Annick Goutal L'Ile au Thé
Perfumer Isabelle Doyen; fragrance notes include mandarin, citrus, osmanthus, tea, white musk
Annick Goutal just released L'Ile au Thé, a new unisex fragrance inspired by the South Korean island of Jeju. It's true that Jeju Province produces teas and citrus, but there's nothing about L'Ile au Thé that couldn't be attributed to many locales. I could even "inspire" such a fragrance here in the Pacific Northwest, in Seattle, by wearing a classic Eau de Cologne while drinking a cup of fragrant green tea...or sipping my tea next to the blooming Buddha's hand citrus or kumquat trees in my bedroom. There's nothing "exotic" about L'Ile au Thé; it fits in perfectly with Annick Goutal's recent releases: nice fragrances that don't bare their teeth or muster much emotion beyond a wan smile. (I could almost have used Robin's review of Vent de Folie as the basis of this review.)
L'Ile au Thé goes on smelling of citrus rind and blossoms; it's a happy, if quiet, opening. I detect some fleeting osmanthus and as the fragrance develops I certainly smell the promised tea...a pleasant note that veers between the scent of a liquid cup of green tea and the aroma of dried tea leaves. White musk extends the life of the light citrus and tea notes, without adding any "laundry room" smell.
There's nothing to dislike about L'Ile au Thé; but there's nothing to get excited about either. I hope it's a great seller for the brand...and that Annick Goutal uses the success/proceeds to make something more interesting next time; at this point, I'd be happy with a challenging and quirky limited edition fragrance from Annick Goutal.
Annick Goutal L'Ile au Thé Eau de Toilette (average lasting power/white musk sillage) is available in 50 ml ($105) and 100 ml ($149).
Salvatore Ferragamo Vendemmia
Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin; fragrance notes include citron, grape, peach, fig, jasmine, sandalwood, tonka bean
So far, I've only tried one fragrance from the Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul Quintessential Collection — Vendemmia (inspired by Tuscan vineyards); it was love at first sniff. Vendemmia reminds me of the outdoors: an entire landscape/memory-scape of scent opened up to me as I sniffed it: I remembered my father's coastal Virginia garden in summer, its grape arbor drooping with ripe fruit, a circle of fig and peach trees, a vegetable plot near a wheat field that was bordered by pine woods. I was in charge of cutting the thick (weed-filled) grass, so I'll add the twangy aroma of cut grass to Vendemmia's mix; the grass smelled a bit like fuzzy tomato leaf, melon and bitter dandelion flowers.
Vendemmia tosses notes (and moods) right and left: there's bright, fun, creamy citron, warm, ripe grapes, lively greens (fig leaf, grass), mellow woods and pungent vetiver (or so I think) mixing with toasted tonka beans (this accord smells nutty and edible). Add to these a whiff of sandalwood, a blossoming jasmine vine. I could not keep my nose from my skin; let's say Vendemmia hit a personal "accord."
Do comment if you've tried other perfumes worth sniffing from this collection.
Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul Quintessential Collection Vendemmia is a rich, long-lasting fragrance with excellent sillage; it's available in 75 ml Eau de Toilette; $190.
Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra
(centered around the aroma of ambergris)
Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra (from the brand's Ingredient Collection) is a sorbet version of classic (ice cream) amber. Colonia Ambra is linear, but within its sleek formula are interesting twists: a drop of motor oil; sheer, almost talc-y, leather; and bracing ambergris (think rich amber diluted with equal parts sea water and vintage/barbershop after shave lotion). This is one amber that would be great to wear in summertime (more "formal" than your typical summer citrus). Only far into the dry down will you detect vanillic-patchouli-musky/woody amber (and it's subdued and sheer). Colonia Ambra is one "ambergris" perfume without annoying/typical "marine" notes; it would be a great substitute for your average sport fragrance (though a bit pricey, I admit).
Acqua di Parma Colonia Ambra Eau de Cologne Concentrée (good lasting power and sillage) is available in 100 ml ($220) or 180 ml ($276).