Message in a Bottle: get inked with Akro

·1-min read
Akro Inked by Lydia Silver (Akro Inked by Lydia Silver)
Akro Inked by Lydia Silver (Akro Inked by Lydia Silver)

From where I’m sitting on the Judgey Bench, only sea captains and Russian criminals can plausibly sport tattoos. If the answers to ‘Am I at the helm of an 18th-century whaling schooner?’ and ‘Am I currently languishing in a Siberian gulag?’ are both, ‘No,’ then you can confidently allow your body’s largest organ to remain unmolested by cartoon butterflies or self-help slogans rendered in 72-point Gothic font.

It’s not just the commitment of tattoos that spooks me. There’s also the mayfly shelf life: yesterday’s expression of precious individuality is tomorrow’s shop-worn meme. When I seek to amplify my oomph, my poison is perfume, not ink. Scent is a manifesto as legible as any live-laugh-love jive, but invisible and temporary. A smell is a spell, not a billboard. But like a tattoo, perfume is a mark left behind.

So I was curious to try Ink by Akro, a new perfume house inspired by vices, headed by master perfumer Olivier Cresp (Light Blue, Angel) and his daughter Anaïs. Ink harnesses vetiver, jasmine, birch tar — and ink — to suggest needle-in-skin body art.

The result is one of the most beautifully weird perfumes I’ve ever encountered. Ink is the smell of office party sex on the Xerox machine, the kiss of a box-fresh blow-up doll. Cool, burnt vinyl? I live-laugh-love it.

Akro Ink, from £70 for 30ml (akrofragrances.com)