Perfume Review: Space NK Melodrama
Melodrama was created for Space NK, a stylish UK-based “apothecary”, by Chris Sheldrake, the perfumer responsible for many Serge Lutens’s scents. “Inspired by the allure of classic scents, Melodrama pays homage to the golden age of perfumery in the 1920s”, says Space NK, and indeed, this is a fragrance with a vintage, classic feel. This is a heady scent, but the blend is so smooth, that somehow that headiness is not overwhelming or uncomfortable.
Bergamot gives the scent a kick-start, however within seconds that bright, hesperidic accord subsides and from then on the scent is a warm bouquet of mostly roses on my skin, with just a hint of orange blossoms and a whisper of heliotrope. The drydown manages to be both glamorous and earthy, with vetyver accompanying the floral notes. Melodrama is not exactly a groundbreaking scent in a Floral Oriental Chypre genre; perhaps, if it were a Lutens perfume, there would have been an unexpected twist somewhere in the composition, that would have made the scent not simply attractive but unique, as so many Sheldrake-Lutens creations are. As it is, Melodrama is a very enjoyable fragrance, not a striking haute couture gown, but a chic and wearable Prêt-à-Porter dress. And if Melodrama really was a dress, it would have been a dark red velvet one, smooth, soft, and shimmering.
I must add that I am very excited for Chanel, the new employer of Sheldrake, even though I am a little concerned whether Lutens would be able to find another perfumer who would be such an apparently perfect executor of his vision. (Of course, it is unknown yet, whether Sheldrake’s contract with Chanel is exclusive.) It seems to me that Melodrama is a good example of a scent we can expect from the Chanel-Sheldrake team. Perhaps we shouldn’t hold our collective breath for remarkably unique, visionary scents like Tubereuse Criminelle or Muscs Koublai Khan, but we will be enjoying some excellently blended, high quality, handsome scents with classic ambitions. Like Melodrama.
Melodrama can be found at spacenk.co.uk, £38.00 for 50ml, £76.00 for 100ml.