To me the best part about writing a perfume blog and participating in international fragrance fairs is the fact that events like these keep you up to date and give great opportunity to try many new things. Even if I don’t notice a new brand or a new perfume on the spot, as it’s really easy to miss one when you’re surrounded by fragrance wherever you look, I will eventually get to try that new thing; be it sooner or be it later. A scenario like that happened to me with Unum, a new Italian-based niche line. Even thought they launched first creation in 2013 I got my head around this brand not sooner than during last Pitti in September. Dark, gothic inspired look, dark colors, ominous tree branches and smoke as decorations were really standing out.
Unum, founded by perfumer Filippo Sorcinelli, consists now of 3 creations and I easily recognized by favorite one named Rosa Nigra. This perfume opens with a very extravagant, unusual, abstract yet extremely pretty rose note. It smells a bit dark initially but it quickly brightens to reveal its true identity. This imaginary smell to me is a blend of rose wine and tea rose. It is layered with something that smells a bit oud-ish and spicy. Spice has a liquified texture rather than noticeable crunchy vibe. The key here is a word “imaginary” because Rose Nigra doesn’t list rose in its composition. Once this darker beginning subsides some more light is introduced to the scent. There is a peach accord that is not very much fruity but it gives that soft, fuzzy and fluffy texture that, in my opinion, made this unreal rose a very real one. It smells so lightweight and natural.
Then there is whole lot of musk in this Unum perfume. I don’t find it to be exactly animalic, it’s more like a compromise between the wild nature of this material and its polite aspect. I can smell the furry side that is slightly animalic, seductive and provocative in some sort of way and on then I also smell this fluffy, cotton-like part of musk in Rosa Nigra. After 30 minutes the perfume develops a woody facet centered around cashmere wood. It’s woody in a very soft, sophisticated and truly elegant way. There is some density added to the scent now, as well as more dimension. Yet the composition as a whole feels really light. And by light I don’t mean weak.
Further development of Unum Rosa Nigra brings forward the lovely amber accord. It’s bright and shiny, sparkling like a small resinous stone in the sunlight. It has been enriched with a nice touch of vanilla that gives it a mouth-watering, tasty vibe. It almost makes you want to have a bite as to me it smells like some expensive meringue you can buy at one of those fashionable sweet stores. There is also a sandalwood chord appearing later, after a few hours. It enters by a smooth, seamless transition from amber and you notice it because the scent becomes more creamy at the moment of change. Anise appears next, introducing its mild, warm spiciness.
In the end, a trump card (for me) appears – the iris! A beautiful, purple iris of silky petals that have a gentle floral scent that becomes more powdery after spending just a little more time on the skin. It’s a real pleasure to smell Rosa Nigra right now. Iris is like a link here, without it the perfume possibly wouldn’t feel complete. But here it is, presenting its magnificent powdered facets that are flowery, slightly cosmetic and sweet at the same time. There is also some freesia that offers a sheer floral fade away many hours later. Note list also features artemisia and absinthe, those escaped my attention but I don’t really mind as I’m pretty much mesmerized by Rosa Nigra.
According to press release Rosa Nigra by Unum is connected to Opus 1144, another perfume in this brand offer (both share almost identical base) and is supposed to tell about the scented stone of gothic building. Composition has a really high concentration as it’s an extrait de parfum. A small portion can easily follow you through the day treating you to deliciously perfumed wafts of air any time you need them. The bottle is big, 100 ml, it has a square shape and so is the wooden cap shape. Filippo Sorcinelli developed a fantastic perfume that has a vision in the background but most of all it’s a scent that makes you feel good. I’ve been wearing it for the last few days. It definitely goes on my “want” list, it’s so worth it!