I do not exaggerate; at this moment, I have SIXTEEN perfumes on my desk that ‘deserve’ reviews…for summer. The best I’ll be able to do (summer is going by fast) is combine these fragrances into four or five reviews; so today I’m writing about three fragrances I like and never got around to reviewing when they were released.
Robert Piguet Casbah
Robert Piguet Casbah (from the Nouvelle Collection and “dedicated” to Morocco) was developed by perfumer Aurélien Guichard and includes notes of cedar, iris, pepper, nutmeg, angelica root, vetiver, tobacco leaf, smoky floral accord and incense.
Casbah is a rich, leather-incense fragrance (it would fit in perfectly with the Comme des Garçons incense line). As I sniff Casbah, I detect pepper, nutmeg, smoke and vetiver (while wearing Casbah, the spice notes sometimes blend with the incense smoke to create the aroma of an exotic, well-spiced dish cooking on a hearth). Casbah is a well-blended incense fragrance; the note that stands out most forcefully is leather (a smooth, semi-sweet leather). As I wear Casbah, I notice a shift from the early “food-y” stage of the fragrance to a more “churchy” incense scent near the end of the perfume’s development. Casbah dries down to slightly bitter, talc-y incense ash.
Casbah is a fine incense fragrance, but at this stage of the perfume game, fine incense fragrances are a dime a dozen (or more like $1440 a dozen).
Robert Piguet Casbah Eau de Parfum is $150 for 100 ml; for that price you could buy two of the quirkier Comme des Garçons incense fragrances. For buying information, see the listing for Robert Piguet under Perfume Houses.
Nasomatto has just launched Pardon by perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri. Pardon is an oud fragrance with additional notes of chocolate, tonka bean, cinnamon, ‘flowers’ and sandalwood.
Pardon presents a streamlined, smooth/sweet interpretation of decidedly UN-raw “oud”; Pardon’s oud has been scrubbed of its medicinal aspects and what muskiness there is in the fragrance is vegetal in nature, not animalic. Pardon’s rich scent of “tailored” oud is accompanied by a hint of underlying “smoke” and dessert notes: some creamy vanilla/tonka and a touch of (almost “cool”) cinnamon/clove. Finally, in the base, there’s clean patchouli and wood notes (reminiscent of those in Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris).
I don’t detect flowers in Pardon…no matter how many times I’ve tried it. If floral notes are present, they are submerged under the heavier oud-spice-wood notes to the point of invisibility. Pardon isn’t as striking as other Nasomatto perfumes I’ve enjoyed (Black Afgano) or loved (China White); the overall scent of Pardon is not unusual or “new,” but good. Pardon is a pleasant, well-made wood-oud fragrance, suitable for men or women, and perfect for cool weather wear.
Pardon has mild sillage, but it’s ‘dense’ and it lasts and lasts on skin. Pardon’s density is my main quibble with the perfume; the fragrance could have used a ‘spark’ or some ‘fizz’ to rouse it from its sleepy, too-comfortable mood.
Nasomatto Pardon Extrait de Parfum is $165 for 30 ml; purchased from the Nasomatto website you can get 4 ml for 38€ (and save about $15 on the 30 ml bottle, even with shipping costs). For other buying options, see the listing for Nasomatto under Perfume Houses.
Linari Fuoco Infernale
Linari Fuoco Infernale (Purgatory), by perfumer Egon Oelkers, includes fragrance notes of myrtle, carnation, marjoram, bouleau absolue, labdanum extract, cinnamon, wormwood, iris, tonka bean, olibanum, amber, white musk, leather, cedar and gurjun oil.
Fuoco Infernale begins with the sprightly aroma of myrtle, and perhaps marjoram, mixing with “raw” cedar and incense-leather. There is a sheer, sweet, “blonde” wood aroma present and I’m not sure if it’s the gurjun balsam or a fragrance accord of cedar-wormwood. Anyway, it’s nice. The overall fragrance of Fuoco Infernale in the early stages is invigorating and “hopeful” (it makes me feel good…so maybe that’s the feeling of “purgatory?”)
In mid-development, Fuoco Infernale becomes ‘hazy’, producing a pleasant fog of clove and sweet woods (especially birch); I LOVE this phase. I braced myself for disappointment as the fragrance wore down because the moment I saw “white musk” in the ingredients list I had ‘scent visions’ of fresh laundry flapping on the cedar and birch trees. It doesn’t happen…no smarmy white musk arrives to ruin the perfume. The last phase of Fuoco Infernale smells of summery sweet clover tinged with ‘clear’, tonka-dusted amber.
Linari Fuoco Infernale Eau de Parfum is the most interesting and complex of the perfumes reviewed here today, and the only one that has tempted me to buy it. Fuoco Infernale is 140€ for 100 ml; for buying information, see the listing for Linari under Perfume Houses.
Three perfumes down…thirteen more to go!