We settled in front of the long black glass table where the tester vials were displayed (unfortunately, the cute graphics on the testers aren’t reproduced on the actual bottles).
We sniffed seven or eight before giving a couple skin time. We were both pretty interested in Rien.
In French, Rien means “nothing”. Obviously, it isn’t. Though it might not be, as the Éld’O site claims, “absolute charisma” and “pure charm” creating a “sensation of addiction”… As for feeling like “mohair” and smelling “powdery”, also a claim of the ad copy, I’m not so sure either, but that might have been because I tested it in the heat of summer…
Gaia said straightaway that Rien made her think of Robert Piguet’s Bandit. She’s right. But this is Bandit amputated of his green head and floral heart, an oven-baked Bandit. There’s practically nothing left of it but its leather-oak moss skeleton. A dry, nearly scorched leather, without any of the typical Éld’O foody-kiddy notes grafted on. It’s barely softened by the shadow of amber; even the vanilla veers on the caramelized. The rose which replaces the usual citrus top notes of traditional masculine leather scents (like their grand-daddy Knize Ten) is slightly acid and metallic-tinged by its contiguity with iris and the discreet addition of aldehydes. Black pepper, with its gunpowder note, strengthens the scorched feeling, as does the styrax pyrogene (pyrogene means it’s been cooked).
The outcome is the driest leather I’ve ever smelled: burnt and strangely immaterial. A leather smoke. Almost nothing.
Image : Giorgio de Chirico, La Matinée angoissante (1912), courtesy of Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto.