A (VEGAN) PERFUME ABOUT MEMORY
The real Playalinda is a nude beach sat on immaculate and pristine land's end. Among its many charms is a paradox: it is so untouched by modern development, yet so close to some of the most advanced technology on earth—rocket launchpads—that it seems to exist independent of time.
The day you'll encounter in Playalinda is dreamy, witnessed through the haze of memory, and accompanied by a lover. It leads with hyperrealistic, sun-warmed peach rendered through generous doses of osmanthus and full-bodied jasmine sambac. Also featured is the dirty-hair aspect of ambrette seed undergirded by familiar, grounding patchouli and vetiver. A gentle touch of sulfuric white grapefruit affords the composition a deeply human smell of skin bronzed and kissed with sweat under the day's hot sun.
And it's in Playalinda's musty base full of smoke and scents associated with the corporeal body that we find our lover in their full flesh. There's the fishy brine of fresh seaweed washing ashore, the narcotic siren song of pure indole, and the inky heft of oakmoss. A live copper wire, like the taste of coins, animates their presence. And finally, the glorious yet underutilized choya nakh, made from crushed and toasted seashells, reinforces Playalinda's dreamy memoryscape by the sea.
An eau de parfum at 17% concentration, Playalinda contains several rarer natural materials and is therefore priced slightly higher than my other offerings. But its deliberate and controlled ebbs and flows are nothing if not thought-provoking. Playalinda actively confronts tired tropes and limitations of the fruity floral and aquatic genres and interrogates the means by which bodies are evoked in perfume.
Better still, Playalinda asks questions about the trustworthiness of memory. Once someone lives purely in memory, independent of time, can we trust what we remember of them? I don't have an answer to this question. But the sea might.
*THIS VEGAN OPTION OF PLAYALINDA LACKS THE CASTOREUM FOUND IN THE ORIGINAL FORMULATION AND IS MADE AVAILABLE FOR A 15% SURCHARGE.