MariaLux (or MariaL as it turns out the brand slightly tweaked their name) is a lesser known niche perfume brand from Italy. I slightly doubt the Italian roots of this line since founder and creative director – fashion designer Lilian Driessen is Dutch. What more, personally she’s married to Alessandro Gualtieri, who owns Nasomatto (the line is no longer developed). He’s a perfumer behind all perfumes in MariaLux range. As explained by Mrs. Driessen, MariaLux is her ideal alter-ego: “Maria as virgin, mother, lover. Lux stands for light, luxury, and lust. The ‘L’ is me, Lilian Driessen” she said. After a debut in 2012, in 2014 two new fragrances were presented and I really liked one.
Aramesh, for that’s the name of this perfume, is somewhat weird and at the same interesting and kind of familiar blend. The composition opens with chilly aroma of neroli essential oil that is bright and prominent, just like white flowers in the sun. There is also a crispy touch to the note provided by fresh and verdant geranium accord. The start is fresh and optimistic, but there is much more complexity coming shortly. After a couple of minutes MariaLux Aramesh evolves, turns by 180 degrees and reveals its oriental character. And it becomes rather pretty over time.
At first there is a rose note, very rich, oriental and deep. The petals have more of a pink shade rather than intense red in this composition, but still the texture, the silkiness give the overall impression of traveling to the middle east. Rose in Aramesh is a complicated being. It’s not just a pretty rose, as it goes through various stages during the fragrance development. Firstly it’s crispy thanks to still present geranium but then it becomes spicy, with rather heavy accent on dry cinnamon aroma (not the sweet, sugary one, but more woody, kind of like nutmeg). I like this combination with cinnamon.
Later on the rose accord gains this kind of confusing smell of a warm metallic note, which I believe was introduced to the composition of MariaLux Aramesh by star anise essence. From this metallic sensation in next few minutes it transitions into some sort of creamy and milky notes, containing some honey and vanilla in the background. There is nothing really obvious about this perfume, it keeps surprising me with every other accord that appears on my skin.
After some time the perfume gains substance, brought to the structure of Aramesh by musky notes. At first they feel rather soft, plush and innocent. In combination with spiced rose the concoction was really something enjoyable. But then… poof… Musky tones become more animalic. Maybe not overly animalic but there is certain vibe of sweat, fur and dirtiness around. But honestly, I kind of like this stage too. Maybe it’s because I can still smell vanilla, which makes it more approachable?
As the time flies, Aramesh from the house of MariaLux spices up again, but this time in a more red and fierce way. This fragrance has a carnation note in it and it’s really beautiful. Bold and very present, it brings the thrilling aroma that is floral and at the same time feels peppery and tingling. Moving towards the drydown phase makes this perfume more tones down, quiet and well-behaved.
After 5 hours Aramesh feels woody for most of the time but it’s exactly what you could expect from a fragrance that lists guaiac wood, cedar, sandalwood and oud. Each of these is present in the drydown in their specific way. Guaiac wood gives the smoky and slightly oily vibe. Cedar is the element of rugged dryness. Sandalwood – the facet that is smooth and creamy (my favorite!) and oud for more resinous and darker presence. To contrast the substance of woodsy notes a more abstract, powdery facet was added there as well. It’s built around iris and heliotrope and provides a nice dosage of poudree feeling that is tag cosmetic and sweet.
I didn’t care for any of three original creations from MariaLux, hence I had no high expectations for Aramesh or Mogadess, that was launched at the same time. To my surprise Aramesh turned out to be interesting blend that inherited some genes after chameleon. It’s focused on rose but with so many various stages and facets it’s difficult to call it a rose perfume. The lasting power of around 7 hours is good and its sillage isn’t really big. The perfume is available in 60ml bottle, parfum concentration. The purple bottle with studs is rather feminine but I find the composition to be unisex.