This Article is Hidden



07th January, 2000


The Phaistos Disk is a roughly 5000 year old disk of fired clay found in the Minoan Palace of Crete. It is the first printed document in history with a text that uses a 45 signs, drawings from daily life scenes, which were stamped in spiraling forms on both sides of the disk in the wet clay. The Phaistos Disk has never been deciphered; it is not even known what the language of its text is, nor is the purpose of the disk known.

Fig 1. Image of the Phaistos Disk (from

Phaistos: a marine chypre type perfume

The brief is inspired by the mystery surrounding the Phaistos Disk. The ancient culture of the Minoans was strongly oriented towards the sea. The palace and the city must have smelled of all the spices and fragrant materials the ancient times would offer. If the Island Cyprus inspired formulation of the first 'Chypre', let us go back in time and be inspired by the mystery of the Phaistos Disk and formulate a new 'mysterious' chypre type perfume, but one that is not so much woody but more strongly marine, for example based on seaweed and ambergris. So, imagine a windswept Mediterranean island rich in spices and fine fragrances. The perfume must convey this smell, but also shield a mystery like the Phaistos Disk.

Perfume Notes

Without limiting the perfumers too much. The rather broad idea above may be made more specific as follows. The usual chypre ingredients, formulated around the labdanum-oak moss-bergamot accord or a similar starting point may be juxtaposed against a seaweed accord, for example a seaweed- orange blossom accord (which combine well, perhaps with a more lemony note added still than the bergamot can provide). The base can further be elaborated with ambergris, which is of the sea and fits the fascination with the early Minoans with dolphins, of which one finds excellent paintings on the remaining walls of the palace ruins. And are we ready for another good dose of Calone or are the 90s not yet far enough behind us?

Submitted by jaap!

  • Share this


    Advertisement — comments are below


      • Sarahsaurus | 18th January 2010 13:44

        I am not sure I am ready for more Calone, but apart from that small fact, the rest of this brief sounds amazing. I can picture it with the slightest hint of clay, and olive (brought by the merchant vessels) that would temper the salty overtones.