Samba de Janeiro, Olfactive Studio Still Life in Rio

Time for parties and having fun in the first weeks of 2016 was really short due to rather early Easter and Great Lent which will start soon. So for us here comes the time to fasten our belts and not indulge too much in entertainment. But in Brazil the carnival is only about to begin. Rio soon will be taken over by beautiful girls with curved bodies and handsome boys with sculpted muscles, all of them dressed in colorful costumes with feathers, sequins and ornaments. For them it’s all about dancing samba, enjoying life,  having fun and showing their great bodies.

I decided to start this review with those words because the perfume that I would like to present to you today is like an olfactory postcard. It’s a scent that takes you right to the heart of South America and lets you discover some piece of Brazil, even if it’s only a small part of it. In niche perfume market we don’t experience many follow-ups of the perfumes launched earlier yet Celine Verleure of Olfactive Studio took a risky step by revisiting Still Life, a composition from 5 years ago. All I can say is that the end result was much, much better than I could’ve expected!


The perfume is named Still Life in Rio and it continues the idea behind Still Life but the perfumer has added a couple of twists to it, making it a brand new being. Composition of this new scent opens with a somewhat screechy yuzu note. Most of you probably know that yuzu is basically a Japanese species of grapefruit. It smells bittery-sour, citric and tart rather than juicy and sweet as it has a thick peel and albedo. I won’t be surprised if some of you find this note a bit sweaty because that’s how it is. Luckily that impression quickly fades away and after 5-10 minutes you will smell aromatic citrusy notes with hint of powder (from albedo.)

As soon as the scent warms up on the surface of your skin the heavier aroma molecules start to evaporate. In the first place I could smell a generous portion of coconut that made my mouth water instantly. It’s a beautiful and exotic chord that is a marriage between powdery and sweet elements with a big creamy-milky part to it. It’s realistic, veering slightly gourmand yet it’s gentle and doesn’t induce a toothache. Then once again it becomes more citrusy but this time in a juicy way thanks to lemon and mandarin orange. At this point Still Life in Rio is focused on fruity pulp and coconut combination. It’s almost like pina colada but with citrus instead of pineapple.

After around 45 minutes new Olfactive Studio composition starts to change its direction as first twist is delivered. The perfume reveals fresh spicy accords that really stand out in the blend of coconut & citrus. There is a nice chunk of fresh ginger that introduces that spicy fizziness that tingle in your nose. Perfumer also added a handful of black and pink pepper that provide more dry spiciness and some metallic vibe that some might associate with gun powder. But it’s mild and nicely blended in the whole stricture of Still Life in Rio so you shouldn’t find it bothersome. Later on there is also some piquancy coming from Jamaican hot peppers. This unusual note is another twist in this fragrance and it has this warm, flaming character.

During the next couple of hours all the notes assimilate, become rounder and they slowly start to become one. You can still smell yuzu or coconut – that said, the latter one is the most powerful on my skin and I can smell a lot of its tropical character. Ginger or pepper are set in the background. At this point a bit of copaiba balm appeared and added more substantivity to Still Life in Rio. The note was shortly followed by rum that added its typical molasses sweetness with a hint of booze. In the drydown I noticed a nice leather chord – it caught my attention because normally I would not expect an aroma of cuir in such perfume. Here’s to more surprising perfume twists. Leather is nice here, darker and not so soft – it’s definitely not a suede. From the mark of hour 4 the perfume didn’t change much on my skin. It kept going as a delightful tropical blend of citrus, coconut and spice. I approached this new Olfactive Studio launch without any expectations because earlier perfumes were good but not really my style. This I liked a lot.

Still Life in Rio was created by Dora Baghriche who also composed Still Life a few years ago. Just like all Olfactive Studio are linked and inspired by a photograph, this perfume is no exception. Taken by Flavio Veloso, the picture is beyond amazing in my eyes. It’s full of light and I just adore the play of shadows on it. Yellow, orange, brown and black are dominating colors and the character of the set pictured really transports you to Rio de Janeiro. Still Life in Rio is a fragrance that shall shine on its own. This new eau de parfum comes in 50 ml and 100 ml bottles, matching aesthetics of the brand. The perfume will be officially launched at the end of March during Esxence. In terms of longevity I wasn’t disappointed as it lasted on me all day long with medium sillage for most of the time. Now after trying these last 2 perfumes I reviewed, I’m ready for spring.

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21 thoughts on “Samba de Janeiro, Olfactive Studio Still Life in Rio

  1. rickyrebarco says:

    Wonderful review, Lucas. this sounds like the warm glow of a Brazilian citrine stone. I wish it didn’t have the coconut, I have a lot of problems with coconut notes. The only one I have liked so far is Heeley’s Cocobello.

  2. jillie says:

    Oh, this sounds very yummy – in more ways than one! In fact, I love eating food with yuzu mixed into it (I have become a bit obsessed with yuzu lately!). I rather think I would like this fragrance as it has so many notes that appeal to me in some of P de N’s lovely fruity colognes. I imagine it would boost a low mood on a grey day.

  3. Holly says:

    This sounds lovely. I’m rather picky about coconut in scents as it often smells too fatty
    and/ or is too sweet for me. I enjoyed the use of ginger and coconut in Yosh’s Ginger Ciao, as their use of that spiky zingy ginger tightens up the feel of the fragrance for me. This is another one I look forward to trying!

    • lucasai says:

      Hi Holly. I know what you mean about fatty coconut that smells like a plain oil and might be rather unpleasant.
      Since Still Life in Rio has ginger too I hope you will like it

  4. hajusuuri says:

    Wonderful review, Lucas. I need to tread carefully on this one because of the coconut, similar to the concern raised by Holly and Rick; however, I will definitely try it when I see it.

  5. Aranz De Guzman says:

    is it available already? also where should i get a sample of this one?

  6. Undina says:

    Lucas, I so enjoy reading your reviews for perfumes that you liked! This one sound like the one I might like also: I’m not scared by coconut and I like ginger in perfumes.
    And now I want piña colada… 🙂

  7. shellyw says:

    Lovely to read the review and hear something pleasant about Rio/Brazil instead zeeka(sp?) virus news. Can’t do coconut but great to read about the perfume.

  8. […] virtually visited Rio by smelling Olfactive Studio Still Life in Rio. I knew the perfume earlier (review) but was happy to smell again. And it was great to meet Celine […]

  9. […] OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT STILL LIFE IN RIO: Chemist in the Bottle, CaFleureBon, Now Smell […]

  10. I’m going to hand to try this as is a refreshing combination of notes today.

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