Tag Archives: Annick Menardo

Ibiza Days & Nights, 3 from Beso Beach

Over the years I spent so far in the perfume world I learned on numerous occasions that perfumery is a perfect medium that can fuse with other art forms. We’ve seen perfume fusions with painting, sculpture or music but pairing with cuisine doesn’t seem that popular at all. Of course there are chefs who created dishes to match certain perfume or an ingredient, but are there many cases? That’s why it’s interesting to learn that Beso Beach restaurants (located in Ibiza or Formentera for example) teamed with Carner Barcelona crew & borrowed their know-how to create their own perfume line.


Bendito Beso is a fragrant representation of a morning at the Spanish coast, when the air is pure and the beach is almost empty. Softness and delicacy of neroli, sheer & almost soapy in character, followed by more brisk and refreshing bergamot, are what opens this composition. After a few minutes they give way to Hedione – a modern, transparent jasmine molecule used in recreating summery, light & solar florals. Hedione is assisted by Cascalone – another synthetic molecule, this one introduces airy marine tones of salt, algae and sea breeze. Orange blossom absolute, a different fraction of fleur d’oranger adds more intensity to the floral feel and together with Paradisone it forms more lush & spacious bouquet worthy of a lounge of a 5 star summer resort. In the base Bendito Beso turns creamy and powdery. It blends soft musk with tender heliotrope, with addition of some cedar and balsam fir for a bit more substance. This one is a casual and easy to wear perfume.


The smell of Beso Canalla is like an unforgettable night at the beach club. It’s like dancing and drinking in the heat of the night. Brief hint of neroli with zesty bergamot and aromatic lavender trace lead the way to the warm and powerful saffron accord. It’s rich and tender at the same time, and to me slightly reminiscent of the smell of rum. Toasted caramel lends this perfume a seductive sweetness with an appealing smoky charm. Heliotrope tones it down a bit through its creaminess but then cistus (labdanum) brings back the beauty of balsamic, resinous notes with even greater force. Patchouli is the note that gives some earthy, grounded darkness to the composition but thanks to the sandalwood it gains more woody context with rough edges rather than smelling like the undergrowth with rotting elements. Bright ambery notes combining resins & vanilla light up the night with their luminous style. Beso Canalla is a perfume of sensual contrasts. Anything can happen on that night.


In the trio it would be Beso Negro that feels the most elegant. Yet at the same time if feels pretty casual. Like a white linen shirt – it’s white, more formal because of that but linen fabric makes it summery. This composition starts with an aquatic scent of crispy violet leaf. The opening is full of aromatics and green nuances in various shades. Cardamom adds some spiciness with a slightly dried feel. At the heart of this perfume violets are in bloom, introducing ozonic floral tones. Followed by orris concrete that makes the perfume more viscous, buttery and somewhat powdery with a fatty facet layered underneath. Cypriol tints the blend with darker green smell that has some weight and feels tad oily. Patchouli makes this color even deeper, with a hint of something earthy. In later stage of development Beso Negro reveals leathery accord blended with more raw woodiness of cedar and sandalwood. A bit of ambrox gives it a resinous character that slightly rounds and polishes the edges.

The result of these fused powers of Beso Beach and Carner Barcelona is a trio of interesting fragrances. I can’t tell you if they really evoke the atmosphere of a Spanish coast as I haven’t been on vacation in Spain before but these fragrances surely convince me to go there someday. The fragrances were created by renowned noses – Bendito Beso is a work of Olivier Cresp, Beso Canalla was composed by Annick Menardo and Beso Negro was developed by Christophe Raynauld. These eau de parfum are available in 100 ml bottles only. Think you’d like one of them?

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Voice of Freedom, Amouage Portrayal Duet

Probably in every era of a modern world there was a person or a group of people longing for a change. Their act of not following the crowd and going against society conventions was often considered rebellious. From the perspective of today they were right in their actions – today we know that everyone should live in their own frame instead of frying to fit into a standarized one. When such rebellious attitude is being transformed into perfume it’s like a reflection of one’s soul, when you know who you are and what you want from the world. That’s what new Amouage story is about.

Portrayal Woman starts with a luscious bouquet of big white flowers among which jasmine is an ultimate centerpiece. Its heady and intoxicating aura is overflowing with narcotic molecules of indole that introduce this somewhat oily and animalic quality. It’s a bold floral accord that makes a statement from the very beginning. For a considerable amount of time Portrayal Woman is like a soliflore, not letting anything else to take off properly. But later on there’s something tobacco-ish that starts to mingle in the background but it’s not strong enough to break through the floral wall. After some time the smell of vanilla pods becomes more pronounced that adds an oriental impression of dusted sweetness to the composition. Drydown is still very jasmine-y and balsamic thanks to elemi. This perfume is not my cup of tea but should you search for jasmine-centric scent, here it is.


Portrayal Man is completely different. At first whiff I could easily pick violet leaf which opens this composition. This fresh note feels rather ozonic, almost aquatic and at the same time it’s aromatic and crispy green like an actual leaf of violet rubbed between your palms. After a couple of minutes the perfume develops a dry woodiness with traits of something citrusy but parched at the same time. Such impression is provided by vetiver. With time Portrayal Man gradually darkens, revealing a leathery facet that comes to the front smoothly. It’s polished, lacquered and slightly acrid – reminiscent of the smell of a raw leather that is about to become a new pair of leather shoes. It’s fuzzy in a tiny bit and when juniper appears it lends some of its own metallic smokiness to the leather. From this point the perfume was quite linear on my skin and it didn’t change much.

Both fragrances in Amouage Portrayal duet were inspired by 1920s. Masculine version by the bohemian culture of those times, feminine edition embodies liberation of that era. I didn’t hate any of the 2 but neither did I love them. To me they are ok. After testing both I can surely say that none of Portrayal fragrances bring something new, exciting or innovative to the perfume scene. Both perfumes come in Amouage style opalescent bottles. Perfumers who worked with Christopher Chong are Pierre Negrin and Annick Menardo for Portrayal Man and Woman respectively.

[note] Picture borrowed from Obsentum on Instagram

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