It’s very easy to dream of escape at the moment. If it is the seaside you long to flee to, especially one somewhere temperate, then Hamaca by 27 87 will most definitely whisk you away.
Sea water, coconut, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean.
Imagine the seaside, particularly those Northern European beaches where the sand might be golden and plentiful but the breeze is also bracing. Imagine walking barefoot amongst the breakers, goosebumps prickling up your arms, your skin warmed and perhaps even a little reddened by the sun, even though you made sure to slather yourself in factor 30 earlier that morning. Imagine all that, including the lightness of heart and warmth of your smile from having had a lovely day, and you come close to the opening of Hamaca by 27 87.
The first thing you will notice is the coolness of the sea air caressing a warmer, skin type feel. The saltiness is palpable and it isn’t easy to say if it is the saltiness of the sea breeze or the saltiness of skin which has sweated and cooled. There is the crispy tang of salt crystals either way though, undercut by much warmer, much rounder notes.
The salty, cool, marine feeling which opens Hamaca, is quickly enveloped by a warmer seam of notes which go on to dominate for the rest of the composition. Note that it is “warmer” rather than “warm” because that cooling breeze does seem to waft throughout the life of the scent, although in a reduced capacity as the fragrance wears on. As a result this isn’t a frigid Scottish beach in winter, nor is it a Caribbean retreat in summer, it’s somewhere between them both.
The next facet to stride on to the sunset-painted beach is the coconut. Delightfully, in Hamaca this is a husky, dry, almost barky type of coconut and even combined with the vanilla and tonka it never goes sickly. The coconut feels almost like a wood in itself and it has that fibrous texture which is fascinating alongside the more crystalline salt texture in the start. Even if you don’t like coconut, and even if you don’t like Hamaca, it’s worth a sniff for the way in which the perfumer plays with these different textural elements very cleverly.
The vanilla starts to hum its sweet tune in this phase of the wear but again, it never becomes cloying or sickly. In Hamaca it is sumptuously resinous and yes, it does have a sweetness to it, but it feels natural and satisfying rather than saccharine and synthetic.
The base of this composition is given over to the chewy, roasted tones of tonka bean surfing alongside waves of milky sandalwood. The tonka is guided in to the composition by the vanilla and the perfumer has continued that slightly woody feel through to this part of the base. There’s sweetness from the tonka, warmth and a roundness which hints at perhaps just the faintest ghost of something like jasmine as well to give a nuance of smooth skin to the scene.
The sandalwood completes the picture, smoothing everything with gentle crests of milkiness. There are so many echoes and circles in Hamaca which you mkght not really expect the simplicity of the composition. A quick sniff and you might think this is an easy scent based around the feeling of calmness and relaxation you get on holiday, and you would be right, but observe it closer and the recurring texture of woodiness presented in different ways becomes apparent, as does the milkiness of both sandalwood and coconut, the sweet echoes of vanilla and tonka and just wafting over it all ever so gently is a faintly smoky, roasted smell.
Seemingly simple compositions can be unsatisfying, or feel very linear, but here the simplicity is haunting – there is plenty of space for the notes to speak and it does allow both the ingredients and the wearer to breathe. Perhaps it is just at this moment in history when we are all holding our breaths, wondering what will happen next, that is striking this chord, or perhaps it is that big deep inhale of sea air the first time you get to the beach on your holiday. Either way, Hamaca contains more than enough to delight and satisfy even the most discerning of connoisseurs.
The other stuff
The longevity of Hamaca is great, lasting around eight hours or so following application. It definitely feels like a fragrance which is quite delicate, but don’t let that fool you as it most certainly has good staying power.
The sillage of this fragrance is also very appropriate. It goes to handshake distance at least, perhaps a touch further, but it’s polite in the way in which it does that and is unlikely to negatively impact others.
All the fragrances of 27 87 are gender inclusive. This one may be considered as leaning more towards the stereotypically feminine side of the spectrum perhaps, but of course don’t let that put you off if you are otherwise and want to wear it.
The perfumer for Hamaca is Shyamala Maisondieu.
27 87 were founded by Romy Kowalewski, a German living and working in Barcelona, Spain. The brand has the unusual slant of basing their fragrances in the here and now, without attaching significant back stories to their products. The feeling being that this will allow the wearer to create their own memories and associations with the scents, rather than them being coloured too much by those associations of the perfumer or brand.
The 27 87 fragrances are presented in opaque white bottles, aside from one scent which comes in a black bottle. The bottle is beautiful yet minimalist. The outer boxes carry more adornment, each one being either a different colour or texture to the others. They are stable and reusable (or recyclable). A nice touch to the bottles is that they are either 27ml or 87ml in a nod to the name.
All the fragrances of 27 87 are vegan and cruelty free.
Hamaca is available from the 27 87 web boutique where it is priced at €65 for 27ml or €155 for 87ml.
27 87 are also now available in the UK in Harvey Nichols.
I originally purchased a small bottle of Hamaca myself, but was subsequently gifted a small bottle by the brand.