In today’s Persefume “He says, she says” by Jakub and Aleksandra, we are focusing on PEKJI – Turkish perfume brand founded by the Istanbul perfumer, illustrator and graphic designer Ömer İpekçi.

Until recently, PEKJI has been guerilla brand known just for small circle of perfumistas – we have had the chance to smell those earlier releases including now defunct, uncompromising leather of Cuir6 and animalic Holyshit.


First, vintage PEKJI line-up

Now, Ömer İpekçi has introduced his creations to the wider world, with more refined, yet still rebel versions and completely new launches which all are forming RE:COLLECTION line.


Ömer İpekçi

Recollection: To bring back to the level of conscious awareness. To remind (oneself) of something temporarily forgotten. To recover reason or resolution. To gather what is scattered, to gather again. The launch collection “RE:COLLECTION” is comprised of five perfumes to represent the brand, featuring refined versions of the earlier releases of Ruh, Odoon, Eaumer, Battaniye and a new composition Zeybek. Aggressive, emotional, tactile and ambient qualities are common traits of the collection. Natural and synthetic, rare and common, affordable and costly materials come together in these eclectic compositions that were composed without concerns like cost, market appeal or common sense. The perfumes strike a certain balance between familiarity and novelty, exploring new territory without seeming alien. They are layered and detailed, holding up to further inspection for an audience expecting more from perfume.

Let us smell this ambitious and surprising line now:

BATTANIYE

“Meaning blanket in Turkish, Battaniye represents intimacy, familiarity, and comfort. The rich but aerated patchouli is the star of this tactile fragrance, offering a respite from the elements and a moment to recollect yourself.”

Before being inspired for Battaniye, I had given up on trying to make a non-redundant amber. It was originally made for a friend who moved back to the California countryside after spending decades in chaotic Manhattan. I drew my inspiration from an evening in Trabzon, when watching a storm from the balcony embraced by my old blanket. Watching this chaos from a protected place reduced it to a spectacle held at arms-length. Ömer İpekçi

Notes: Amber, honeysuckle, java vetiver, labdanum, musk, patchouli, soil, soot, wool

He – Leather galore! Dusty, spicy, with oriental undertones. There is some chemical aspect in it – but in the positive way: it reminds me of paint in the artist’s atelier. Mysterious, yet comfortable to wear.

She – A glimpse of a lovely, woody heaven. Heavy on the patchouli notes yet somehow transparent. The flight is quick and after a few minutes we land in another heaven – this time golden and ambery. Magnificent warmth and comfort.

EAUMER

“A contemporary eau in an ”aquatic” theme, Eau Mer is playful and young. An interplay of vetiver and anise suggest the sea and the rest conjure the breeze carrying the scent and sound of everything it touches.”

The sea has a special place in my heart but I’ve often been disappointed with obnoxious “aquatic” fragrances that smell synthetic-clean. For my take on the theme, I avoided the usual aquatic notes and instead focused on what the air smelled like in my memory. The result was essentially an aromatic eau that conjures the seaside perfectly through illusion. Reminding me of a time when there was all the time in the world. Ömer İpekçi

Notes: Ambergris, anise, bergamot, haiti vetiver, herbs, jasmine, lavender, lime, mastic, musk

He – Fresh aroma of citruses, herbs and lavender. This freshness is not obvious, synthetic, or straight to your face, instead it suprises with multiple facets from vetiver to minerals and musk. I am not the “sea-inspired fragrances type”, but luckily there are few notable exceptions and Eaumer is definitely one of them. Comparing to the previous edition it is also the major improvement. P.S. Love the playful name too!

She – As always with the perfume with a water note I was afraid I’m gonna meet calone overdose there. No worries, friends, no such monster here. It’s a very unusual, fresh scent – I mostly feel some kind of citrus, lavender and something harsh, chemical but somehow safe. Like the faintest trace of chlorine in water. There’s also a small amount of rubber and gas, and it makes this perfume oh-so-original! I love the invention even if I’m not ready to wear it.

ODOON

“Derived from the Turkish name for wood, Odoon is an ode to the wood where it becomes the main character, front, and center. Showcasing the simple beauty inherent in wood, from forest to workshops and sap to ashes, it awakens an instinctive respect”

Being an homage, Odoon is a perfume of contemplation and I find words get in the way of it the most. It’s wood, uncluttered and in full detail. Beautiful, functional, contemplative – all the things that wood can be. Ömer İpekçi

Notes: Ash, cedar, guaiac wood, musk, oak, pepper, pine, resins, sandalwood, vanilla

He – Wooden heaven with lot of mate and incense. Feels both classic and classy. Simply elegant.

She – Wood and smoke on steroids, wearing organic cotton. All the muscles are present and toned. Almost choking me with dust, severe yet highly elegant and wearable.

RUH

Ruh means spirit and it’s a reconstruction of the oriental theme to make it contemporary. Its fresh take on the style reveals the irreducible complexity and the dramatic character of the East.”

Oriental is an aged idea that’s still in use also as an olfactory theme. I wanted to update that theme and bring it closer to today. The process brought out what changes and what stays the same. A newly blooming Turkish rose. The smell of coffee, attars, perfumes, incense, and spices still lingering in the air-conditioned souks. Still relevant as a symbol of abundance and excitement. Ömer İpekçi

Notes: Amber, cardamom, coffee, jasmine, musk, oud, patchouli, rose, saffron, sandalwood

He – Oh, those spices, oranges, rose and oud! Proud, seductive and non-banal Oriental, with spices and coffee. Bold statement, bold enough for me to own its full bottle! Smells forever.

She – One of the most original roses in years, miles away from the generic, “niche” kind of rose. This one is pierced through with unusual saffron-coffee combo, the accord so unique that almost unrecognizable. It suprises me everytime I rise my wrist to the nose, it haunts me when I forget I’m wearing it. Original and visionary!

ZEYBEK

“Taking its name from an expressive Aegean dance (Zeibekiko / Ζεϊμπέκικο in Greek) for a solo male, Zeybek is shameless and proud with uninhibited passion. The lavender absolute at the heart sways in all directions with ambient notes of horses, cigarette, booze and the sea far away.”

I composed Zeybek with a male character in mind even though it’s far from being a cologne “for men”. The namesake dance is a wonderful piece of the Aegean culture. Lacking set rules and rhythm it’s difficult to perform and the dancer is almost always intoxicated to avoid being self-conscious. The perfume is a complex one oscillating between contrasting accords and hopefully inspiring self-acceptance and a sense of pride. Ömer İpekçi

Notes: Bergamot, hay, lavender, leather, lemon, musk, narcissus, tobacco, tonka, vetiver

He – Strange beast – skanky, but wearable. Leather and lavender play important role here dancing together with heady narcissus and ashy base. Another favourite of mine, right after RUH.

She – Every rose has its thorn and every perfume house has its skank. Here it is: pretending to be tobacco, hiding under animal’s fur and loads of pure, aromatic accords, especially lavender, and innocent narcissus, crunchy in its greenness and white petals. Oh, the marvelous whiff of barn in all its animality and life itself. I love the way it misteriously unfolds. Another visionary perfume, this time inspired by the mighty Kouros.

PEKJI fragrances can be acquired via brand’s website as 50ml Extraits de Parfum (140 USD each), or Discovery Set (30 USD). The brand has been also present at e.g. Luckyscent.

Speaking the latter, it is now WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY time! Thanks to Ömer’s generosity, we have draw for one PEKJI Discovery Set comprising of 2ml spray samples of all five Extraits! Just comment this post to enter (comments are being moderated, will appear after admins’ approval) – the lucky winner will be chosen via random.org on 28 Feb, announced here and also notified via email. Try to give some Facebook love to PEKJI and Persefume fanpages as well. Best luck!

Samples and quotes via PEKJI. Opinions – our own.