It's almost a platitude to say that scent and memory are intimately connected, but it's far more rare for a perfumer to develop a scent inspired not by a specific memory but by a memorizer. New Intelligence and Fantasy from the Beautiful Mind Series ($215, available at Barneys New York; sample provided by BNY) is an homage to Christiane Stenger, the young woman who possesses the world's best memory. Perfumer Geza Schoen is known for his unusual creations (such as a series called Escentric Molecules that are made of single synthetic base notes), and the concept behind Intelligence and Fantasy is certainly that.
As a fragrance, however, the scent is a sparkly but surprisingly gutsy floral that's nothing like the fruity scents crowding department store displays. Instead, it comes on strong with heavy citrus (think a slightly more caustic, floral-orange blossom), then veers all over the place. It has a rather complex development, and it's a wholly different scent two hours after you spritz than it is 30 minutes in. The lasting power is also great, and the soft jasmine at its heart lends a pretty touch. If you get the chance to sample, it's a richly rewarding wear.