Le Joker, by French outfit Art De Parfum, won the gold medal at the London Beauty Awards, 2020. I can see why. A saline, fresh nutmeg aromatic, with facets of star anise, Timur pepper, ambergris and elemi, this is one of those perfumes I would put in in the same category as Eau D’Italie: scents that are magnetizing in their chalky sea air simplicity, yet that wisely eschew the dirty über-niche plugholes of algae and seaweed. Described by the company as a ‘fascinating woody fragrance (cypriol, patchouli, Atlas cedarwood), intertwining fruity spicy notes with powdery notes of makeup and smoky cigarette facets……Le Joker aims to awaken different emotions in different people’. I personally certainly don’t smell the (clown) makeup, but can imagine that on the right rogueish individual, an aspect of spent tobacco and winking mischievousness might become more apparent on a particular skin. D is going for quite thirst-slaking, homoerotically salted fragrances at the moment, such as Fo’ah 11, Nebbia Spessa and Salarium, which cut through, but blend and meld with the hot summer air. The fresh, toned, and rather addictive smell of Le Joker would certainly nicely fit into this piquantly seductive family.

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