Category Archives: perfume review

Red Sun, Perris Monte Carlo Arancia di Sicilia

Year ago in September I departed for my summer holidays. I flew all the way to the South of Italy to spend a week in Sicily. Little did I know that it’s going to be one of my most memorable vacations. Waking up at 5 AM almost every day wasn’t my best idea for dolce vita but the weather and all the sights compensated shorter sleep. It was also a naturally fragrant time as ripe fruit, orange granita and freshly pressed orange juice were available at almost every corner, first announced by their scent. Iconic blood orange from Sicily deserves a perfume. Perris Monte Carlo just did one!

Arancia di Sicilia welcomes you with a great bounty only a Mediterranean country like Italy could offer. First impression – a refreshing, full-bodied and photorealistic scent of blood orange. Zesty aroma of the peel and sweetness of the ruby-tinted fruit light up the senses, wake you up and create a craving for the juiciest & most delightful bite ever that will drip down from your chin onto a t-shirt that you’re wearing. It’s this kind of scent that feels lustful and mouth-watering at the same time. There’s a beautiful complexity and dimension to this inconspicuously simple Sicilian orange opening. This effect has been achieved by using two varieties of Sanguinella Orange essential oils.

Brown essential oil comes just from the rind while Sfuma Torchio oil comes from a full fruit pressing followed by separation of the oil from the juice. Right from the beginning Arancia di Sicilia is a very sunny perfume but after a little while it really starts to warm up. This warmth gradually evolves into a sweet smoothness of almond. This new facet intrigues me because initially it smells to me like limoncello, I swear, but then after a couple minutes more it becomes more like an amaretto, with a fine liqueur smell to it and some booziness. Don’t expect something very alcoholic here as it’s only just a hint. But this hint is exactly what this perfume needs to be different among citrus fragrances.

arancia

Following after this liquory almond trail is a small portion of cinnamon. Just a small bit is enough to spark a delicate tingle of spiciness in one’s nose and to give Arancia di Sicilia a twist nobody would expect from a perfume dedicated to blood orange. It’s not a prominent element of this fragrances but is noticeable among other ingredients. Shortly after vanilla joins the composition, only this one smells quite unusual too. It’s got some airiness to it and volume, like a creme chantilly which combines whipped cream, sugar and vanilla. Like a more sophisticated way of presenting a perfume note to the wearer, if you know what I mean. It’s delicious but you can still eat some more.

Drydown of Arancia di Sicilia is a toned down combination of notes that via their olfactive profiles evoke the ending of a long and sunny day in paradise. Labdanum enriches the perfume with balsamic, slightly gooey smokiness. It has elegance and charm. When I inhale the perfume on my skin I can still pick the scent of orange and how well it combines with cistus. Then there’s some powdery iris, not much but it still grabs my heart, an absolute of coffee that adds a little bit of darkness. Last but not least there are some ambery tones that add delicate oriental touch to new Perris Monte Carlo scent. Fluffy musky sensuality is what brings the perfume to its finale.

Perris Monte Carlo surely deserve praise for creating Arancia di Sicilia. You simply cannot be indifferent to something so delightful and mouth-watering. It’s a citrus elevated to a new level due to unusual use of ingredients like almond, cinnamon or labdanum that are normally not associated with fresh perfume for summer. Arancia di Sicilia is a beautiful and honest homage to the Island of Sicily and its iconic Sanguinella Orange. It brought back memories from year ago when I visited Etna, Lipari Islands and Palermo among other places. Perfumer Gian Luca Perris did a great job sharing a part of Italy with us. This eau de parfum has nice longevity and sillage. Available in 100 ml bottles.

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Monday Quick Sniffs, part 54

pink-iris

I was very impressed with quality and style of Abel fragrances when I told you about three of them in January. This set a bar of my expectations for their new scent, Pink Iris, relatively high, and I was not disappointed. The composition begins with a tingly sensation of pink pepper that creates a smooth veil of spiciness around the wearer. Very soon basil and raspberry leaf join and introduce a crisp, green vibe that later becomes reminiscent of a chypre accord. After a while iris takes a central place in this perfume. The smell is sweet, almost gourmand – evoking the idea of how candied violet petals smell like. Orris seamlessly transitions into a powdery goodness that veers slightly towards cosmetic smells. There it also blends with the smell of rose – sheer and pink one, that makes Pink Iris feel more girly. Hint of jasmine accentuates the pastel color palette of this fragrance. The base which is vanillic and musky mimics the scent of powder candy I remember from my childhood times. It is another well done perfume from Abel but for an iris perfume it’s just less fitting for me. You should try it, I say.

illusione

I rarely speak of mainstream scents on my blog and perhaps I should do it more often (?) to make things more entertaining. Bottega Veneta recently started a promotion of their new couple of fragrances for him and for her named Illusione. I found the male version to be worthy of a mention. On my skin it’s like an burst of lemon that is super bitter and zingy, making my mouth salivate in an instant. Bitter orange adds a lovely tang to the scent while the bitterness of this cocktail is just fabulous, I feel like we need more bitter tones for once in these fresh citrus scents. These juicy notes are slightly muted, elegant. They don’t feel pungent. After a while a fir balsam joins the composition adding a green, balsamic and lightly coniferous feel to Illusione. White cedarwood adds more masculinity through this woody but not overpowering note. Vetiver in the drydown makes things feel more grassy, slightly dried out and aromatic because of that. Tonka is responsible for adding a warmth and some sensuality to the perfume. Illusione for men is relatively simple but it’s not boring and could easily become my go-to summer scent.

leathershot

Olfactive Studio introduced their first trio of Collection Sepia fragrances in 2018 and Leather Shot was one of them. Upon smelling this perfume you are immediately taken inside of a leather workshop where the smell of raw leather mixes with more pungent smell of volatile chemicals used to treat the material before it can become your new bag or a shoe. Cardamom make it more spicy in a crunchy way, adding a facet as if something was roasting in the fireplace. Cumin makes a slightly dirty impression that quickly drowns and disappears in a black tea note that makes Leather Shot more smoky and simultaneously green in a specific way. A while later the scent becomes moist and there’s a part that smells to my nose like an artistic clay used for sculpting. Driftwood can smell like that at times and driftwood indeed is a part of this composition. Followed by an iris accord the perfume becomes instantly more elegant through the powdery, creamy facets while sandalwood, vetiver and cedar create a solid base that combines properties of all 3 – mellow at times, then more like a shrub or like a more rugged piece of wood. The collection was developed together with Bertrand Duchaufour so no surprise here that quality is very good.

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