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?