Gosha Rubchinskiy is a multi-disciplinary artist from Moscow who is best known for his work as a fashion designer, photographer and filmmaker. Rubchinskiy recently added fragrance designer to his resume when he collaborated with Comme de Garçons to create a self-titled fragrance and Perfume Book – a photographic essay of his fragrance. Rubchinskiy’s background is an interesting story. His career in fashion was kick-started when he gained the attention of Anna Dyulgerova, a former editor at Russian Vogue. Fast forward a few years, Rubchinskiy presented his first international collection of twelve designs at London Fashion Week. Even though the collection was well received, his brand didn’t gain traction until Rubchinskiy met Comme des Garçons president and Dover Street Market founder, Adrian Joffe, in 2012. In a few short years, Rubchinskiy went from hand printing a dozen tees to producing several thousand. Comme des Garçons now manage the business side of the brand and Gosha Rubchinskiy is the creative lead.
Gosha Rubchinskiy’s gritty outlook on fashion has earned him a legion of millennial fans. His reference point is often Russia’s post-Soviet youth culture. Heavily influenced by Russian street style and skater culture, Rubchinskiy’s collections are a mash up of references. Expect to see streetwear mixed with disparate suiting pieces. Reverence is always paid to heavily logoed sportswear. Fila, Kappa and Adidas have all collaborated with Rubchinskiy. The looks hark back to skater, hip-hip and neo-punk sub-cultures of the 1990s.
For this fragrance Rubchinskiy worked with Christian Astuguevielle, Comme de Garçons Parfums’ legendary Art Director since 1994, and IFF perfumer Alexis Dadier. The trio worked on an olfactory concept that told the story of skateboarding on a warm summer day, and the freedom of youth. Rubchinskiy wanted to evoke the nostalgic scent of skateboard wheels on a hot pavement. The fragrance also has a luminous quality, which reminds me of popular 1990s men’s colognes, which commonly overdosed radiant molecules like Hedione with ozonic notes to create a bright atmospheric quality. Gosha Rubchinskiy’s fragrance sustains itself with a wash of transparent woods. In many ways it is an alliteration of other fragrances in the brand’s collection where nature strikes a perfect balance with the artificial; usually in the form of one or two unassuming natural ingredients that have been framed by a mural of synthetic colour. In Gosha Rubchinskiy’s case, blue chamomile and buchu oil come from nature. The backdrop fades from neon-coloured mandarin to an army green vetiver note.
Gosha Rubchinskiy opens with aromatic leaf notes, green buchu and blue chamomile. There is something here that is a little bit piquant, fresh and slightly resinous. The fragrance is then taken over by mandarin. It is juicy, zesty, aldehydic and it pushes back into the heart of the fragrance beyond the reach of any natural mandarin essential oil. At this point the solar quality of the fragrance comes out while the cool blue aromatic note continues to provide a little bit of shade. A hint of styrax and patchouli add to the base even though the overall feel of the fragrance is one that is fresh and clean. Even the vetiver note has been cleaned up. It is paired with a transparent woody base, which wears light on skin. It stays buoyant but fades to a whisper quite quickly. Those who want a fragrance that has more presence and tenacity might prefer Dover Street Market or the slightly more unusual Monocle Scent Two: Laurel. Gosha Rubchinskiy is still a great fragrance. I like it as a summer fragrance and even something subtle to freshen up with after yoga.
Olfactive direction: Christian Astuguevielle
Perfumer: Alexis Dadier (IFF)
Release Date: 2016
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Dry woods
Notes: Angelica root, buchu leaves, blue chamomile, mandarin, styrax, vetiver, patchouli
Australian stockist: www.mecca.com.au