Flaming Dancers, Memo Argentina

When I was a school boy and when I started getting more plump my parents signed me up for dance classes hoping that this extra exercise through dancing will help to keep my weight under control. By coincidence my best friend at a time, a classmate, became my dance partner. Over a couple of years of attending these classes I learned waltz, cha-cha, rumba and more but to these days I find it difficult to just freestyle when the music plays. I didn’t dislike these classes but today I prefer to watch. I thought that a move “Shall We Dance” was absolutely great & funny, with a lot of dance passion. New one from Memo is meant to make you feel the fire of tango. Ready to dance?

Soft tingle of pink pepper is the first chord we smell & hear when Memo Argentina starts to play. It surrounds the wearer with warmth and with a very gentle, sensual spiciness. Even though technically it’s not a pepper I prefer it to the black pepper which to me is often too harsh, metallic and cuisine-driven. With pink pepper things are more balanced and simply more pretty. Rose, which is the main performer of this fragrance makes an entrance after a few short minutes. Her dress, colored crimson red, has the same shade as rose petals used in this perfume. The material it’s made of is fluid, moving with every step she takes, highlighting the shape of her irresistible silhouette.

The smell of roses in Argentina is very potent, rich and vibrant. The intensity that emanates from the skin instantly makes me think of big flowers with petals that are like a very dark red velvet. This Turkish rose is hypnotising thanks to its beauty and it fascinates the nose just like watching a pair of tango dancers fascinates the eyes when you observe how their bodies get perfectly synchronized, as if in a trance. After some time the rose note becomes more oriental and it also reveals some greener, geranium-like nuances. But the intricate bouquet continues to blossom. Two kinds of jasmine were used here and while I smell their presence to me they only let the rose stand out.

The pace of this dance gradually changes and you can almost feel how every half an hour allows Memo Argentina to soak up the oriental aura. The main highlight of this process is the reveal of oud at some point. I know some of you might roll their eyes reading this but please believe me that in this perfume it’s something out of ordinary. I find oud in this new fragrance to be very toned down & quite resinous, viscous. It definitely improves the perception of the crimson red color of rose petals and these two ingredients are simply meant to be together as they unfold a multidimensional word full of beautiful impressions. I quickly though of this perfume that it’s stunning and worth telling you about.

But it’s not done yet & something’s happening after a couple of hours of inhaling the swooning vapors of Argentina. Rose and oud is already a wonderful combination but at a later point in fragrance development this new creation developed a brand new quality, some lightness & transparency entered this tiny perfume universe. Imagine magnolia sharing some of its silky tenderness with a hint of something lemony. That’s exactly what happens! The perfume becomes brighter, more magical. It doesn’t last long but leaves a lasting impression. Then the scent densifies again as verdant-oily cypriol & caramel-like benzoin carry on with the rose until its bath time.

Argentina, a newest creation of perfumer Alienor Massenet that will join Memo Art Land collection is an example of true fragrance craftsmanship that deserves to be praised. Not many compositions are able to wow me like that at first sampling attempt. Not only is it complex but I also find it to be full of contrasts. In Memo Argentina you can find energy, burning passion, fierceness, but also some innocence and tenderness. Like a clash opposite forces, like hot and cold. And the result is worth trying this new release. Argentina is available in EdP concentration, in 75 ml bottles that feature a gorgeous graphic of two birds ‘dancing’ in mid air & one of them is holding a rose. So pretty!

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Two from Masque to Indulge in This Winter

In 2020 due to growing pandemic situation across the world the activity of perfume brands was drastically reduced. I don’t know any numbers or statistics but I have a feeling that the drop could even reach 80%. The biggest loss and saddest thing to accept was the cancelation of Pitti and Esxence, two biggest niche perfume shows. The latter one was rescheduled to April 2021 only to be rescheduled again to June. If you were smart and tech-savvy, you’d move to online promotion. That’s what Masque Milano did and their 2 new perfumes were launched via Google Meet platform.

Ray-Flection begins with a moderately sweet yet delightfully juicy & mouth-watering scent of mandarin orange. Very shortly some aldehydic tones join and lift up the composition making it feel more airy and effervescent. You do feel a little bit of fattiness from these molecules, even a hint of something waxy & slippery but their aerial aspect is prevailing here. Cardamom introduces a bit of a crunchy, roasty spiciness to the backbone of the perfume. Heart of Ray-Flection reveals a floral bouquet in which a pollen sweetness of mimosa flowers whispers tenderly in your ear and gently caresses your face. It’s a pretty smell, a very happy & optimistic one. It is paired with violet leaf – its green color contrasts with the yellowness of the pom-poms. The smell it has is dewy, slightly ozonic and aromatic. Both are wrapped together, almost like a ribbon that ties a bouquet, with a solar accord. On my skin it feels a bit crystalline, lactonic and with a delicate impression of jasmine. While I don’t consider this new creation from Masque to be a challenging scent, the base is the hardest for me to bear. Beeswax becomes quite prominent on my skin and I am not very fond of it. It adds an impression of something too synthetic and artificial, at least to my nose. Then there’s some cedarwood and musk to help the perfume last longer on skin. I believe mimosa lovers should try Ray-Flection, even if only just out of curiosity. To me it stands few steps behind my favorite.

Last year Masque branched out of their main line by introducing Le Donne di Masque, a series of more feminine fragrances composed by female perfumers. I believe first two, Dolceacqua and Petra were already on preview in 2019. This line celebrate 10th anniversary of the brand and the aforementioned two are reinterpretations of Masque first releases. Late in 2020 a third persona was added. Maceleine is a gourmand perfume that goes straight to the point. The wearer is welcomed by a powerful accord of chestnut. The complex identity of the note hides in the fact that it captures the multiple facets of this Parisian delicacy. It’s nutty and at the same time caramelized. A little bit burnt on the outside but soft & perfectly cooked inside. Combined with a generous spoonfull of heavy cream that has been whipped to add some lightness to the concoction. Cumin… there’s not much of it but I get a bit of a specific stench in the background and I associate it with the smell of some of the streets in Paris. Then there’s a lactonic, creamy tuberose that doesn’t overwhelm but rather melts into nut-n-cream feeling. Cypress and geranium add a tad of crunchiness but their verdancy doesn’t stand out in this foody fragrance. Tonka bean amplifies the creamy vibe that Madeleine creates but at least now it’s got that aromatic, rich (yet mild) spiciness that feels like some sprinkles on top of this dessert. The sweetness of vanilla and fluffy clouds of musk complete the perfume. I know it’s got zero calories but how much sugar can your nose take? I think this perfume can be either love or hate, it smells polarizing if you ask me.

I like the idea of an online launch in times of covid. Where the brand founders along with respective perfumer explain the perfume to a selected group of attendees who were sent the samples prior to the event (mine didn’t make it on time so I didn’t attend) but in case of Ray-Flection and Madeleine as much as I have no doubts about quality of both fragrances, because in this field Masque always delivers, neither of them feels a special to me as L’Attesa or Kintsugi. However I am convinced that many fans of the brand will enjoy using one or both of these new scents. Fingers crossed!

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