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Janus Eau de Parfum

Janus Eau de Parfum

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1.75mL Sample

In the beginning—for Romans, at least—there was Janus, the double-faced deity of beginnings & harbors & endings & passageways, duality & contradiction, an icon of public space & the home alike, & the only god named prior to Jupiter in roll calls of the pantheon. Janus’ faces adorned coins, & their shrine’s doorways being opened or closed signaled whether the state was at peace or at war. Sometimes they had four faces, not just two: it was this double-of-a-double-Janus who overlooked the quandrants of the forum. Sometimes their heads were an old man and a young man, other times they were a woman and a man, other times two adult men, and even other times a man and a boy. Legend held that they were once a living ruler, but it had been so long ago even then that Janus was only mythic.

Janus was everywhere always, seeing all of time, all the time. Yet Janus remains one of the most elusive ancient deities for contemporary scholars to understand. Their ubiquity renders them, in our day and age, into a wash of generality.

Or, Janus is like vetiver is to my perfumery (and perfumery in general): everywhere, at the beginning of everything, and therefore also nowhere at all, really—not in many notes lists even if it comes first in almost all of my formulas. Veither is endlessly adaptable and constantly capable of assisting me toward the outcomes I want to achieve in my work. And therefore vetiver is just ubiquitous enough as to go largely unnoticed unless I point it out—which I only rarely have.

So as the Romans worshipped Janus during new beginnings, I’m evoking Janus now as I release the first of a new cycle of pieces for Chronotope called the Neon Series—studies highlighting some of my favorite aspects found in unique botanicals and perfume genres. I’m even bringing fireworks for occasion.

A vetiver’s vetiver for a god’s god, Janus EdP also shares a central contradiction with its namesake. Upon its opening, you’ll smell a bold, rich, dark, sooty, iodine-heavy vetiver: woodsy and gruff, even somewhat violent. Yet during its dry-down, Janus EdP transitions into a more traditionally femme vetiver-floral: airy, slightly salinated, almost aquatic, with unmistakable blooms.

This wearing experience, in effect, performs the duality of the perfume’s namesake godhead—thereby also making its wearer a hostage of that performance. Or to put it more bluntly, when Janus EdP is worn on skin, you, its wearer, become that duality’s embodiment.

Two things can be—and often are—true at once. 

And PS: Janus is meant to be stored in the fridge and sprayed on while it’s still chilled. Just trust me on this. (But be careful it’s in a secure spot so it doesn’t slide out and fall to the floor when you open the door.)

Notes include: cucumber, marjoram, magnolia, violet, geranium, vetiver, fireworks

*January is not named after Janus. It's named after Juno. (No relation.)

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