Last week when I returned from Paris I raised the issue of exclusivity. I thought I had a somewhat better understanding of the appeal, as frustrating as the concept can be. After all, there is something to be said for bringing home a unique treasure you can only find at one special place. Of course, a whole line of coveted perfumes you can't buy outside of one boutique is way too excessive in my greedy opinion. Today we're talking about another one of those, IUNX by Olivia Giacobetti. And let me tell you, I'm back to thinking this exclusivity sucks.
IUNX was first launched in the early 2000s by the brilliant Olivia Giacobbeti (Dzing!, Tea For Two, Safran Troublant, Philosykos and many others). The line was backed by Shiseido that probably hoped for a Lutens Redux, but between not marketing or selling outside the Paris store and the spectacular tanking of world economy, the swanky boutique was closed in 2006. You can read more about it on Grain de Musc.
The line was resurrected some time in 2008 in a more modest format. The current store next to the entrance of Hotel Costes is quite minimalistic. The space is very small with no place to sit and relax. The afternoon the Blond and I visited IUNX after spending the day walking all over Paris I was rather uncomfortable, but its a testament to Giacobetti's creations that I forgot all about my aching feet when I started sniffing.
You first smell the perfumes in the tubes attached to the wall (top photo) to get an idea and a good impression what they're all about. There are currently six perfumes in the line (two of the tubes above were of the same perfume, L'Ether) and I was able to easily narrow them down. I fell for L'Ether (an EDP) and Eau Sento (EDT) , while the husband smelled wonderful in Splash Forte (an EDT). We sprayed them and hung out at the store for a while, enjoying their development, sniffing the IUNX candles (I wish they came as reed diffusers or solids in a pomander).
L'Ether is a gorgeous incense and wood with some oriental leanings and spice that develops almost like a skin scent. I could have renamed it Encense Ravageur, really, as it gave me a similar and delicious vibe. Eau Sento is cedar and musk that enveloped me like a glove. It's probably considered the most masculine of the bunch but I'd wear it in a heartbeat. I was a little surprised that the Blond was so taken with the cinnamony Splash Forte because he's mostly indifferent to Uncle Serge's Rousse, but I can't deny it smelled incredible on his skin. Splash Forte isn't as gourmand as Rousse and perhaps it's smoother and muskier in the dry-down. It lasted longer than what I expected from the sheer quality it has when you first spray (as did L'Ether and Eau Sento, actually).
Three of IUNX perfumes are offered in nice 10ml travel sprays. Unfortunately, these were not our favorite three. The entire line comes in freakishly tall ginormous 200 ml bottles (6.8 oz. Seriously) that a) make absolutely no sense for someone with an extensive perfume collection, and b) would never fit in my perfume cabinets. We really loved the perfumes and would have bought the mini size on the spot had it been available. They still haunt me and at times I question my decision to pass, given the fact there's no way to purchase IUNX anywhere else (the Perfumed Court offers samples and decants, so you know where my money will be going soon). But honestly, I'm quickly running out of storage space.
IUNX boutique: 239 Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris (1st Arondissement).