Back in 2000, Ralf Schwieger - who was at that time only just starting out in his perfume career, won critical acclaim for his Lipstick Rose creation with another former Roure employee, Frédéric Malle. A perfumed paean to cosmetics, Schwieger offered up a deliciously jammy rose smothered in powdery orris and violet ionones.
In The Afternoon of a Faun, a little bit of that is carried forward, the fragrance having at its heart a raspberry rose accord sweetened up with iris and a judicious amount of immortelle. A streak of incense glimmers from behind but the real co-star of the production is oakmoss - dark, earthy, musty oakmoss. And not just an Evernyl-type replacer either as was stuffed into his Vanille Insensée (Atelier Cologne, 2011), but the real stuff. Schwieger has spoken of his childhood growing up near the forest in Westfalen and from the top to the base of The Afternoon of a Faun, his love for woody, mossy green notes is loudly declared.
If Afternoon of a Faun is IFRA compliant, then what Schwieger has achieved is doubly impressive. Or if, like Creed and some others, ELd’O have simply decided to quietly ignore their recommendations and just follow EU regulations, then they are to be congratulated for taking such a stance.
Nose: Ralf Schwieger
House: Etat Libre d’Orange
Release date: 2012
Notes (per Fragrantica): bergamot, pepper, cinnamon, incense, immortelle, orris, myrrh, leather, benzoin, jasmine, rose, oakmoss.