De Bachmakov is the latest from the The Different Company. It celebrates artistic director Thierry de Baschmakoff’s Russian origins and the Année France-Russie; if you go to the dedicated website, you can read (or download) a sort of travelogue that explains some of the inspirations for the unisex fragrance.
De Bachmakov was developed by perfumer Celine Ellena, and the notes include bergamot, shiso leaves, coriander leaves, freesia, jasmine, nutmeg, cedar and craie douce.1 It is supposed to evoke the winds of Asia and the sun hitting the forests of Siberia and buds pushing through the snow in the spring.
De Bachmakov starts bright and zingy and cold. As Octavian has already noted at 1000 fragrances, it smells early on rather like green herbs and a twist of lemon over iced gin. The "craie douce" reads almost like a very dry and chalky iris to my nose, and it dominates the composition once the top notes have worn off: it slowly softens the bracingly cold notes of the opening, and over this background the sheer florals in the heart do nicely call up the idea of buds and green stems pushing up through snow.
The dry down is slightly warmer, but only slightly. It's woody-musky and mildly spicy. The lasting power is excellent although it does wear softly (or I think it does — I have not tried it sprayed).
De Bachmakov is my favorite fragrance from Celine Ellena so far, and the first thing from The Different Company that I've added to my "buy" list since Divine Bergamote launched in 2003. It smells unusual but not weirdly so, and more than that, it just smells great. I should think you could wear it in just about any weather, and I predict it will find many fans.
The Different Company De Bachmakov is available in 90 ml (refillable) Eau de Parfum (145€); it is currently available at Bon Marché, The Different Company or Parfums & Co in Paris. Hopefully it will be in other sizes as well once it goes into wider distribution.
1. A representative from The Different Company explained the "craie douce" in a comment to the fragrance announcement:
“Craie douce” is an intellectual interpretation of the composition musk and cedar wood.
Céline Ellena wanted to translate a powdery but not sweet “minéralité”, smooth, mat and as tender as chalk with this special scent when it is humid.
It’s the wind scraping rocks and snow in that particular moment when spring takes over winter.
In reality, craie douce is the association of macro-cyclique musks (the most eco-friendly) and woody notes composing the perfume.