Life is full of comings and goings. When a long-time friend makes the choice to move far away it is bittersweet. You are happy that they are moving towards something they desire. You are sad because the person who was always there for you won’t be. Your life shifts around as an important person leaves to pursue their path. The final act is the going away party. This is where you get to let the person know they will be missed while sending them forth on a wave of goodwill. Fzotic Pantoum was born of this.
Independent perfumer Bruno Fazzolari was inspired to create Pantoum as part of an LA exhibit “The Going Away Present” at the Kristina Kite Gallery. It was done in honor of 30-plus year resident of LA, Bruce Hainley. He is a poet and art writer who is moving to Houston. The degree to which he will be missed was expressed through this installation. Mr. Fazzolari contributed Pantoum to the party.
Pantoum refers to a style of poetry where the second and fourth lines of a stanza become the first and third lines of the next. According to Mr. Fazzolari on the website it “is a metaphor for new beginnings”. I was curious about the poetry produced from this process and looked a few up online. The best ones use the construct to capture an evolution of syllables through the piece. I was wearing Pantoum on the night I was enjoying finding them. Because of that it struck me that this was like the evolution of a perfume as the opening accords give way to the heart only to come back again before interacting with the base. This is how I experienced Pantoum.
One thing I noticed was how bright the early stages of this are. Mr. Fazzolari is not necessarily a perfumer who shies away from it. Yet the early moments of mandarin, grapefruit, and neroli are probably the most luminous accord he has made. I don’t know if it was intentional, but it is reminiscent of the citrus groves of California. The place which is being left behind.
The heart looks forward through a magnolia centered accord. Magnolia has a creamy scent with a woody underpinning. Mr. Fazzolari uses cedar as an amplifier of that. I know cedar is native to Texas so perhaps this is meant to be the transition from citrus groves to the plains of the Lone Star State.
When I read the pantoum poetry I found they all had a bit of melancholy to them. As the clever wordplay runs its course it is like when the going away party winds down. There are the heartfelt hugs. The promises to keep in touch. The knowledge it won’t be the same. These are captured in a surprisingly emotional oakmoss in the base. This is not a chypre because the oakmoss hides underneath the floral and citrus for a long time. It is only as they fade that it becomes apparent. It carries the soft bite of regret that maybe you forgot to say something.
Pantoum has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Pantoum feels like it contains much of Mr. Fazzolari’s emotions about Mr. Hainley’s departure. I think it is the most exuberant perfume he has made. Which is only fitting when saying goodbye to a friend.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Fzotic.