If you watch Project Runway you've probably noticed that the main thing the judges want to see is clothes that would not bore them out of their minds. The fragonerd who sticks his or her nose into every bottle, old and new, hopes for the same thing. Something we haven't smelled before, creativity that goes beyond the press release. It's not that easy to find. But then comes someone like perfumer Angelo Pregoni, the creative mind and nose behind Italian indie brand O’Driù, and restores one's faith in modern perfumery. Some of us live for these moments.
Mr. Pregoni is a colorful character (you'll see what I mean if you start browsing his website, odriu.eu, just make sure your sound is turned off. Parts of the site have embedded music). O’Driù is an unusual brand with several super-limited collections, all handmade from rare raw materials, and obviously not exactly commercial. But a few O’Driù perfumes are now in wider production and have a broader appeal and distribution. Eva Kant is one of them.
"Eva Kant is a fictional character in the Italian comics series starring the anti-hero Diabolik. Eva is the girlfriend and sidekick of criminal mastermind Diabolik. Eva is portrayed as an attractive blonde young woman; she drives a black E-Type Jaguar, and usually goes into action wearing a heavy sweater and pants, no mask and no revealing clothing. She usually wears her hair in an up-do. "I had no idea (and I can't say that comics, Italian or other, captures my imagination), and it does explain the cute bottle:
|Eva Kant display at Profumo Emozioni Olfattive, Naples|
Story aside, Eva Kant feels like Shalimar for a new generation. It's an oriental, sort of, and has several dazzling special effects that will capture the nose of the most jaded as well as that of a millennial with a questionable attention span. As Kafkaesque noted in this review, Eva Kant is a shapeshifter that rarely behaves the same way two wearings in a row. Different facets pop up at odd times- sometimes it's more powdery, other times the spicy zing, the dusky myrrh-benzoin composition, or a big burst of vanilla. Actually, everything there comes and goes in big bursts. It's fun.
Some aspects of Eva Kant can be more easily defined and described. The opening is an almost-familiar-but-not-quite citrus and lavender. It's a nod to classic perfumery, but in neon colors. The heart is a rich wood and spice affair, like antique carved woodwork, intricate and mysterious. But just as I think I have it all figured out a burst of yellow takes over: flowers, pollen, sunshine. Then a hint of chai tea, a comforting creaminess that vanishes without notice, leaving the door open for something sinister and animalic to crawl inside and lurk in the dark. But when the wild things scatter I'm left with a powdery vanilla hug that settles on my skin. It's warm and dry, musky and sweet, easygoing yet intriguing. Eva Kant draws me in and keeps reminding me of her presence and mercurial personality. And she's tenacious. A couple of drops last the entire day, and if I dab a little before bed I wake up on that puffy vanilla cloud. It sets the pace for a very good day.
Notes: grapefruit, lavender, woods, myrrh, sandalwood, ginger, magnolia, ylang-ylang, chamomile, cardamom, vanilla and benzoin.
O’Driù- Eva Kant ($210, 50ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent. The samples for this review came from several sources, including O’Driù's PR.