One of my very favorite perfumes in my collection is the discontinued Brioni which came out in 2009. It was one of the few perfumes which I completely fell in love with from almost the first moment I put it on my skin. It was based on the Italian luxury men’s suit line of the same name. I have never owned a Brioni suit but the perfume I have worn over and over again. I don’t speak about it often because it is discontinued and I might be the only person left who remembers it.
I was very excited to see an article in Women’s Wear Daily in October announcing the release of a new Brioni fragrance. In the original fragrance the perfumer and creative direction behind it was unknown in this new version two of my favorite people would be involved. Brendan Mullane the creative director of Brioni would also collaborate with Raymond Matts as they asked perfumer Frank Voelkl to bring their ideas to fruition. There was one quote by Mr. Mullane, in the article, which gave me a lot of hope for this new fragrance, “we didn’t want it to smell like a best seller”. That is a promise I have seen broken over and over again as I end up smelling something all too derivative. In this case the entire creative team lived up to Mr. Mullane’s aspirations.
When I walk into a tailor to buy a suit I really enjoy the smell of the fresh pressed fabric with a hint of wood and leather underneath. That would have been the easy way to go in constructing a perfume based on a line of men’s clothing. The only one of those scents M. Voelkl tries to re-create is that of the crisp pressed fabric. The rest of the perfume is as unique as the brand with which it shares its name.
Brioni opens on a brilliant mix of lemon tinted with lime. The first few minutes is all about the lemon. The lime adds a bit of tart along with blackcurrant buds adding a shade of green. This is a lively opening which leads to a floral heart. The core of that heart is magnolia with its woody floralcy. M. Voelkl chooses to complement it with violet, orris, and juniper berry. The magnolia soars and expands with the other three notes adding texture as it opens up over a few hours. Brioni ends on a fresh pressed fabric accord. Cedar forms the foundation of this accord but it is the other notes which make it stand out as Laotian oud, saffron, and licorice come together to form one of the cleanest richest fabric accords I have ever encountered.
Brioni has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Even with the excellent creative team behind this new version of Brioni I expected to like it; but not as much as I did the original. I am very surprised to like it every bit as much as that older version. I am also very happy it is an entirely new creation bearing little similarity. It means that both of them can be part of my regular rotation. Brioni is as unique and beautiful as the suits which also carry the same name.
Disclosure: this review was based on a sample I received at Sniffapalooza Spring fling 2015.