In the continuously growing world of niche perfumery I happened to meet various people and brands of this industry as I was attending Esxence and Pitti. People with sparks in their eyes and brands that had something captivating about them. I discovered perfumes that spoke to me, often both in the way they smelled and the way they were telling a story. Maison Gabriella Chieffo is one of such brands for me. It was the beautifully decorated stand at the fair that attracted me but if it wasn’t for the great perfumes, I wouldn’t be bothered by waiting to see what their next move will be.
In March I met with Gabriella again and she had a new perfume to present. The new fragrance marks the start of a new collection and has an interesting imagery that stands behind the scent. Maisia (pronounced as my-siya) is telling us a story of wise woman of unearthly beauty who is accused of being a witch (because of her charm and intellect) and burnt at the stake. Maisia is also her name.
Composition of Gabriella Chieffo Maisia opens right away with a prominent aroma of fig leaf. It emanates with green aroma molecules that float up, quickly filling the space with this specific scent. I find this note to be extremely positive and optimistic. Moreover it brings this beautiful image to my head. As I smell it I envision a Mediterranean plantation drenched in the sunlight and as I walk along one of the alleys I have grapes growing on one side and figs on the other side. It’s a dream.
Not much time later the fig leaf note becomes even more warm and sunny, it also starts to effuse a characteristic sappy and milky fragrance. Then a fruit of the fig tree joins the composition. It continues the verdant opening yet at the same time it adds a bit of a purple color to this perfume. The smell of the pulp is juicy and fruity, with combination that entwine milky, green, fruity and fresh elements. Maisia surely has a Mediterranean start. I don’t mind at all!
Later on it becomes more and more refreshing. As soon as lemon and bergamot join the composition you can notice how sparkling and refreshing this perfume is. Even though both of these notes are not overly powerful, it’s possible to extract the smell of aromatic citrus rinds, as well as the smell of the juicy part. It’s a happy part of Maisia and fig leaf and fig are still central players in this Gabriella Chieffo creation. Even though I’m not a fig fan, I find it very appealing.
As the composition gradually evolves on my skin, things start to get a bit more serious in here. At first a narcissus accord makes an entrance. It brings fresh floral aroma blended with some milky facets. Then there is a broom accord which unfortunately I don’t know how it smells. After around hour 3 or 4, Maisia is no longer a sassy perfume. It gains more weight the very moment guaiac wood joins the composition. It smells woody indeed but in a more wild, rugged way. It has some intensity and brings more depth to the blend. A hint of sandalwood enhances the substantive feeling of Maisia by Gabriella Chieffo. It also softens the edges slightly.
The climax moment of this perfume happens when the accord of ash becomes noticeable. Since it’s ash, it does smell a little bit smoky but my perception of this note is more mineral and salt-like categories. This particular note was used in Maisia to evoke the fate of a main character from the inspiration story. If she’s burnt at stake, ashes will be the only thing to remain from her body. I also find here some musk that is slightly dirty, there is also black amber that brings the resinous and earthy touch that was probably meant to evoke burning wood – it’s smoky, mineral (even slightly reminiscent of marine salt). The balsamic smell is the final element, the insecurity.
Gabriella Chieffo (who has recently graduated from a perfume school) and perfumer Luca Maffei joined their forces once again to create a non-obvious perfume that actually has something different to offer, both in terms of the scent and its inspiration. They created a fragrance that is Italian by heart and tells a story from a happy beginning to a saddening ending. I was once again captivated by Gabriella art work. The fragrance is available in eau de parfum concentration, in 100 ml bottles – cube shape and with stone cap. It’s longevity is a very good 8-10 hours and sillage is moderate.