TINABB 1.5 Review
Histoires de Parfums’ ‘This is not a blue bottle’ (TINABB) project is a sneakily subversive one in the perfume industry. Marrying the critically maligned genre of summery ‘aquatic’ scents with the high-art creativity of its namesake, the series of fragrances has unfairly – though not unexpectedly – flown under the radar of reviewers and consumers alike. The series’ numbering system – decimals in place of real names – further pushes its fragrances into the realm of obscurity. It is almost as if the team at Histoires wants to reserve TINABB perfumes exclusive to curious souls and die-hard collectors.
This is not to say that TINABB is some unapproachable collection of oddities. Despite the series’ commitment to synthetic materials – its other subversive hallmark – the fragrances themselves often exude a cheery brightness. At its most approachable, the series presents delightful beach perfumes for aliens; entry 1.2, which I reviewed years ago, is both mystical and friendly. Today, we look at the series’ most austere creation: 1.5. On paper, it looks like perfumery’s equivalent of ornate nothingness. In practice, it’s much, much more.
TINABB 1.5 Notes
Top Notes: Ozone, Aldehydes, Citrus
Middle Notes: Florals
Base Notes: Ambroxan, Musk, Mineral Notes
According to Histoires, the idea behind 1.5 is the ‘yang’ to 1.4’s ‘yin.’ Yang’s strongest associations are masculinity and the sun, and both of those absolutely come through here. The opening is a burst of modern summery top notes elevated by an aldehydic bent. It’s the sort of future-meets-past approach that makes so many fragrances in this lineup feel timeless. Here, the combination serves as a breath of fresh air, and the balance between the bright elements makes the entire composition scan as friendly yet interesting. It’s like a modern art exhibit: something slightly strange and new aglow in attractive lighting.
The rest of the fragrance is more or less a minimalist musk scent. It has the same sort of sweet-skin quality shared by Bvlgari’s excellent Au thé Vert, bearing a tinge of animalic sweetness that is sure to meld well with many wearers’ body chemistry. It’s no surprise that 1.5 shine in the intense heat. Because it’s a relatively straightforward perfume that’s generally pleasant as opposed to striking, this fragrance is extremely unlikely to overwhelm even when its top notes flare back to life.
It’s been years now since my first foray into aquatic fragrances, and since then, I’ve encountered everything from hideous shampoo-on-steroids concoctions to luxurious, lived-in marine fragrances to overlooked, affordable masterpieces. I can say with confidence that the TINABB fragrances are something different altogether. Their closest relatives are in the realm of Folie a Plusiers’ avant-garde freshies, fragrances that use familiar ingredients in strange combinations to excellent effect. Not everything experimental has to resort to gimmicks and shock tactics. It’s far more exciting to witness the transformation of the familiar into something profoundly unexpected.
You can buy or sample This is Not a Blue Bottle 1.5 here.
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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