’s Night” we pull the curtain to reveal a dimly lit room, with particles of powdery rose and hints of creamy lipstick suspended in the musky, diffuse light barely coming through. The thick curtains are drawn aside, and the night rushes in, like a primadonna making her flamboyant appearance: the dissonance of the sirens, the neon cold lights, the stroboscopic headlights of the cars passing. A ghostly presence moves behind the white sheets, the orange bite of the saffron adding texture and substance, the oud mixing in with the cumin in a feverish, sweaty crescendo, dirtying beyond recognition up the properly powdered rose. The mood stays pitched, feral, spring-tensed, then slowly unwinds, counterclockwise, to the drydown, with a new, post orgasmic chill facet of a cold, metallic and rusted rose.