The OHTOP brand, which was founded in Paris in 2019 by Korean Romeo Oh, is a recent addition to Aus Liebe zum Duft ‘s portfolio. Oh has lived in the French capital for around thirty years and is the owner of a showroom here, where he has given aspiring fashion designers a stage and helped them launch their careers. Fashion and fragrances were and are his passion, and now he is realizing himself in the field of perfume with his brand OHTOP.
The OHTOP collection now comprises five fragrances that I really like, not only visually but also by name: Paranoïaque, Ohsphalte, I Hate Rose, Green Flannel and Fleur d’Oh. The creations were created by well-known perfumers such as Amélie Bourgeois, Alexis Dadier and Anne-Sophie Behaghel. Romeo Oh himself also slipped into the role of perfumer for one of the compositions, in collaboration with the Christian Carbonnel team.
In a nutshell: OHTOP
I have already told you a few important facts about OHTOP. The founding year and founders are known. You also already know that Romeo Oh comes from Korea, has been based in Paris for around three decades and has a background in fashion. The path from fashion to perfume does not seem far. We already know several brands that have their origins in fashion business and design: Marc-Antoine Barrois, for example, or Salle Privée, Bohoboco and, of course, Comme des Garçons and Tom Ford, to name but a few.
And so the term “olfactive wardrobe” is something we’ve heard or read here before. With his creations, Romeo Oh has the desire to create just such a selection of fragrances that round off and enrich the olfactory appearance of an individual.
My goal is to create an olfactory wardrobe that complements and individualizes an appearance, giving it a dreamlike dimension, a finishing touch that envelops the attitude and allows you to manifest your true essence and style. – Romeo Oh
Paranoïaque – Madness in a bottle
OHTOP describes its fragrance Paranoïaque as madness in a bottle, which makes me so curious that I have to test this eau de parfum first. This is also the composition in which Romeo Oh himself was creatively at work. For his first fragrance, Oh used the ingredients coriander, ginger, blackcurrant, green notes, rose, geranium, nutmeg, guaiac wood, patchouli, leather, earth, tonka bean and oakmoss.
It is said to be a creation that is “uncompromising and full of boldness”, rich in contrast and unconventional, yet absolutely wearable. A fragrant curiosity that combines and harmonizes opposites. This may sound wild at first glance, but OHTOP itself confirms that we are dealing with an eau de parfum that may surprise at first, but is nevertheless entirely socially acceptable.
There comes a moment when we have to break the rules and stop being good in order to find our sense of style. A touch of craziness is necessary to be creative, even if it seems strange and confusing to the world.
The fragrant madness of OHTOP
Airy, cool and fresh, Paranoïaque opens with woody-greenish notes that remind me of moss-covered rocks, boulders for example, of damp earth, of wafts of mist drifting through dense forests, but also of leaf juice, of the creaky and tart notes of crushed leaves, which can have an astringent effect, but can also be very gentle and mild. It is indeed not an ordinary, per se pleasing fragrance that captivates from the very first scent, but one that develops slowly and sneaks into the heart very quietly and on gentle paws.
Paranoïaque is not as dark as I would have expected, not as dark green as the bottle suggests. No, I find the fragrance surprisingly light, as already mentioned, airy and rather transparent. On my skin, there is a long-lasting mintiness, while the paper strip tends more in the floral, very lucid direction and reminds me of freshly cut rose stems, or rather tulip stems. The composition Paranoïaque is very complex, densely interwoven – despite its airiness. On my skin, sweet, soapy nuances with floral and citrus facets only reveal themselves after a long time.
Paranoïaque by OHTOP is an absolutely exciting and, as advertised, contrasting unisex fragrance that initially plays with greenish, woody, leafy notes, only to end – at least on my skin – in rather lovely, gently soapy and floral accents. It is a quiet, meditative creation with a maximum medium presence and good durability, which in my opinion can be worn for any occasion, whether in the office, at leisure or for going out in the evening, as long as you prefer light, airy and transparent compositions. I tend to see Paranoïaque more in the warmer seasons than in the depths of winter, because I personally prefer to wear somewhat more opulent fragrances here. A wonderful start, not only in this review series, but also as the creative debut of founder Romeo Oh. Superb!