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Kintsugi is a Japanese term that literally translates poetically as golden joinery. It represents the Japanese art of mending broken pottery, traditionally using Urushi lacquer (obtained from the Chinese Lacquer Tree), mixed with precious metals powders, to repair the cracks. The inspiration was simple, but to transform it into scent required the nose Vanina Muracciole to fully embrace the metaphor:
- oak moss is replaced by a salty, savoury amber accord, resulting in a fine-grain shimmer reminding of unglazed porcelain;
- crisp magnolia blossom give way to the gently sensual heart of the composition;
- in the heart, a golden suede accord – sweet leather with a supple, feminine and sensual touch – marries with rose centifolia (rose pays, from Grasse) and violet leaves;
- the whole structure is kept together by the powerful glue of Patchouli Coeur – secret recipe of the perfumer/potter to keep together the pieces of an old, broken classic.
Patchouli Coeur is obtained through fractional distillation, where the most camphor-like, musty aspects are cut off, and the main character of the raw material is magnified in its purest, gentlest, refined elegance. We can think at Patchouli Coeur as a thoroughbred of a Patchouli. This is the lacquer mixed with gold that Vanina poured to give Chypre a new life.
The inspiration behind Kintsugi was a sort of reaction to the self-obsessed times we are living in, with so little value placed on objects. When an object breaks, it is easier – more convenient, even cheaper – to trash it and purchase a new one, rather than try to repair it.
The value placed on the longevity of an object has been dramatically eroded over the last century. It is the model of life in the XXI century? With Kintsugi, Alessandro and Riccardo wanted to an old (and somehow “broken”) formula in perfumery – Chypre – and make it beautiful again, filling the cracks with gold.
Aversion to perfection is an intriguing proposition. Kintsugi therefore becomes metaphor for modern, perfectly imperfect, truly artistic perfumery.