Pigmentarium Ad Libitum (Jakub F. Hiermann) 2018 + “Light of the Old City” Giveaway


Pigmentarium Ad Libitum official photo

Pigmentarium is an independent Czech perfume house founded in 2018 by the creative duo Tomáš Ric and Jakub Hiermann. Tomáš Ric has an extensive background in fashion that translates into an aesthetic sensibility that infuses many areas of the brand –from the distinctive edge of the visuals to the sleek luxurious packaging to the olfactive profiles that veer away from mainstream trends. The name evokes a color palette – pigmentum in Latin means color, and pigmentarium is a Latin term that designated the place where scented ointments and colors were sold. The brand takes its inspiration from various elements of Czech history and culture, which gave us  world-renowned names, glorious architecture, and avant-garde movements, and verbalizes it to a manifesto where ethics and aesthetics meet in a singular point:

Tomáš Ric, Pigmentarium founder

Tomáš Ric, Pigmentarium founder, via the official website

 Our early work was strongly influenced by an admiration of the work of big personas who artistically defined the world of the first half of the twentieth century. Particularly, architects and designers whose work was ahead of their time and is still relevant today and speaks vividly. A creation that captured an essence. The perfection of nature is reflected in the purity of materials. The brightness of spirit translated into basic curves and shapes. The first scents are inscribed with admiration for the authors of Czech and international modernism. That is where our journey started. From interpretation to self-expression. To a connection with contemporary artists and their ideas, to mutual creative dialogue. This is also how our perfumes became an inspiration for the creation of artwork, connecting and complementing each other.”

akub Hiermann, perfumer

Jakub Hiermann, perfumer, picture via official Instagram

 The inspiration for Pigmentarium Ad Libitum: “So familiar, yet new. Chypre perfume Pigmentarium Ad Libitum was inspired by the glow of the sunset over Prague Castle. The fading light of an energetic day symbolizes the upcoming nightlife. The first contact is mediated by refreshing citruses elegantly covered by the touch of aldehydes. Delicate jasmine and monumental cedar develop the scent in its heart up to the unusual scent of moss, patchouli, and musk. It all results in an elegant and slightly nostalgic fragrance that mirrors Prague in the way it might have been seen by Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier.

Ad Libitum, a Latin phrase that translates to “at one’s pleasure” or “as desired,” embodies the essence of freedom and personal choice. It’s a term often used in music to indicate that a performer has the liberty to interpret a piece in their own style, adding improvisations or modifications as they see fit. This concept of creative liberty and individual expression is beautifully mirrored in the art of perfumery, where fragrances are crafted not just as sensory experiences but as personal statements that reflect the wearer’s unique identity and desires.

Ad Libidum Pigmentarium

Pigmentarium Ad Libitum, collage with images by Nicoleta

  Prague does not have its name for no reason – in truth, Prague is a threshold between the life on Earth and Heaven, a threshold much thinner and narrower than in any other place…”

― Gustav Meyrink

Much of my love for Prague has been shaped by one of my favorite authors, Gustav Meyrink, who has lived a significant part of his life in Prague, depicting its mysterious nature in books like “The Golem” or “The Angel at the West Window”. Prague makes me feel like stepping inside a time-travel machine, each time I visit, with every cobbled path seeming to hold whispers of the past and whispered secrets of alchemical wisdom.

I saw the city spread out beneath me like a fairy tale, and I understood at once that it was not called ‘golden’ for the sake of its hundred towers, but because it was luminous, like the gold which gilds the edges of missals or the haloes of the saints.” Prague is a city that has a mystical hold over those who walk its ancient streets, and let their souls be touched by the sense of historical depth and mystery that seems to be woven in the city’s fabric, and the tales drawing from ancient lore.

Pigmentarium Ad Libitum, collage with images from the brand Nicoleta ©

Pigmentarium Ad Libitum is a fragrance that captures Prague ancient soul. In the opening notes, we have a blast of soapy aldehydes that transport you back in time, stirring visions of old apothecary bottles, specks of dust raised in the air as you move them, to read the old labels, raising the caps and filling the air with the scent of secret formulas that taste tart, green, and medicinal.

As time passes, a benighted sepia filter that draws deep shadows is placed over the stone-paved streets, and the lights of the sunset bounce back with bitter neroli and the deep greens of patchouli and oakmoss. A nostalgic, old cologne aura made with citruses that have had their yellow light drained out until it’s a pale flicker that whispers of times immemorial.

It’s deep, nostalgic, and eerie, with an earthy appeal, like a corridor that lures you into darkness, tempting you to go deeper.

Launched in 2018

 TOP NOTES: tangerine, bergamot, aldehydes

MIDDLE NOTES: cedar, jasmine, neroli

BASE NOTES: oakmoss, musk, patchouli

Also, check out my reviews for Erotikon, and Genesis.

Nicoleta Tomsa, Senior Editor

Disclosure: A sample of Pigmentarium Ad Libitum was offered by the brand, opinions are my own.

Pigmentarium Ad Libitum perfume

Pigmentarium Ad Libitum official photo 

 Thanks to the generosity of Pigmentarium we have a 50ml bottle of Pigmentarium Ad Libitum for one registered reader in the EU or US You must register or your entry will not count. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what sparks your interest based on Nicoleta’s review and where you live. Draw closes 3/13/2024

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