It's been almost a year that I first tested my Cyber Garden sample and since I would identify it mostly as a Spring scent, I thought the timing was right to revisit it. At first I thought of it as too weird for my tastes, interesting but unnecessary, pretty much I would often find an excuse to dash it. One year later I mostly share the same thoughts and although Costume National doesn't reach top quality here (Scent, Scent Intense), there are quite a few interesting things about it.
The brand, is the epitome of well done syntheticness, a syntheticness with a dirty mind, very well blended and cleverly executed, neatly packed inside brilliant concepts and ideas. And Cyber Garden meets some of those characteristics, but unfortunately lacks one thing: Depth.
I'm not sure there is vinyl in here, I would rather call that accord metallic, which is more of what I get smelling this. A watery metallic accord with a very supportive green armor that gives it a kind of liquidity, making it ideal for strolls at the promenade of my city.
The floral heart is where the big contrast happens. A very traditional masculine bouquet alongside the futuristic metallic note. Retro and modern at the same time. A spinning urban spring, lacking any natural element, but with interesting scratches happening between the ongoing loops of the so called "vinil note". A Cyber punk city day scent. Unfortunately, the dry down arrives and this is where I get a bit sceptical.
To begin with it certainly doesn't reach the excellence of the ambery Scent and Scent Intense. The cyber concept is kind of still there, but the end of the trip lacks somewhat in depth. The aftertaste the metallic accord leaves on the woods of the base makes the overall scent more watery and generic. I get a nice lotiony fresh body cream vibe and that's it really. It's pleasant, but smells common to my novice nose.
I think that the concept here is way too promising and to a point it manages to deliver, but ultimately, it fails to be something truly innovating.
A supposedly avant-garde (but actually partially un-original) robotic accord of liquid pepper, fluidy vetiver, plastic molecules (a sort of xerox-toner vague aftersmell), metallic citrus, coumarine, electrical mint, gassy fern, grapefruit, limonene, cetalox, galaxolide, calone, citronellol/geraniol, and aromatic powdery cedarwood. Sincerely, I appreciate (moderately) this Antoine Lie's use of synthetic and the conceptual message behind the aroma, a metallurgical cybernetic green garden, something vaguely in the middle between the Andrea Maack's vegetal dissonance, a Humiecki&Graef-like detergent feel and the CdG's plastic liquidity (vaguely a la Odeur 71). I detect in the air a sort of almost gassy-metallic, pencil-shaving like and lemony saffron veined by angular synthetic geranium and a final touch of talky violet (all surrounded by a weird musky-herbal lymphatic "askew" effect). The aromatic lemony woodiness (a sort of almost minty-musky pencil shaving vibe) is in the same vein as Bvlgari Man Extreme (and vaguely Kenzo Air) though in a more fluidy-citric (electric) and less properly woody-cedary (finally ambery) way. Cute bottle.
A rather common "contemporary" green scent, with bitter-sour crunchy and minty green notes (verbena, ivy), with a metallic satin-finish, a light woody base and a subtle floral hint which may be geranium or carnation. I thought of Geranium pour Monsieur (especially the new version) and more broadly, many recent green CdG scents. Sadly Cyber Garden lacks in "something" which made it stand on its own and enhanced its artificial soul – a more creative use of synthetics. Must say I rarely like Antoine Lie style, which to me sounds a bit derivative and dull, and also generally based on pouring three-four Takasago ingredients in the same load of aldehydes. "Meh" for me.
synthetic to the bone...another take on amazingreen!
I might well never have tested except for the perfumer. I don't like 'green' fragrances as a rule. Cyber Garden hasn't changed my mind about the genre.
The bottle colour (green if my memory serves), the shape and the font are really kind of 'retro' , so at odds with the name, but not the eighties.
The fragrance itself is really very one-dimensional with the emphasis on being 'green' throughout it's journey. It's a green vetiver really + some crowd pleasing violet leaf.
I think Mr Lie was given a strict brief about what Costume National wanted as any inventive moves seem to be completely missing unlike his work for ELdO.
One plus point is the blending -- it'a a very smooth, seamless trip around a garden lawn and I can imagine it being a nice addition for lovers of the genre.
The first time I tried this on a blotter it almost made me cringe. If I weren't so fond of Antoine Lie, I would most definitely have dismissed it right away but I so wanted to like it that I grabbed a couple of samples for further exploration.
On skin, it came out being somewhat better. It opens unquestionably mainstream-ish with the usual peppery-citrus combo but an aromatic green floral pattern joins the party right away giving the fragrance a subtle abstract twist. There're violet leaves, hints of minty-geranium and other greens together with a clean musky presence. The fragrance feels transparent and modern but most definitely *not* cyber. Yes, there's something unconventional that might vaguely bring to mind of brand new things, shrink-wrap and vinyl but it's just a hint that, in the end, smells more synthetically modern than futuristic / artsy (as the name of the fragrance would otherwise suggest).
Personally, I tend to attribute this to the artistic direction at Costume National more than to
the perfumer himself. They wanted an avant twist but at the same time they also wanted to please their mainstream customers. What comes out has some potential but doesn't have enough balls to really stand out. Now, not that I expected super-abstract stuff a-la CDG but I didn't think it would have been so tame either.
In the end, I think Cyber Garden is a better attempt at delivering a modern green fragrance than, say, Amazingreen but it's really nothing I would go out of my way to get a bottle. I can't honestly say I dislike it but I surely don't like it either. I seriously believe that a bit more of courage would have turned this fragrance into something really interesting. Barely nice and totally forgettable.
A few more considerations:
All about this fragrance is very middle/late 90s. Too much...even the word *cyber* sounds a bit demodè. Despite that, I was still sort of keen towards it because the involvement of Lie but there's nothing to do, it doesn't work for me. There's something I still have to properly point out that ruins it. I tend to believe it's inherent to the texture which unquestionably screams of *designer perfumery*. It's like one of those pop-songs by whatever main pop-artist (could be Gaga, could be Rihanna, could be anyone else). Super compressed, fizzing and super-sparkling trebles and and overall polish which make it feels too anonymous. Not to talk about the packaging which aims at being minimalistic but ends up looking just cheap. Honestly.