Ah, the Millennials! Gen Y, born between early ‘80ies to early ’00s!
Who are they, this cohort of young people, generally marked by increased use and easy-going familiarity with digital technology, media, and communications? Are they App-friendly dreamers? Achievers? Peter Pans? Well, it’s a Millennial World we are living in now, take a better look around. They’re not kids anymore, and they’ve turned out just fine!
What happens when a Millennial takes things into her own hands, writes a project, finds funding, and develops her own perfume brand? Because she really-really wants to do just that and won’t take a no for an answer? 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona, that’s what happens:
Romy Kowalewski is the founder, 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona is the name of the brand, as well as the date/year of her birth. She won’t disclose the month (“People needn’t know my horoscope sign as well!”, she laughed when I asked), but she readily speaks about her fragrances with a big, contagious smile. Why Barcelona? Well, among other reasons (it’s a beautiful city, lively, business-oriented, and great to live in) – Puig is here…And all the other resources you need to start-up a perfume brand.
Millennials are also citizens of the World: Romy, born and raised in Germany, living and working in Spain, traveling around Europe on a regular basis. I was lucky to catch her during my short stay in Barcelona. We managed to grab a couple of freshly squeezed organic drinks, and chit-chat a bit:
27_87 is a new niche perfumes brand: it all started in 2016., The first fragrances released were Wandervogel, Elixir de Bombe, #hashtag and Hamaca. Genetic Bliss is the newest addition (2018.), forming the Next Generation Collection together with #hashtag. Unisex (of course!), 87 ml Eau De Parfums, created by renowned perfumers, using quality materials.
Everything is well-thought about: I admire attention given to design and presentation. Minimalist, white opaque (and one black) bottles, carefully designed packaging contrasting the white canvas of bottles – suggesting that you write your own fragrant story. Different packaging of the bottles is telling you more about the inspiration, ingredients or the perfume itself. I really enjoy holding these bottles: funny, but it feels like you’re holding a smartphone! I tested and wore the whole collection, it felt somehow carefree, here-and-now, just-do-it, optimistic and vibrant. Quite refreshing! Long-lasting too, a couple of spritzes are more than enough. Carefully crafted, these fragrances did not fall of some big company’s shelf, nor are they a byproduct of some grand perfumer’s assistant’s assistant, or composed of cheap synthetics: Romy knows what she wants, from the very beginning…I’d love to watch her negotiate 😀
The whole 27_87 collection is revolving around some key aspects of a “Millennial” lifestyle: it’s all about your daily social media presence, tweeting, posting, hash-tagging, vlogging, blogging, chatting, capturing insta moments of a day – technology driven. Traveling light and easy whenever you feel the itch, feeling at home wherever you land. Leaving sea salt on your skin and in your hair after the sunset on a beach, relaxing, chilling, and meditating. Feeling sexy and wild, partying, loving like there’s no tomorrow. Being unique, happy about yourself, with the utmost joy of living. Perfumes? Yes. Boring? Never. Too complicated? Naaah, who’s got time for that? Perfumers? Yup, it’s great to have some “strong” names, but what really mattered was to get the Zeitgeist feeling right.
Let’s start from the newest one, the “black sheep” in this family:
The “black sheep” in this family: Genetic Bliss was released in 2018., and it’s the first fragrance that comes in a black bottle. Why? It’s composed of 100% synthetic materials, and Romy told me very proudly in Florence that she managed to obtain the very best and hard to get ones – 5 captives, Akigalawood – Belambre – Moxolane – Javanol and Georgywood. You might remember these as experienced in Molecules, one by one. Again, the whole story gets individual, because it does depend on your skin: if you are a fan of molecular perfumery you’ll enjoy this fragrance. When I’m wearing it, I leave a trail of goody-woody feeling around me. Very linear, expectedly abstract, a well-blended scent, fir-like on my skin at the beginning with just a slight accent of deeper, ambery tones. Longevity is good, sillage massive: I also get a lovely creamy sandalwood whiff on my skin, obviously due to Javanol. Later on, warm, soft oud-like notes rise, with a musky aura. If this is my personal skin scent made olfactory visible, I like it very much, thank you. It made me visualize my own skin like it’s covered with the most delicious, dark honey. I couldn’t stop sniffing my wrists, just to make sure that I still feel it.
Perfumer: Jordi Fernandez.
Notes: Akigalawood – Belambre – Moxolane – Javanol – Georgywood (TM)
My favorite. Every time I wear it, I’m like: yesssss/big smile! With a clean, clear and sparkling opening, this is a refreshing, aldehydes, jump-start-wake-up-call! It feels slightly metallic, like the cold but familiar metallic surface, of an iPhone or iPad. Perfect for any time you need a quick positive energy boost: very uplifting, fresh, and mineral-water bubbly. I wore it on hot summer days and it felt great, but I also enjoyed it during colder weather when I felt that I needed something to pick me up and get me going through the day. Later on, as the perfume develops, #hashtag shows its softer side, staying cool, but becoming comforting as well: if you can imagine frankincense being “cool”, this is it! Violet leaves are moist green, iris notes are soft and cold at the same time, very slightly musky, and the whole composition remains fresh even during dry down. The musky-woody-cedar accord feels tingly, adding surprisingly calm but sharp urban vibe! The more I thought about it, sometimes it reminded me of a well air-conditioned, glass and steel corporate office room, other times of moments when I entered an old, stone-built church at noon, on a hot August day: just when I reach to take my straw hat off, the incense-scented coldness from inside glides over the hot skin, bringing finely-scented immediate relief. Longevity is remarkable, although I keep spritzing on during a day, just to feel that energetic start again. The Nose behind this fragrance is Daniela Andrier (the “German connection” in Givaudan? She signs quite a long list of perfumes, and I must admit that I like very much what she’s done for Etat Libre d’Orange, for example). Hit me, baby, one more time! The message conveyed by the brand is: “Blog, tweet, regram. #hashtag is the story we smell.” I’m not a Millennial, but I love wearing #hashtag. What an instant upper!
Notes: Aldehydes, Violet Leaves, Iris, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Musk.
Chill&Cozy. Yey, we’re on Summer holidays again, but this time it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, laying down (after a great lunch) in a hammock (hamaca) tied between two trees…Your skin still has some traces of that coconut sun-tan lotion left on it, it’s vanilla sweet and sunshine glowing, it’s balsamic, and yet quite marine. If you’re into sun-tan-sea-beach-sweet and juicy kisses fragrance, Hamaca is what you can wear all year round, because it might be just a little bit too heavy for Summer/high C temperatures. If you layer it with #hashtag, then it won’t. That’s what I did and it worked out just fine.
Notes: Marine Accord, Sandalwood, Coconut, Tonka Bean, Vanilla
Elixir de Bombe
From the Diversity Collection: the name behind this fragrance is Mark Buxton, who’s been awfully busy lately. A fruity-leather-ambery fragrance, Rapbsberry Beret… Pink lip-balm flirty, sweetish-spicy in the opening. If you like fragrances that sport fruits’n’flowers/vanilla’n’spice in strong dosages, this fragrance delivers. On my skin raspberries on leather turn later rather Labdanum resinous, warm and hazy. Even a bit sour, in a good way. My son (16) loves it: he says it’s fresh-teasy-fruity-punch is fun. Making this a “young-people-friendly fragrance for partying” (he got me with that last remark, didn’t he?).
Notes: Tangerine, Red Pepper, Ginger, Ylang-ylang, Rock Rose, Raspberry, Caramel, Leather, Amber
The name says it all: wondering birds. Actually, it used to be Wanderlust, but that had to be changed. A strong desire to travel, to hit the road, to be on the move, to experience new places and people with all of your senses. That feeling, when you open your suitcase and start packing. That feeling, when you dig your toes into a sandy beach, just next morning upon arrival from a cold and smoggy urban jungle.
This is a fresh-green fragrance. The opening is fresh and minty, like ice-tea with crushed mint leaves. I really enjoy that mint-anise touch, which again reminds me of a time when we had a glass (or two) of Ouozo in a small village on Corfu Island one Summer…Even the dry-down reminds me of that island-hopping Summer vacation, spending a couple of days in one place, quickly moving to another, packing and unpacking, ferries, backpacks and buses, and long evening walks along empty beaches. Created by Shyamala Maisondieu (signing Hamaca as well), responsible for Besos/Carner Barcelona, among other fragrances on her list. Love it!
Notes: Mint, Shiso Leaves, Marine Accord, Anise, Fennel, White Floral, Caramel, Leather, Amber
You can be anything you want to be or mix and match for fun of creating your own olfactive story! Here are my favorite three combinations:
– #hashtag/in the morning + Wandervogel/in the afternoon: Good morning Monday (wrk,wrk)! At the end of the day, just when I feel exhausted, Wandervogel mint&anise make me feel fresh again. #hashtag’s woody tones underline well the caramel’n’leather notes of Wandervogel later on, turning sweeter on my skin, and cold-weather appropriate. Or just any kind of weather-appropriate…
– #hashtag / Hamaca: or the other way around! I am fond of ocean/sea/beach&sun&sand fragrances, so I can wear them just about anytime and anywhere. That coconut in Hamaca blends so well with the #hashtag, so I’ll probably be wearing every possible combination of these two.
– Genetic Bliss / Wandervogel: Like taking a walk through a mint-tree forest. Wandervogel gives me this icy mint green freshness and Genetic Bliss provides lovely brownish, woody-earthy tones. Great morning to evening combination, in any season of the year. Ok, I guess I could mix Wandervogel with any and all of these fragrances, but this layering gave interesting results: I could feel it in colors and tastes: it resembles fresh mint leaves dipped into chestnut honey.
Or, just feel free to create your own combo if you’re into layering. This is where the discovery kit comes in handy: you can order 5x2ml vials with a brochure and descriptions – 25 EUR. These fragrances come in 85 ml Eau De Parfum/145 EUR, except Genetic Bliss/185 EUR, available at 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona website.
Enjoy moments of Millennial bliss, even if you are not a Millennial! Keep it playful. (Spring is in the air…)
The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl, 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona
Samples were provided by 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona, opinions of my own.
Notes: as declared by 27_87 Perfumes Barcelona