I lived with Eva Kant (0) by O’Driu for more than two weeks, without getting it at all, confused between bitter and sweet, flowery and artificial. I asked some friends to smell it and they all said absurd things such as “a stand at a tourism fair” (?!) and “Violetta di Parma”. Puzzled, I asked for help on Facebook and Orazio Pregoni of Perfumes O’ Driu kindly accepted to answer my questions. Why did you choose Eva Kant, as an inspiration for a fragrance? What does this “popular comic” character mean to a niche perfumer?
To me, Eva Kant Perfume represents a milestone in modern perfumery, not for its atypical use of raw materials, but because it represents a different woman, who is deeply conflicted, cynical and sacred because of her uncommon behavior, and yet simply beautiful and faithful.
The character Eva Kant represents the most educated niche in Italian comics, it’s is more transgressive and innovative than any other european comic, a neverending nightmare for censors because of its contents and not just for some aimless shock value!
This is what niche is, or at least should be, on the stereotipycal perfumery scene: niche should be an ancestral and punk tarantella during a rock concert.
Why did you choose thos notes for Eva Kant? Because of her timeless elegance I would have expected a “classical feminine” fragrance.
First of all, I want to point out that Eva Kant (the character) is not elegent and even less feminine. I think these two traits (elegance and femininity) wouldn’t have sparked my interest in thinking up a fragrance for her. On the contrary, the Giussani sisters created Eva as an anti-feminine and unconventional character. Consider that Eva and DiaboliK have the first “common law marriage” in Italy and that in the comic she’s an equal to Diabolik. When Eva is elegant it’s when she’s “impersonating” other women. You can call her “elegant” only for her graceful and feline moves and the vibrant contrast between her black clothes and her blonde hair and for her sleek French knot, which suggest her noble descent: she’s a Kant, after all. When Eva wears a mask and takes her victim’s place, I think she also uses her fragrance. The original idea of Eva Kant Perfume comes from this, a vanilla dry down lingering on her skin.
Almost everyone who smelled it noticed a “synthetic” note. Is this intentional? What raw material did you use to create it?
The perfumes developes like a large plate, one you could use to pan for gold. The notes who create the gold pan are magnolia and benjoin. They suggest Eva’s stolen childhood, the simplicity inside a very complex woman. This gold pan is sorrunded by an unescapable cardamom note, with represent’s Eva’s nature and her atypical destiny. On the pan, small fragments of gold move around and mix with earth: lavender hides ginger, and the other way around, roman camomile tames mhyrr, ylang ylang makes sandal chaste and so on. At the center of the plate, where there is a sort of settling, all these smells converge towards a bitter and pungent grapefruit note. The overlapping creates a non-existent smell. It’s a sort of wet wood or cellar smell. This note represent’s Eva’s observers, those who, getting in touch to this merciless and criminal character, stick to their ethics and morals to resist Eva’s charm. The ultra-natural note you get is your synthetic morality, the synthesis of our sub-culture, that diverges from Eva Kant’s mentality.
In the end, the greatness of Eva Kant Perfume lays exactly in its unitelligibility: the perfume, in its simplicity, expresses traits whe can’t understand and, like Eva, it gets us, by capturing us.
I can’t say I get this fragrance any better, after this interview. But I realized that Pregoni and I have a very different idea of “femininity”, “elegance”, “popular” and above all of “morality”. Anyway my morality is “love your neighbour”, which is pretty synthetic.
Here you can read a review by someone who really likes it. Real niche fragrances are always “love or hate”. If everybody likes it, but nobody really loves it, it’s just a commercial scent. And Eva Kant is as far from that as possible.