Akro (meaning addiction in French) is a fragrance range inspired by the illusive world of addiction. Cofounded by master perfumer Olivier Cresp and his daughter Anais Cresp this unique concept was born from Anais’s experience of living in London. Known for creating renowned fragrances such as Mugler Angel and D&G Light Blue, Olivier used his olfactory expertise to skilfully encapsulate different vices in every bottle. Defying the traditional confines of fragrance, Akro explores olfactory realms that stray from the norm and revolts against the status quo. They are fragrances that one may initially shy away from, however as their story unravels and the notes begin to unfurl, your intrigue in them becomes an unexpected infatuation, an addiction if you wish. Before you know it you have fallen under the Akro spell, who knew that smelling of sex, cannabis or coffee could feel so alluring? There is something audacious about the range, a unique way to discreetly unveil your daring side on days when your inner rebellion craves to break free and come out to play.
First to tease the senses is the striking monochromatic packaging with its black logo streaking across a pure white background. Opening the box reveals a matt black container embossed with the Akro Logo which houses the bottle within. The container reminds me of one of those clandestine tins where you would keep your most secret journals, or stash of cigarettes, hidden on a high shelf or under the bed, where no one could find it. Nestled snuggly inside is a slick and contemporary clear bottle, strewn with black writing and crowned with a black lid. This aesthetically pleasing packaging may be simple but what’s inside is really what matters the most. My first experience with the Akro range is called INK, a fragrance inspired by the art of tattooing. Having never had a tattoo before, I didn’t think I would resonate with this fragrance, but boy was I wrong.
In school, during art class, I would often remove the lid from a black marker pen and unashamedly hold it to my nose. Don’t worry I didn’t have an addiction, but there was just something about that first inhalation of the sterile, inky intensity that hits the back of your nose. This is exactly the same reaction when spraying this fragrance for the first time, instantly surprising me but strangely hooking me in at the same time. Like an alcoholic wipe fresh from its wrapper it glides over the wrist, leaving a cool metallic layer that shimmers off the skin. As that initial medicinal note evaporates it begins to unveil an even more intriguing side. The addition of birch reveals a sleek shading of tar, exuding an almost rubber-like nuance tinged with trails of smoke.
Vetiver perpetuates that smokey leather aspect whilst slithers of bitter earthy characteristics rise to the surface. For me it turns into this sexually bewitching scent, conjuring up latex-clad figures slinking around a forest fire under the glint of moonlight. Before you think that it may be all too much for your senses the cool white petals of Jasmine unfurl. Usually quite tenacious and musky it plays a more demure role here and is just the right amount to soften the other ingredients. Its subtle animalistic qualities add an extra dash of sexuality to the mix. I imagine those crisp luminous petals burning bright against a slick stretch of patent leather. I am beginning to think that this fragrance should have been called Dominatrix perhaps!
Although I have never stepped foot into a tattoo studio and my review may have veered away from the fragrance’s inspiration, I can’t help but be completely enamoured by Akro INK. The fragrance is so wonderfully crazy yet extremely wearable at the same time, a unique composition that I certainly haven’t experienced before. I almost wish that the perfume in this bottle was coloured black as this is the colour that came to mind with every smell I took. Even as it takes you into its dark mysterious depths, there is this seam of freshness that runs through to the very end making it so enjoyable to wear. If you have never had a tattoo, don’t let this dissuade you from trying this and to try other Akro scents as there are plenty of other vices to explore. I recently stumbled across the range in a store in Italy and as I made my way through each of the creations they completely blew my mind (in a good way). I think Anais and Olivier have come up with the most fantastic concept, one that I truly can’t wait to explore further. The only thing is, I think someone may have to take me to rehab as it seems I have formed an insatiable Akro addiction.
Fragrance Notes: Vetiver, Black Ink, Jasmine and Birch
Blu Blazer Guy Rating:
Fragrance concentration: Eau de Parfum 100ml
Perfumer: Olivier Cresp
Available from Akro Fragrances and other outlets
PR sample but all views are my own.