Nostalgia for the 1980s is huge at the moment – perhaps due to the popularity of TV shows like Stranger Things – and even perfume isn’t escaping this trend. Rock Lobster is inspired by The B-52s group who found fame in the 80s with songs like Love Shack and Rock Lobster.
Cherry cola, root beer, cassis buds, pomegranate, honeysuckle, rhubarb, acacia, hairspray, caramel, benzoin, lobster, ambergris.
A scent like Rock Lobster by Ricardo Ramos challenges the assertion that perfume is only meant to be taken seriously. This is evident in this fun composition right from the start which opens with a bouquet of juicy, fruity bubblegum type scents. The start of the fragrance is distinctly carefree with ideas like orange flavoured soda, strawberry bubblegum and cherry cola lollipops being thrown around in a way which is reminiscent of the chaotic and ebullient nature of (some) teenagers.
The fruity overtones in the opening to the scent smell synthetic and sweet – and deliberately so. Here, the perfumers haven’t tried to faithfully recreate the actual scent of pomegranate, for example, instead they have created an idea of what a fruity sweet would smell like, that sort of plasticky synthetic-ness which children find so appealing. In doing so, the creators have set up a fun, slightly rebellious and rather charming exuberance to the picture that the scent creates.
Once the fruity opening has calmed and lost its initial energy (which in reality does happen quite quickly over the course of a few minutes) a more rebellious and slightly more grown-up tone starts to emerge. The tart, sour rhubarb is accompanied by something greener, earthier, seaweedy and a little dank. The picture that this calls to mind is of a young girl, on the cusp of growing up, sat with her family having dinner at a beachfront seafood restaurant. We can smell the bubblegum that she was chewing moments ago, a waft of the hairspray she has set her “do” with, and a wave of seaside smells which roll over: wet seaweed, cold rocks.
The juxtaposition of this fruity facet with what starts to become a distinctly marine type feeling is very unusual, and I can’t recall having smelled anything similar to this before. It won’t be for everyone, but for being out of the ordinary it definitely gets bonus points and is a good scent to investigate if you are looking for something totally unique.
When I read that this fragrance had accords of lobster and hairspray, it was apparent that the brand were enjoying playing homage to the B52s and their Americana style. Thankfully, whilst you can detect both of these accords, neither are trashy or overblown. I feared that the lobster might be overly fishy, but it isn’t, instead being sweet and briney. As the scent moves towards the base, the ambergris increasingly comes to the fore but the chewy sweets that we noticed at the start never completely go away. There is a sort of sweet/salty combo going on from the caramel accord and the ambergris which echoes those chewy sweets at the start.
The combination of these different ingredients gives a touch of what could only be described as a sort of green powderiness to the fragrance at times. It’s almost as if seaweed, salt water and sour sweets were all freeze dried and turned into a powder form. Unlike anything else, the final bars of Rock Lobster perhaps have to be experienced to understand – and actually, despite wearing it a good number of times now, I am still not entirely sure that I do.
As a fragrance overall, Rock Lobster is more likely to win prizes for irreverence than it is sophistication, but there is a liveliness there which is fun to experience. This is perfume as nostalgia for the B52s as a band, nostalgia for a moment in time one California summer’s evening, and nostalgia for that moment where teenagers are at the threshold of becoming fully-fledged adults. As a homage to the B52s, Rock Lobster does a great job of capturing that sense of entertainment and fun, and the fragrance is surely unique in the elements that it combines.
The other stuff
The perfumers for this fragrance were Jorge Lee and Ricardo Ramos.
Rock Lobster lasts well, around six to eight hours following application.
The sillage of the fragrance is moderate, going to perhaps a little further than hugging distance, but not necessarily as far as handshake distance. The restraint of the scent is good though – had this been a really loud scent, it might not have been quite so easy to wear.
There are a couple of occasions when Rock Lobster would work really well, and these are either when going to B52s concerts, or, for a lunchtime date at a seafood restaurant.
Ricardo Ramos is the passionate and expressive creator behind the Ricardo Ramos Perfumes de Autor brand, which includes Deminiche (the collection which encompasses Sandal Koti, Mangoe Khus and Agar Ahalim), the Al-Andalus collection, and the Cultural Legacy collection (which includes Knus). Find out more about the collections of Ricardo Ramos.
We’ve previously reviewed Sandal Koti and Knus by Ricardo Ramos.
Ricardo Ramos kindly gifted us a sample of Rock Lobster when we met at Esxence 2022.
Rock Lobster is available to buy from the Ricardo Ramos Perfumes de Autor web boutique where it is priced at €150 for 50ml of EdP.
Header image by jette55 from Pixabay. Images of the product by The Sniff.
One Comment Add yours
This sounds really interesting! Perfumes with ‘strange’ notes can be fun. I enjoy Etat Libre de Orange’s La Fin du Monde, which has a prominent popcorn note. Popcorn with iris? it works! I’ll have to give this one a sniff.