Earlier this week The Blond listed Flash Back, the fifth (and newest) fragrance from Olfactive Studio, as his choice for a springtime masculine. Of course, neither Flash Back nor the other Olfactive Studio perfumes are gender-specific, but men who like a good vetiver would do well to give Flash Back a try despite scary notes such as rhubarb and green apple.
I didn't want to use the cliché adjectives crisp and tart, but they're very accurate in this case. The top notes are juicy and sunny but not sweet. They're happy, delightful and easygoing. There's a sparkling quality there, not bling-- more like the sun reflecting of a very expensive pair of sunglasses on a perfectly groomed and dressed stranger you pass by on the street and wish you could stop and stare.
As Flash Back dries down it becomes even more dry while maintaining a noticeable green core. The perfume is based on a high dosage of good vetiver oil that provide a beautiful dark and slightly earthy contrast to the top notes. The woven threads of cedarwood add a hint of warmth and smokiness to the base. It's slightly peppery but not too sharp-- the entire composition is smooth and effortless.
The perfumer who worked with Céline Verleure, the force behind Olfactive Studio, on creating Flash Back is Olivier Cresp. He's one of the biggest names in the industry, responsible for huge massive humongous bestsellers such as Angel, Kenzo Amour and D&G Light Blue. I do like Amour, as well as the discontinued Gloria by Cacharel Cresp composed in 2002, but the other two as well as the lion share of Cresp's work sit firmly in my Most Disliked category. The utter duds and mass-market dreck on a shoestring Cresp has been churning can't take away from the fact that he's one of the go-to perfumers when a corporate wants to produce and launch a commercial success (or at least try to, see the quickly discontinued Lancome Magnifique and YSL Elle). All of the above made me even more curious to see what Olivier Cresp can do when allowed a lot more artistic freedom and a less constraining budget. Apparently, quite a bit of good. The simple elegance and quality of Flash Back makes me want to wear a t-shirt with the slogan "Free The Perfumers!".
The image above is the accompanying artwork for Flash Back. It was created by photographer Laurent Segretier, but I have to say that the wistfulness it provides is quite contrasting to the joyful perfume. The screen capture of video chat between the artist and his long-distance girlfriend doesn't come across in Olivier Cresp's creation, and in this case I think it's probably for the best.
Notes: rhubarb, grapefruit, orange, pink pepper, Granny Smith apple, vetiver, cedar, amber, musks.
Olfactive Studio- Flash Back ($145, 50ml) is available from Luckyscent, Aedes and Bergdorf Goodman. The samples for this review was supplied by PR.
Top photo: Rhubarb on a sundial via angarhall.blogspot.com.