Ernest Hemingway surely deserves a title of one of the most memorable American novelists of 20th century. His numerous adventures, including participation in World War I or being a Spanish Civil War reporter earned him a lot of admiration of generations to come. From various sources we know that he had several women in his life and that he drank a lot. In 1961 he committed suicide. Personally I’ll remember his name mostly because The Old Man and The Sea, which I read at school. Masque Milano decided to pay homage to his person through a vetiver-centered perfume.
(Homage to) Hemingway makes a bold first impression by straightforwardly showing off its heart made of vetiver. For couple initial minutes the smell is quite dense and really oily, sitting on top of the skin as if it had difficulties to begin to evaporate. When the composition finally starts to breathe the vetiver starts to be more spacious but it doesn’t get airy or lightweight. It’s a solid and really substantive element of a new chapter in Masque story. There are several facets that entwine with each other. First one is a rugged woody aspect – with chipped edges and uneven surface. 2nd of the facets embodies hay-like aromatic dryness of the vetiver grass and its coumarin-infused properties. Last facet is more green and slightly stingy to my nose, with a scent effect similar to tannins.
According to press release Hemingway features oils of vetiver from Haiti and Java & believe it or not but in my case vetiver is the only note I can smell from this perfume for the first couple of hours. It took as long as 4 or even 5 hours for me to be able to smell the bitterness of rhubarb – but it was a very brief appearance. There was more ginger going on in the later stage of development. It added a spicy twist to the composition with a little bit of freshness. There was also a powdery & tingly backnote to it, like a ground and dried ginger. Leather in Masque Hemingway really caught me by surprise – it’s one of the most unusual leathers I’ve smelled in years. Quite typical at first it quickly developed a resemblance to tar or even asphalt! Dark, intense and pungent. Cedarwood and patchouli ensure great longevity and depth to this weird yet thrilling perfume.
Considering the fact that Masque Hemingway really puts a heavy accent on vetiver and its multiple facets on one side, and the fact that I’m not a vetiver-frenzy person I think I did quite well wearing the scent for the sake of writing this review (I did it for you! ha!) Without much difficulties I can imagine Hemingway becoming quite popular, especially among men perfume audience since it’s much closer to masculine end of spectrum. The composition was developed by Fanny Bal from IFF. Sillage and longevity are above average. It will be available as eau de parfum in 35 ml bottles.