I have left for the Pampas as soon as the spark was lit. I first went on a short expedition trip and explored the lands with whichever tools I had with me. I jumped right at the vision of bonfires, ponchos, Asado, gray wool blankets, horses and cows grazing on dry thorny grass, and pretty much everything that I personally associated with the South America cowboy and could somehow relate to scent or texture...
In the very beginning, besides my imagination and vision for the perfume, I had only limited essences that seemed appropriate for achieving what I wanted. All I had was the exotic South American woods to play with, along with some smoky notes. Some other materials I couldn’t even think of at the time as I haven’t smelled them yet. Guiacwood, rosewood, cabreuva, this is where I started. Rosewood seemed too lighthearted for what I was looking to achieve, so I stuck to the guiacwood and cabreuva and added Virginian cedarwood to the top notes, to accentuate the smoky elements I was trying to play up.To this I added tobacco and cade to create and even smokier, leathery impression which was what I mostly associated with the concept of a gaucho; and costus for an animalic presence. For no clear reason, I’ve included basil, a note that seems completely out of place now, many years later… Thinking back I’m not sure what was I thinking putting it in there. Perhaps it was to represent the grassy elements of the landscape. Whatever the reason was, it did not seem to do justice to the blend at the time. It created too much of a dissonance with the other elements. To sum it up, here’s the list of notes for my first Gaucho attempt:
Top notes: Cabreuva, Virginian Cedarwod, Basil, Juniper
Heart notes: Guiacwood, Allspice Berry, Clary Sage, Rose Geranium
Base notes: Cade, Costus, Peru Balsam, Blond Tabac, Vanilla Absolute
5 maturation years later (for both me and that jus…), I have to say that this first Gaucho attempt does not seem so bad at all. The basil does add a bit of grassy and fresh linalool element at the opening that I now find interesting and not as out of place and dissonant as it did back than. This first Gaucho mod is very similar (not surprisingly, if comparing the elements in both) to Espionage, but with the additional herbaceous green notes. Still yet, I think it is a bit too muddy and I’m happy that I have, after this initial failure, decided to wait several years until the right time and let the ideas evolve within me.
I even tried an identical version with added champaca, hoping this will smooth out the composision, but alas, it made it too sweet, albeit somewhat reminiscent of a different perfume I’ve created that same year – Rebellius.
And now comes the song to soundtrack this part of the journey - Hey Nineteen, about a love affair with a 19 year old that is practically doomed, just like jumping at a perfume theme without knowing what you're doing... I'm posting this link from Youtube because of the music not the visuals; although I'm very thankful for the photomontage artists out there who put a lot of good songs out on Youtube, I can't say this artform is my cup of tea. So do me a favour and hit play and move on to read the rest of the blog entry please...