Let’s continue Esxence’s new launches thread and say a few words about Michael Martouche’s (aka Dr Mike) debut line. An apothecary and a musician, one of those with strange mix of talents, which is so often accompanied by an equally strange life paths knot. He finally expressed his passion in a three-item collection. As people say, I was enchanted by his story, no pun intended – because the story is true.

A vinyl crackling welcomes you when you enter the http://room1015.com website. I like the sound though I prefer it to be less pronounced, in the background. Room 1015 perfumes are like contemporary music: loud in the whole spectrum, penetrating, ringing. You can like it or not; I prefer bigger differences in loudness, to such an extent that I often turn the volume down to hear better. It’s similar in perfumes, and here, in Room 1015 I can clearly smell which side of the loudness wars Dr Mike is on.


Atramental is the darkest of the four, and very well done. The name is spot-on, I can clearly feel the scent of Chinese ink in the head: it’s thick, smoky, cool and opaque like black milk. At the beginning one can hear a distinct, cologne counterpoint which does not disperse darkness but only makes it even more alien and hostile, simultaneously pointing at the direction: like a harbour whistle. The port parallel does not come out of nowhere: there’s a watery note spilling in the very heart of Atramental, magicaly connected with fantastically long-lasting saffron accord. I feel as if the wind suddenly scattered the mists and a narrow pillar of light from the lighthouse hits me right in the eye, it’s almost painful. Then all is left is a wavering reflection of the lighthouse in a puddle, licked anxiously by the stormy wind.

Notes: bergamot, lemon, citrus and watery notes, cardamom, black pepper, resins, saffron and castoreum.


Blomma Cult is an electric violet. Nothing announces it, the scent shimmers with cinnamon and woody notes, it even has a rugged phase, torn on the knees like old jeans. The head is juicy, not as a fruit but as an isotonic drink – it is thoroughly technological, quenching thirst in a programmed, optimum, obviously unnatural way. After a few minutes the composition pulls the tempo, rests, perhaps starts to build the tension. It becomes grating and a little heavy. Only after such a prelude the cool violet notes appear, a bit unreal; the whole scent is cleaned and reduced to two-three instruments. A bourdon musk starts playing, along with a flute-clear patchouli fraction. Do not expect the finale, this melody just slowly fades out.

Notes: lilac, bergamot, cashmeran, iris, patchouli, cinnamon, vanilla, white musk.


Electric Wood – it is more a carrot wood to me! Can you make a fingerboard of carrot? Can you squeeze earth in a shape of granular neck? Or perhaps it is just a carrot oil to protect wood, because it wipes off quickly and something very dark and not-lacquered lurks from beneath. To play on such a guitar means to end up with splinters in your fingertips and to create painfully. You know what I am talking about if your hand has ever fainted from an effort to make all the strings sound clear and not buzz. There are guitars that play themselves and this one, gradually polished with scales, passages and riffs over the years, softens finally. The root-like earthiness is back, in a less fresh, sweeter version. A salty vetiver appears, along with light, almost transparent smoke. Together with a delicate iris note and a light wood they create and accord of dust on an old, lamp amplifier. Big pleasure!

Notes: Ambroxan, cedar, oak, resins, iris, nutmeg.

All three fragrances have been created together with noses Amélie Bourgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel from Flair Paris.
Available now as Eau de Parfum 100ml from official e-shop and several selected retailers e.g. Liquides Paris, Premiere Avenue, Liberty of London, Aus Liebe Zum Duft, M Collective, or Mood Scent Bar.

Pictures – Roberto Greco for Room 1015