Discovery Kit by Roberto Dario

Roberto Dario is an Italian all natural perfumer who switched his career in chemistry for his passion in perfumery.  So far he has seven scents in his collection. His line is not a marketing based concept where each perfume represents a certain fragrance family to fit the widest possible customer’s preferences. Like for example four of his seven scents are featuring lavender in their name. Who would do something like this nowadays? I guess only a passion driven  perfumer with love for the beauty of the ingredients.

Recently he offered a Discovery Kit, a sample set containing 2 ml of each of his seven perfume in dab vials. A perfect  opportunity to try them all, listen to their stories and see how far they can seduce you. More about Roberto and his scents is on his website: http://esperienzeolfattive.blogspot.nl/

My absolute favorite from his collection is DolceDesiderio. Inspired by a story of seduction from the 17th century where a French Madame “enjoys” her younger lover. The tale is interpreted with the notes of rosewood, Bulgarian rose, Turkish rose, geranium, labdanum, patchouli, benzoin and vanilla.
Dolcedesiderio doesn’t pretend to be a very complex scent, but it has a very surprising classical, almost vintage feeling reminding me of Jicky and some aspects of Shalimar, Bal à Versaille and Habanita from the past.  It rises an illusion of something I smelled before – somewhere in my childhood, but can’t remember anymore.  It smells familiar, but doesn’t let me to remember the name… The simple beauty of natural raw materials suggests indeed that it could be a perfume from the 17th century. And I don’t have any doubts that it could be used by Madame to seduce her lovers.

The start of Dolcedesiderio is a bit too loud as if the components are arguing with each other for the right to lead. The winner is red rose with sharp geranium based thorns reminding me of Madam’s bright red lipstick she uses for seduction. But once the perfume settles on my skin, it becomes very pleasing. In fact it blends very well with my skin turning into a warm fragrance of a sensual, slightly powdery rose sweetened by vanilla and balsams inside a classic warm amber accord. It becomes a very warm, soft and romantic scent. Very attractive and seductive in that sweet old-fashioned way. I really love how it opens on my skin as well as my skin loves vanilla and balsams in perfumes.


Gris Clair: the shades of grey

The color grey. Is it a perfect balance in the world of colors when none of them is dominating and all of them are the same? Or is it a result of eternal contest between the light and the darkness who reached their compromise in grey? Is it a color at all? Or just a shade? Or a shadow?

Gris Clair by Serge Lutens could be the answer to those questions. Smelling it reveals a beautiful picture in grey to my mind. I see seashore on a grey day with taupe coloured sand, steel blue water, dark arsenic tinted clouds on the horizon and slate rocks covered with xanadu coloured moss. I observe the glowing embers covered with ashes in a silver censer and sense the silent calmness of the world around me. I burn some incense consisted of dusty sweet exotic resins and greyish lavender blossoms and inhale the scent to complete the ritual...

Serge Lutens is always very laconic, but also precise describing his perfumes on his website. “Lavender dust” – it’s all what you read there. No fragrant pyramid. But if I could make one myself it would look like the following:

Top notes: The calming freshness of lavender blossoms. All shades of grey from smoked mauve to slate grey.

Heart notes: The sweetness of lavender absolute filled with the warmth of ambery notes and strengthened with bitter coumarinic sweetness of Tonka beans.

Base notes: The bitterness of lavender ash, the dust of crushed lavender herb, metallic coldness and the loneliness of moss on a grey rock.

I love to wear Gris Clair on a grey day to remind myself that grey doesn’t have to be sad. It’s interesting to see that lavender perfume can be simple, but elegant and sophisticated. I love the feeling of calmness I get wearing this scent. And I really love the compliments I get when people notices the trail of Gris Clair. Sometimes it’s funny to see them a little bit confused as they smell something very familiar, but something they can’t recognize in a glimpse…


The day of whispering to orange blossom

When making a perfume, you can do it according to the laws of chemistry or choose an alchemical path. He made it both at the same time.

Image source: http://hersacredcauldron.com/

Today he was making a fleur d’oranger cologne. He kneaded the thick leathery skin of green bergamot and mixed it together with bright sunlight concentrated on the surface of sweet orange skin. He seasoned them both with green coldness of shadow from under the orange blossom tree. It was not enough, so he grabbed the rest of the citrus fruits, mixed them with one single ray of sunlight and squeezed them in a firm grip. He opened his hand and found a shiny drop of concentrated essence of summer which he carefully put into a cauldron. He distilled the essence of white flowers, bergamot and lavender, thickened it and filtered. He separated freshness from sweetness and collected them into flasks. He picked up some tender rose petals, lend a drop of sweetness and left the rest to dry out to collect the rustle of dry petals. Later he was catching warm sweet breeze playing between the orange blossoms. Doing that he picked one of them to ooze a small drop of warm dark honey that warmed a mixture and colored it deeply vermilion. What next? Jasmine of course… He took just a small handful of fragrant jasmine flowers and filled them up with sunflecks reflected from the dew drops on white petals and invisible aura from the depth of the flower. He needed a twist, do he took a carnation flower and put his fingers between the petals right to the core. He found a kernel and pulled it out in one elegant move. More twist. What can give some magic? He opened a dusty bottle of Hungarian Queen water. He smiled as he remember the night when he got it. At night he was secretly sneaked into the Queen’s room to dip some water out of her bath. He had to stand still behind the screen for a long time fighting the sleep. And he was almost caught in the garden when he stopped at the twinkling blossoms of Queen of the Night. He measured a sip from the bottle and gently stirred the brew. Later he smirked and added some cold green jasmine tea from his cup. Just a spontaneous silly move lead by the chance. Than he was sitting near his cauldron and whispering to his perfume till he started to notice bright orange sparkles in the darkness of depth…

Of course I can describe it much easier: Bergamot oil, Sweet orange Oil, Petitgrain Bigarade Oil, Neroli oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Litsea Cubeba oil, Linalool, Linalyl Acetate, Nerol, Neryl Acetate, Nerolidol, Methyl Anthranilate, Oranger Crystals, Hedione, Ylang Ylang Oil, Jasmine Absolute, C-12 Lauric aldehyde, Clove absolute, PEA, Rosemary tincture and Green Jasmine Tea tincture as a twist.

Either way, the result is an eau de cologne with fleur d’orange note, sparkling bright citrusy start and floral aura leading into dark depth. A kind of cologne with a dark twist.