When I was in graduate school my roommate was heading to USC in Los Angeles, California. I did my first cross-country drive with him. We traveled along I-40 in the southern tier of states. We stopped for the night in the northern part of Texas near the panhandle of Oklahoma. This was a leisurely drive, so it was late afternoon in August when we got out of the car. This was my first experience of the wide-open spaces in the middle of the country. We had been noticing the farm fields on either side of the highway. Now that we were next to them the late afternoon carried the scent of wheat fields on the verge of harvest to us. This was a mixture of green and something golden but not like hay or dried grass. The best I can do is it was cereal-like. This is not a typical thing to dedicate a new perfume to. Frassai El Descanso takes its turn at it.
Creative director-owner Natalia Outeda has looked to her native Argentina for inspiration for all her perfumes. For this latest collection of three perfumes, the El Sur Collection, she is focused on the southern part of her home. Each perfume celebrates an indigenous subject; leather, rose, and in the case of El Descanso, wheat. In the accompanying description she speaks of the “golden wheat fields” of the Pampas. Based on what I smell in the perfume I think they must smell a lot like the wheat fields in this country.
For this collection Sra. Outeda collaborates with perfumer Irina Burlakova. I will review the other two perfumes because I enjoyed the entire collection, but it was El Descanso which captured my attention first. What impresses me is that they found that combination of the green and the grain so ideally.
The green is represented by an accord of the botanical musk of ambrette and watery green galbanum. If you’ve ever been in a farm field of growing things you will recognize this. It is the fulgent green of irrigated growing things. The ambrette adds the presence of the soil they are growing in. Then we shift to the crop. Mme Burlakova uses bran absolute and ombu leaves to form the field of waving stalks of tightly packed kernels of grain. This is a closed in accord which rides on top of the galbanum and ambrette top accord. A dry woody duo of cedar and sandalwood add in that sense of late afternoon under the summer sun to complete the composition.
El Descanso has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
In these days where I am spending too much time inside the house any perfume which can ameliorate that is appreciated. El Descanso takes me to a wheat field in summer. You can take your pick which country you find your open fields in.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample supplied by Frassai.