With great pleasure I heard that the new fragrances by Gravel are now available on the market and thus at Aus Liebe zum Duft: Hazel and Evolution they are called, and both creations mark a milestone in the history of the fragrance house, which is as exciting as unique. Because with Hazel, the traditional American brand based in Munich launches its first fragrance for women and Evolution is the first creation that is not based on an old recipe of the founder Michael Knudsen. But before I dive into the review of the two newcomers, I would like to recommend my article about the history of Gravel and an interview with Christian Blessing:
- The story behind – Gravel A Man’s Cologne
- Christian Blessing from Gravel in interview – A Man’s Cologne Reloaded [+ raffle].
Hazel – Scent of Friendship
Michael Knudsen had a long and intense friendship with Hazel Guggenheim, who belonged to the famous and wealthy New York family of the same name. Exactly when the two met is not known to me. In Knudsen, who after moving to the U.S. starred in a number of films in Hollywood and gradually established himself in the world of the rich and beautiful, the desire to create his own fragrance germinated no later than the 1950s. Hazel Guggenheim supported him in this endeavour, and a few years later A Man’s Cologne was created, which remains an international classic to this day. Knudsen created his own perfume for his friend Hazel, but at that time it was so expensive because of its exquisite ingredients that “it seemed impossible to market it conventionally. It was therefore bottled for years only for customers.”
But who exactly was Hazel Guggenheim? Born in New York City in 1903, the youngest of three sisters, Hazel was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, a businessman who went down with the Titanic in 1912. She married early, divorced again, married again and thus came to a total of six husbands. Throughout her life, the tragic death of her two sons, who fell from the roof of a New York skyscraper in 1928 as a toddler and an infant, respectively – in her presence – remained nebulous. Since it could never really be determined what exactly had happened that day, this tragic event clung to Hazel Guggenheim like a stigma throughout her life.
Nowadays, Hazel Guggenheim is rather known as an artist, painter, art collector. Her own works – mostly painted with watercolours – have been exhibited in numerous galleries worldwide. She was friends with many prominent artists, but throughout her life was overshadowed by her older and much better known sister and art patron Peggy Guggenheim. In 1995, Hazel died in New Orleans at the age of 92.
Michael Knudsen created his own personal fragrance for his friend Hazel, and the newly launched Eau de Parfum Hazel is based on this recipe. The ingredients are mandarin, lime, bergamot, ylang-ylang, iris, fig leaves, neroli, musk, vetiver and tonka bean.
Fruity iris powder – Hazel
Citrusy and fresh at the start thanks to a colourful bouquet of hesperides, Hazel also reveals powdery-creamy accents from the start. The iris is clearly perceptible, showing all its facets. From lipstick nuances to buttery, earthy to the finest powder notes. Beguiling floral ylang-ylang highlights the noble iris, while fig leaves provide greenish woody and fruity chords.
The fig leaves are joined by the creamy green floral notes of neroli, which add delicate orange fruit nuances to the eau de parfum. The fruity accents give the powdery composition a summery lightness and transparency and prevent the fragrance from becoming heavy or oppressive in any way. In the finish, bright and creamy-spicy notes of musk, vetiver and tonka bean underline the special facets of the iris and let the fragrance wonderfully warm and gentle finish.
Hazel by Gravel is a nostalgia-inspired yet very modern and timeless fragrance centred on the multi-faceted notes of iris, juxtaposed with refreshingly zesty citrus, creamy florals and fruity accents. Wonderfully light and transparent, yet with a good presence and longevity, the eau de parfum is a loving testament to the friendship between Hazel Guggenheim and Michael Knudsen, enchantingly composed and sure to please all who love powdery-fruity and feminine-delicate iris fragrances. 💜
Evolution – Gravels Rebirth
As rebirth or reincarnation Gravel itself calls the fragrance Evolution, although I would rather call it “development”, at least literally translated. But such quibbles should not stop us with regard to the fragrance tasting. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you who created the perfume. If I should still receive information about this, you will of course be the first to know. 😊
This fragrance represents the next step in the evolution of Gravel: it is the first perfume that is not based on a historical formula by Michael Knudsen, and thus represents the reincarnation of a brand that has gone through nearly seven turbulent decades of perfume history, yet has always remained true to itself.
The picture already gives a direction in which the fragrance direction could tend. Citrus fruits and here especially oranges, if my tired eyes do not deceive me. These are also found in the fragrance notes: orange, ginger, raspberry, aldehydes, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose, vanilla, amber, tonka bean and guaiac wood.
Elegant, refined, clean
With these keywords Gravel characterizes the fragrance Evolution. Do I feel the same way? The opening of the eau de parfum is determined by fruity-powdery aldehydes, which wrap the creation in a cotton-soft and citrus-orange veil. The opening is intense and present, yet always stylish and never overbearing. Evolution appears very classic and adult in the first puffs of the fragrance. A radiant and beguiling floral bouquet joins in, heralding the transition into the heart of the composition.
Densely interwoven are the floral notes, very creamy, sweet and clearly white. They combine in an extremely harmonious way with the powdery and soft-soapy aldehydes, resulting in a very coherent and inherently round melange. Delicately smoky guaiac wood underlines the fragrance character of Evolution with its violet-like nuances, rounded off by the delicate vanilla warmth of ambergris and tonka bean.
Elegant is Evolution in any case, and also as refined and clean I would describe the creation of Gravel. I also find the Eau de Parfum wonderfully nostalgic, classic and timeless. Gravel manages to bridge the gap between vintage and modern with this own creation and does so in an incredibly casual, carefree and charming way. It’s a composition that seems grown up and mature, yet so timeless and contemporary. A really great and beautiful fragrance that this traditional brand presents to us here. 🧡
We are giving away the following treasures from Gravel, for which we would like to express our sincere thanks to the distributor Luxum Beauty:
- 1 x 100 ml bottle of A Man’s Cologne – Eau de Parfum worth € 150
- 1 x 100 ml bottle of American Dream – Eau de Parfum worth € 150
- 1 x 100 ml bottle 46th Street – Eau de Parfum worth € 150
- 1 x 100 g jar Shaving Soap – for wet shaving.
How do you get into the lottery pot? Very simple! Leave us a comment below this article up to and including Sunday, 13.08.2023 and tell us if you already know the brand Gravel and its fragrances. On Monday, 14.08.2023, we will inform the lucky winners by e-mail.
You can find the conditions of participation here.
We wish you good luck 🙂