European perfume can be an escape into an ideal landscape and imaginary life that somehow still calls on all my personal Western Hemisphere scent memories most intimately. There is a cultural connection but also there's a grounded reality to many modern Euro niche perfumes these days, calling straight to the primal scent pleasure centers. I'm not the only one, as these perfumes have drawn avid perfume fanatics like moths to flame. Refined and sophisticated, they are also intimate and distinctively individualist.
Russian Tea by Masque Milano hit me immediately as pleasurable, but then directly fractal-ed into complexity and multi-dimensional aromatic richness. There's the black tea astringency and liveliness, a hint of mint and raspberry to uplift the serious darkness, and the lightest shade of black pepper to tickle the nose along with black tea. All together the effect is something like an incense but one burnt for comfort and quiet personal pleasure.
The constant tea drinking that takes place in the great 19th Century Russian novels makes another dimensional reference for those who have taken an emotional plunge into that literature, and associate cups of tea with long sessions reading miraculously beautiful books. It's a deep Eastern black tea, no citrus, more like an oolong and faint white smoke touched with mild sweetness. I know my mother used to sweeten tea with raspberry jam instead of sugar sometimes, and that may be why I find the floral fruit addition in this black tea perfume so true to life.
The notes are listed as mint, black pepper, raspberry, black tea, magnolia, everlasting flower, leather accord, incense, birchwood, and cistus-labdanum. It's a beautifully enveloping velvety fragrance, that would work anywhere and for both sexes, brought out best by cooler temperatures.
Myrrh Casati by Mona di Orio is another perfume that is brought out by coolness. A clear fruity evening shade of darkness, bittersweet, an herbal potency of many layers, with the character of an incense made for overcast days. Imbues personal space with elegance, luxury, sophistication and mystery. Based on the character of the Marchesa Casati, an eccentric Italian aristocrat of the early 20th Century who was the embodiment of creative Deco luxury and fashion.
This perfume could bring you into the fine leather interior of a great Italian sports car, or a precious wood paneled cabin on an utterly luxurious ocean liner of the past, where everything was made with exquisite craftsmanship and materials. This perfume is like a modern take on an olfactory artifact of that period in the luxury decorative arts. Its concentrated form makes you take in all the details.
The notes are listed as Peruvian red berries, pink pepper, Guatemalan cardamom, safron, licorice, Siamese benzoin, myrrh and incense from Somalia, Indonesian patchouli, Indian cypriol nagarmotha, and guaiac wood. A perfume for any occasion, for both sexes, it creates an aura of intelligent sensuality.
Figue Fruitee by Au Pays de la Fleur d'Oranger brings you right to the perfect countryside, sunny and fecund, peaceful and flowering. A sense of well being, pure air laden with the scents of the country, the mild sweetness of aromatic fruit. Conveys the warm energy of late summer in concentrated form, a way to breathe in a traditional corner of the French countryside and become one with that life.
One of a suite on the iconic perfume materials of the south of France, by an old perfume family from Grasse using the skills of long tradition. The most prominent notes are listed as grapefruit, fig, walnut, lime, cedar, leather, musk, plum and benzoin. The beauty of this perfume experience is the sense of mildness and balance, like perfect balmy weather, that automatically relaxes the body and soul. Can be worn at any time by anyone. It would convey something definitely pleasant about the wearer, as an appreciation of cultivated and refined earthiness.
These are three perfume pleasures that are capable of carrying you away to another world and time, pulling off that most skillful of olfactory magic tricks. A lovely treat for those who need it, or appreciate their refinement enough to simply want what they offer. All three concentrate on carrying you deep inside a beautiful experience.
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Disclosure: Received these three as samples from Twisted Lily in Brooklyn. I am so grateful that they allowed me to browse and try everything, and then obtain a few samples for deeper and longer examination. It's a scene of discovery and delight every time.
My opinions are personal and not compensated.
Images above taken from the perfumer's websites.
Copyright 2015, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.