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Black Sabbath guitarist partners with luxury perfume house for signature scent

Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has partnered with luxury perfume house Xerjoff to release his own fragrance.

Accompanying the perfume is the first original music from Iommi since the release of the Black Sabbath album 13, in 2013, and his collaboration with the Birmingham Cathedral Choir in 2017.

The track is a doom-laden instrumental featuring the guitarist’s signature chopping riffs.

The unlikely olfactory union comes after Iommi struck up a friendship with Sergio Momo, perfumer designer for Italian luxury perfume house Xerjoff, known for its unique collaborations in the fragrance world. It transpires Momo is also a rock guitarist (his fretwork is featured on the new track).

“Sergio kindly sent me a box of his fragrances and asked if I’d be interested in creating my own, which I certainly wasn’t expecting. I had no idea how that would work, but Sergio suggested I come up with a list of things I like the smell of, which I did. He developed some different samples made up from my suggestions and I picked the one I liked; the project moved forward from there.”

Iommi says his interest in fragrances actually stretches back to the early days of Black Sabbath.

“It’s something I’ve always been interested in, ever since the early days of products like Brut and Old Spice, which I’d always get given for Christmas,” he says. “Once I started touring the world with Sabbath though, I started discovering different sorts of fragrances from other countries and began collecting them on tour.”

The Tony Iommi Monkey Special by Xerjoff Blends is described as an aromatic reminiscence of rock in the 60s and 70s, festivals and gatherings – with notes of bergamot, rum, Bulgarian geranium and rose, passion fruit, cinnamon and patchouli, and a base of sandalwood, ambergris, vanilla, Tonka bean, caramel and musk.

The lavishly packaged scent is available in two iterations. The Tony Iommi Signed Crystal by Xerjoff Blends is a limited edition of 200 flacons, priced at 550 euros. The Tony Iommi Monkey Special by Xerjoff Blends is available now, priced 235 euros. They’re available here.

Says Iommi: “I wouldn’t put my name to something that I haven’t been involved in and didn’t personally like or use. That’s been the same with all of the projects I’ve done from guitars onwards, this is no different.”

The Tony Iommi Monkey Special by Xerjoff Blends is described as an aromatic reminiscence of rock in the 60s and 70s…

‘Scent Of Dark’ was developed at Iommi’s home studio with long-time collaborator and producer Mike Exeter, and recorded at Gospel Oak and Pig Music Studios.

“I’ve had the riff for ‘Scent Of Dark’ for quite a while and I’d never done anything with it, but it gave us a base to start from. We built up the track with programmed drums at first and then Mike Exeter demoed bass and keyboards on it, and I added my guitar solos, just to give us an idea of how it was going to sound. Eventually Jimmy Crutchley added his bass. Jimmy knew drummer Ash Sheehan and he fitted in perfectly, adding the final real drum track on top of our work. Then we added the strings (cello and violins). I’d worked with string sections on Sabbath albums before, but this was a whole new experience.”

The video for ‘Scent Of Dark’ features the musicians at work in the studio, cut against footage of Tony and Sergio sampling the fragrance. It was shot at the grand Sudley Castle in Winchcombe, near to Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.  

The guitarist says the piece has inspired him to undertake more instrumental and soundtrack work. “I’ve got so many riffs!”

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