Ceci n’est pas bacon (Wright N°100 by Wright Brand Bacon)

How does a bacon brand get a committed vegetarian to buy their product? In the case of yours truly (over 17 years and counting), by offering a perfume, of course. In celebration of 100 years in business, Wright Brand Bacon put out a fragrance promised to be bacon scented, priced at USD$19.22 as a nod to the year 1922 when their story of “hand-trimmed, thick-cut, real wood-smoked bacon” began.

The other nod was apparently the inclusion of Mousse de Saxe, “a combination of leather and vanilla popular in 1922.” I believe they mean a recreation of the famous De Laire base (coincidentally featured in the Odorama section of the latest Nez magazine, issue #13). Mousse de Saxe included oakmoss, isobutyl quinoline (IBQ) for the smoky leather facet, eugenol (peppery clove scent), vanillin, musk, and methyl ionones. The mossy accord was brought to life with the addition of bergamot, vetiver, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, and geranium, along with other materials. I have not had the chance to smell this base on its own, but can be convinced that its component ingredients are in the fragrance to some extent.

I am a sucker for novelty when it comes to scent (see previous example) and pre-ordered Wright N°100, created by perfumer Ann Gottlieb, waiting over a month to receive it. (And then 5 more days of the package sitting after it had been delivered while I wondered what had happened, due to a communication glitch.)

The first thing I noticed was that the packaging was simple but elegant—after unwrapping the cellophane (OK, minus points for environmental unfriendliness, but it does trigger a dopamine reward with the action: New! Mine!)—the paper box itself had a coated, smooth texture that’s almost rubbery.

However, you get the level of editorial support you pay for here, as the print reads “EAU DE TOLIETTE”… well, a rose by any other name?!

The bottle is a sturdy, opaque black glass with a metal plaque as the label—plus points there for light protection! The cap looks and feels like wood but the pores suggest it’s plastic masquerading as wood.

Listed notes are “thick-cut bacon, applewood, bergamot, white patchouli, sandalwood, a touch of maple syrup, and a little sizzle of Mousse de Saxe.” I was very excited to sniff it but managed to wait for my other half to come home so we could smell it together. We both expected bacon.

We didn’t get bacon.

Wright N°100 opens with familiar notes, like something you might find at a kiosk in the mall. It manages to oscillate between feminine and masculine in the first few seconds—citrus, vanillic rose, and woody ambers all dance in a kaleidoscopic frenzy, tied together by something piercing in a sour fruit juice way. Pineapple? Not obviously, nor is it gourmand. The fruitiness then becomes slightly lactonic as a smoky sweetness settles in. I do get a convincing flash of maple syrup, which is a popular souvenir in the northern parts of the East Coast and has been known to get along well with bacon, after all. Very close to the skin, the smokiness faintly resembles cigarettes more than a barbecue. However, it occasionally turns more oily and suggestive of cooking meat.

But still not bacon.

Wright N°100 offers wafts of smoky, sweet florals until I stop noticing, and when I remember to check back 2 or 3 hours later, it’s all gone. Even the IBQ. I can believe that the trace of drydown left behind contains patchouli and sandalwood in that hint of sweet smoke.

It’s a decent fragrance and certainly does its job as a conversation piece.

But it’s not bacon.

That was my experience; if you have tried this, what was yours?

6 thoughts on “Ceci n’est pas bacon (Wright N°100 by Wright Brand Bacon)

  1. Even though you said it didn’t smell of bacon, just the thought of it I find repulsive. I mean, I love the smell when it’s food-related, but the idea to smell it in perfume makes me gag.

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    1. Well, if the bottle didn’t mean anything on sight without the backstory, you wouldn’t even know. 😉 Have you ever smelled birch tar essential oil? It smells like a barbecue.

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  2. I’m sure this is a US only release so I’m unlikely to get my nose on it.

    I have only ever had one scent that clicked to “bacon” in my olfactory memory. Prepare for SHOCK HORROR …………………………….

    Drum roll

    Tauer L’Air du Desert Marocain reads smoked pork products on a bbq. Not the good stuff that has been wood smoked but the phenolic tasting pork products where liquid smoke has been injected to save the manufacturer money.
    Lush Lord of Goathorn had the same note but in overdose, that read to my nose as old fashioned hospital floors that were polished to a high sheen but the constant phenol used to clean them had permeated the very air. That I enjoy but wouldn’t wear it. I wore the real hospital smell for many years in the 80s & 90s

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    1. Fascinating! I hadn’t thought of that for LADDM, which I like and have on my list for a future potential buy, so I’ll see if I get that resemblance next time I have a chance to smell it.

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