Silence Fraught With Tension – Review: Biehl Parfumkunstwerke gs01

I was seeking out a sample of Biehl Parfumkunstwerke gs01 for its basmati rice note. I love a rice note in perfume, it is not often found. I like Ormonde Jayne Champaca and Calè Fragranze d’Autore Dolce Riso, but perfumes with rice notes are thin on the ground.

gs01 was created by Geza Schön, of Escentric Molecules fame, a perfumer known for his penchant for minimalism, restraint and limiting himself to few ingredients. Although he also worked for Clive Christian, so he has a quite different mode of working as well.

gs01 is not that spare as the Escentric Molecules perfumes, obviously, but it is by no means an opulent creation. But we know that I like that, right, Jean-Claude?

A word regarding the line: Founded by Thorsten Biehl, son of perfumer Henning Biehl, Biehl Parfumkunstwerke presents its perfumes, created by renowned perfumers, like works of art in a gallery. Kunstwerke is German for works of art. The presentation is simple and uncluttered, the juice is what is most important and with that, the art behind it. Like Frederic Malle sees himself as a publishing house for perfume authors, Biehl envisions himself in the role of gallerist, showcasing his artists work in the ideal light.

gs01 includes notes of dewdrop green, orange flower, green lime, carrot seeds, magnolia blossoms, basil, pink pepper, bay leaves, absolutes of white peach, freesia, water lily, rose, jasmine, davana, and cedar wood, vetiver, sandalwood, guaiac, basmati, musk, ambergris and moss.

The company describes the scent as follows: “clarity. depth. exhaling. the power of silence.”

I find gs01 extremely hard to describe. Aside from the fact that I don’t know what dewdrop green is exactly, gs01 presents itself as a beautiful perfume, that is so well blended, so hard to penetrate, such an entity unto itself, that I have a hard time finding an angle.

gs01 starts out fresh, green, fruity and spicy (see, what I mean?), I smell pepper and bay leaves, something sharply green (the mysterious dewdrop, I assume), some lime in the background and lots of fresh, but not clearly definable fruity notes. I also immediately smell the base of soft woods, a lot of Iso E Super, I assume, and very prominently the rice. So in this aspect, gs01 does certainly not disappoint, it has what I was looking for.

It is a transparent perfume, where all the notes, the entire construct is visible, or rather smellable from he start, it is all there, all at once. It takes some time to sort it out.

Initially gs01 reminds me strongly of OJ Champaca, so much so, that on a side by side testing I sometimes had a hard time telling the two apart, but in the development they diverge, the OJ is more feminine, the floral aspect more pronounced, gs01 is more clearly genderless, more spicy and also more complex.

Despite the plenitude of notes and the imprecise impressions I am uttering here, gs01 is a quiet, silent perfume. It is multi-faceted, no doubt, but it is comforting and comfortable, the upheaval and confused tension is all mine.

gs01 is like a comfortable garment you wear on a quiet Sunday afternoon, something to relax in, feel comfortable in, but still well made and beautiful to look at, not an old jogging pant with ripped seams and hole-y knees, more like a soft, white cotton shirt, that has been washed often to make it soft, but that is of high quality and therefore still in great shape.

So why am I resisting the lure of this perfume? Why am I not embracing its quiet offer of relaxation, of finally and deeply exhaling for once?

For now my inner tension is stronger, but with every wearing I can feel myself slowly giving in to the power of silence.

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About Olfactoria

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This entry was posted in Chypre, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Fruity, Gourmand, Green, Woods and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Silence Fraught With Tension – Review: Biehl Parfumkunstwerke gs01

  1. civava says:

    Strange. Oughta try it.

  2. andrea says:

    Hmmmm, if I ever run out of perfumes to try, I may give this one a go but it does not sound like a perfume for me as I did not get on with Champaca either despite really wanting to love it. That said, because I have dismissed it, I will probably find I love it. 🙂

  3. deeHowe says:

    The combination of notes in GS01 sound befuddling— though a spicier, genderless version of Chsmpacs actually sounds really nice. Champaca is delicious, for that wonderful basmati note, yet I don’t wear it nearly enough, maybe because of it’s floralcy. I think I’ve tried one perfume from this line–but I can’t remember which one (a sample came from Tommy, I think), it was very sweet but very delicious!

  4. iodine says:

    May I suggest you another fragrance with a wonderful Basmati rice note? Imagine, I’m wearing it today and I’ve just read your incipit! It’s “A quiet morning” by Miller and Bertaux, have you ever tested it? Ok, now I’ll go on reading the post.

  5. Sugandaraja says:

    Knowing your taste for orientalism, I heartily recommend AL02 from this line. It’s not quite an amber, but a spicy, rich, fruit-compote laden frag with labdanum; a sister-fragrance to Ambre Russe. Quite delectable.

    Other than that, the only fragrance that intrigued me on sampling was MB03’s paprika and incense combo. A touch too soft, but warmly charming.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, I will certainly give AL02 a try next time I get the chance. I wish they would give their perfumes other names, those initials and numbers combinations just don’t stick in my little brain. 😉

  6. Undina says:

    My main complaint about this line is their names: I’d rather they’ve shortened the brand/company name and used those saved letters to give their perfumes more meaningful names. I had to check in my database to see if I tried this one because I remembered trying one. Nope. My sample was pc01 and my feeling about it was “nice but nothing special – do not need a bottle”. Reading this review (and enjoying it for how it’s written) I realize that I do not need a bottle of this one as well. Will I try it if I have a chance? Sure! But I don’t think I will be actively seeking it.

    • Olfactoria says:

      And I think the off-putting, almost actively interest-suppressing name is to blame!
      Would it have a poetic name to go with the very nice scent, I truly believe it would be a different story. It is most important how something smells of course, but how it is presented is extremely important as well.

  7. Vanessa says:

    You put me on to this one, and I completely agree that it is hard to describe, but you have done a great job! So far I have not felt greatly affected by it, but maybe I just need to give it time as well…

  8. Annina (nina) says:

    Late to the party, I know. Stumbled upon this review after draining a third sample of this. I absolutely love it, probably because it feels clean, yet has depth. It’s fresh, yet comfortable. I might have to give in to a fb.

  9. Meggie says:

    I am also ‘somewhat’ late to the party, but I was reading about the new gs03 and that made me revisit gs01 (I am a huge fan of his Molecules series) and I keep thinking what’s that lovely smell, ah, its me! It’s funny how you percieve different scents in a different way at different stages in your life. Have you tried mb02? It’s a gorgeous iris! By the way, I’m a huge fan of your blog as well!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Meggie,
      thanks for your kind words about my blog!
      I haven’t tried any other perfumes in the line. Honestly, I think it is because I just can’t rember the names and therefore always forget about them. Stupid, I know! 😦
      I will make a note to try the iris you recommend.

  10. Pingback: People In Perfumeland – Geza Schön, Perfumer | Olfactoria's Travels

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