“I was in my teens when I first discovered Helmut Newton’s picture that made YSL’s ‘Le Smoking’ iconic. The genderlessness really made a big impression on me. With stark monochrome simplicity, Newton created a piece of iconography I still find myself inspired by. In the making of L'air Barbès I was strongly influenced by the androgyny in this picture. L'air Barbès by 19-69 is evocative of Paris’ different personas such as the concrete alleyways, le banlieue and of course, the area Barbès – Rochechouart. The fragrance is also a tribute to Paris, capitale de la mode.”
The scent is cold, light and fresh.
Top NotesAldehyd - Fresh Lemon - Bergamot
Mid NotesConcrete - Ylang Ylang Extra Oil - Tuberose
Base NotesAmbrox - Orris - Cumin Seeds - Ink - Leather - Dry Woods - White Musk
A blend of the finest vegetable waxes in a traditional formula from 1961 is used for the 19-69 candles. Hand crafted in Italy. Candle will burn for approximately 48 hours.
Each scent is composed inspired by a different era, culture or setting from Africa, Europe, the States and Asia. Art, music, trends and cultures have all left their marks on the fragrances both in terms of content, name and packaging. The glass bottles are varnished and screen printed in Italy. Each 19-69 product is handmade, therefore small variations should be considered part of the character. All raw ingredients are carefully considered and selected to ensure the finest quality. For each scent there is a unique fragrance journey.
FRAGRANCE JOURNEY L'AIR BARBÈS
We’re in a car, chasing through the rainy, dark streets of Paris. My new friend Jacques is tripping on something he clearly wants more of, and he is on a mission. Glancing at the rear-view mirror, he obsessively combs his hair, paying extra attention to the bushy sideburns. We are heading to The Professor – the notorious dealer and god knows what. I’m desperately holding onto the car seat as he speeds through the red traffic lights. This is not what I had in mind when accepting his invitation for dinner.
The Professor’s whereabouts is known as “the funhouse”: a run down theater in the badlands somewhere west of Barbès – Rochechouart. We enter through the heavily guarded door down the alleyway. Dark red velvet covers the walls, it is hot and sweaty. The two drag queens, Sushi and Missy, are hosts for the evening, voguing away to Grace Jones’ “La Vie En Rose”. Working girls are perched on the chaise lounges dressed in corsets and heels while balancing glasses of Taittinger and cigarettes. The rooms are dimly lit and candles burn in chandeliers. Apparently this is a quiet night but more johns are still about to arrive.
In a private chambre I get introduced to a short statured man from Central Africa in full swag. Paisley-patterned silk robe, knee-high socks and tassel loafers by Weston, true Iceberg Slim style. He is freshly groomed, oozing a musky fragrance. So. I’ve finally met The Professor, king of Sapeurs. With the impeccable manners of a dandy, he speaks to me in English with a heavy, French accent. “How may I help you? Can I offer you anything, on the house?” In the dim light provided by a single bare bulb, it looks like two bags of flour have been emptied on the round glass table. Two mountains of pure, white, Colombian coke. His compadres are cutting and dividing their evening loads, most likely to be distributed before dawn. “The funhouse” is just too much for me. I look at the Professor and utter “I guess I could do with a ride to Les Bains Douches.” The Professor shrugs but grins. “You sure? We are in the most vibrant area of Paris. Aren’t you interested in some of my L´air Barbès?”
The Fragrance Journey is based on the creator’s memoirs from Paris during the 1990s.
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