When I was a boy all of the traveling I did to Europe was in a seat at my local movie theatre. I especially liked the movies which took place in one city as at that age I treated them as documentaries. At the Miracle Theatre they used to show older movies as matinees. One of my mother’s favorite movies was “Roman Holiday”. Director William Wyler created one of the great romantic comedies of all-time. Much of that was also down to the two stars, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. If you asked the eight-year old me I would also have pointed out that the Vespa scooter they rode around on was also an important member of the cast. There was a Vespa dealer right next to the Miracle and whenever I walked by those shiny scooters lined up I would think of Rome and wayward princesses looking for freedom. I was reminded of those memories because independent perfumer Maria McElroy was inspired by those same things to create her new release Aroma M Voluptuous Nostalgia Perfume.
I believe this is the first release not inspired by Geisha and Japan for Ms. McElroy. Voluptuous Nostalgia Perfume has a combination of a 1950’s vibe along with the gentle feeling of motion as if it is its own fragrant scooter careening through the senses.
Ms. McElroy conjures up a spring day by opening with muguet and gardenia. Muguet is a veritable symbol of that time of year. It would have worked by itself. By choosing gardenia to partner it Ms. McElroy conjures up the feel of the big floral perfumes of the mid-20th century. It is fresh and lush as the Vespa zigs and zags between them. It all turns slightly less heady as violet predominates in the heart. This is a moment where we gently pass through the cobblestoned streets enjoying the arms wrapped around my waist. Things begin to pick up speed again as a warm amber provides the rotary around which we will travel picking up ambergris and tonka before zooming off. About an hour in it is easy to still pick up all of the notes I’ve mentioned as the trip to all of them becoming apparent is fairly rapid. It isn’t linear but the development does move with alacrity. What forms is a pastiche of fragrant harmonics finding a place of equilibrium.
Voluptuous Nostalgia Perfume has 10-12 hour longevity and almost no sillage, it is very much a skin scent.
Ms. McElroy succeeded in taking me back to watching Ms. Hepburn and Mr. Peck zooming through 1953 Rome. Which has made me want to go call up Roman Holiday on Netflix. I think I’ll spray some Voluptuous Nostalgia Perfume as my scent track for that viewing.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Aroma M.