Inexpensive brand, Brocard, go lux (including luxury price tag) with Sunlight and Moonlight, a pair of fragrances that form the Cosmogony series. We’ve reviewed both here so you can compare and contrast between these two sister scents.
Sunlight: Black pepper, juniper, pink pepper, cardamom, mandarin, honeysuckle, maple syrup, rose, jasmine, orange blossom, sea salt, benzoin, oak, marron glace, vanilla.
Moonlight: Cardamom, melon, pink pepper, freesia, mint, iris, mimosa, peony, sea spray, lotus, orange blossom, rose, violet, amber, oak moss, musk, vetiver.
Brocard are a Russian brand who normally produce inexpensive perfumes that punch above their weight. In the Cosmogony series they have moved towards the luxury end of the market. For these scents they commissioned heavy-weight nose, Bertrand Duchaufour, who has worked for numerous lines and will definitely have formulated something you have heard of (and probably enjoyed). He is everywhere.
Bloom Perfumery London have produced this helpful little video about the Cosmogony series if you want to know more…
But what are they like to wear? We hear you ask. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered…
Sunlight: This half of the duo starts with a lovely, nose-tickly pink pepper which is quickly followed by a strongly tart citrus. The two together give quite a nice fizzy energy that isn’t exactly exuberant but does have a pleasant degree of energy about it. Sunlight is definitely warm, but – at least initially – it isn’t as warm as you might expect. It reminded us of those optimistic rays of Spring sunshine rather than languid Summer days.
Moonlight: There’s also a fair bit of energy in the opening moments of Moonlight, which surprised us, but which we really enjoyed. The pepper notes come through strongly again in the top notes, but they’re undercut by the coolness of mint. The opening few moments of Moonlight are fresh, with a transparent almost aqueous tone. There’s a zesty, tangy spiciness here which was a pleasant echo and yet reversal of the top notes of Sunlight.
It’s interesting how Duchaufour has used similar notes in both scents and yet how they are blended and what they are paired with has given such different results – and this is most noticeable in the top notes. It’s worth trying them out so you can experience this yourself; spray one on the back of your left hand and one on the right and switch between the two. It’s quite fascinating.
Sunlight: The scent gets warmer as it matures and moves closer to the sort of warmth we imagined given it’s name. The cardamom comes through nicely in the heart of Sunlight and is bolstered by warm maple-syrup sweetness. The juniper is discernible in there, as well as a salty tang. We couldn’t individually pick out many of the florals that are listed, instead they provide a soft, muddled flowery backdrop to the scent.
Moonlight: The aqueous feel continues in the heart of Moonlight. We got the impression of dewy grass here. Violet and it’s greener, woodier friend Iris, creep in but neither are too loud in the heart, nor too sweet. In that sense it smells like you have just happened upon the flowers in a flooded field edge, rather than a perfumers interpretation of desiccated, extracted and concentrated notes. This is nice because it makes the heart of the scent feel alive rather than pinned and constrained.
Sunlight: The base of Sunlight is the most unexpected aspect, it’s rather reminiscent of faded insect repellant at times, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it felt a little at odds with their more luxury take on these scents. We also got further sweetness in the base, along with pale, anaemic woods that fade to a rather nice glow on the skin. In the end we felt that Sunlight was evoking the shimmer of a heat haze over tarmac. That sort of glowy effervescence did end up feeling like quite an interesting interpretation of light. And that really is clever.
Moonlight: The violet becomes much drier and more powdery as the perfume ages. In the base, Moonlight becomes very soft and transparent. It evoked looking out into the coolness of the night when you’re staying out in the countryside somewhere quiet. It also has a soothing quality about it, not exactly sleepy, but comforting and gentle, soap-like at times. In the end, Moonlight recedes to a pleasant glow on the skin too, although cooler than Sunlight, it has a very similar level of intensity once it fades. Throughout, these scents feel like they are matched in terms of complexity and intensity.
The other stuff
The projection of both Sunlight and Moonlight is low to moderate. You do catch both perfumes as you wear them, but they stay close to the body and seem to vibrate along with the hum of your skin once they have properly settled.
Both perfumes have a unisex appeal, but if we had to call it we would probably say that Sunlight felt like a slightly more masculine scent, and Moonlight felt like the slightly more feminine of the two. You can take that with a pinch of salt though as either could be worn by anyone.
Longevity of both scents was similar, and we would put that at moderate. They both lasted until around lunchtime before they fell to this glowy hum that we have described. Normally this isn’t a problem with Brocard scents because they are so inexpensive you can practically bathe in them, however, here we were a little disappointed that the perfumes weren’t both a bit louder and a bit longer lasting, given the price tag that they are commanding.
It’s worth mentioning that the bottles for these are really nice and quite elegant in their design. The video above tells you more about them, but we do really like Brocard’s commitment to beautiful bottles – more of this please!
It’s an interesting experiment to try and pick between these two scents. They’re really quite complementary to each other and it feels a bit like if you buy one, you really should get the other as well so you can move between them. If we had to venture a verdict on them it would be that Sunlight is the more interesting and successful interpretation of ‘light’ as a subject, however, Moonlight was the one that our testers preferred and said they were more likely to buy.
Both Sunlight and Moonlight are available from Bloom Perfumery London who supplied us with testers of both these scents. One of the wonderful things about either Sunlight or Moonlight is just how hard they are to get hold of, you really need to visit Bloom in Covent Garden (or order online) to try them, or get yourself over to Russia (and we can highly recommend visiting the Church on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg if you do).
One of the strongest drivers for us seeking out niche and artisan fragrances is that we get sick of everyone smelling the same and what better way to make yourself feel special than to buy a scent that you are unlikely to ever bump into anyone else wearing. Exclusivity is cool and this is a way you can have that without breaking the bank too much.
If you want to try another scent that Duchaufour has formulated for Brocard, have a look at Erato. It has a decent level of complexity without the luxury price tag attached and is a good place to start if you want to experience either Duchaufour or Brocard.