One of the most exciting trends at Esxence 2016 was the work from the younger generation of perfumers. For any art form to remain vital there needs to be a steady flow of new visions from younger frames of reference. This has led to each of these perfumers finding their own stylistic method. With perfumer Luca Maffei I am beginning to believe he has a desire to source new raw materials and use them. He is like a painter given a new color to work with as he realizes where it might fit. In his first perfume for Masque Milano called L’Attesa this shows.
For this latest act of the ongoing perfumed opera creative directors Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi take us to Act III Scene I. L’Attesa is the beginning of the grand romance which will evolve into Act III Scene IV otherwise known as the previous release Tango. Tango is that moment when the passion spills over. L’Attesa is the time where that passion is born in the intense wash of first love. The concept was to make an iris perfume where the axis of iris would remain throughout the entire development. This is not an easy effect to achieve. It is costly as it takes a lot of expensive iris raw materials. Too much of any one ingredient has the possibility of overwhelming anything else. The solution they hit upon was to use three different sources of iris and to stack them upon each other. This allowed for an evolving iris effect throughout the time I wore L’Attesa emphasizing different parts of iris as a raw material. That is the clever technical effect. Sig. Maffei’s new toy is a CO2 extract of beer. He uses it as the linchpin of a fermenting champagne accord that is an ideal match for the iris in the early stages.
Riccardo Tedeschi, Luca Maffei, Alessandro Brun (l. to r.)
L’Attesa opens with the very familiar powdery iris effect bolstered with some neroli. The champagne accord follows right away. When I say champagne accord you’re probably thinking fizzy aldehydes, a bit of alcoholic bite, maybe a little tonka. The finished product. Sig. Maffei instead wanted to capture the champagne at an earlier stage; when it was fermenting. While it was flat, a little sour, and yeasty. If you think that sounds unpleasant you won’t once you try L’Attesa. The beer extract provides the sourness of hops and the bread-like yeastiness. The rest of it is coming up with a flat white grape effect. The fermenting champagne accord turns out to be a compelling partner for the powdery orris. Pulling it in a less pretty direction; no less interesting for that. It then sets up the use of the more precious solid iris extracts in the heart and base. Once you move to something like orris butter the powdery is dialed way down in favor of the root and rhizome orris is actually compounded from. As L’Attesa moves into the heart this earthier iris sets up shop alongside tuberose and ylang ylang. It provides a traditional floral heart, extremely decadent, as these three blustery florals achieve a balance. The base continues the deepening of the earthiness vibe of the iris to which a refined leather accord is added. This is the beginning of the tango as the iris and leather begin to approach each other knowing they are in the early stages of love.
L'Attesa has 12-14 hour longevity with moderate sillage.
I have spent a couple of days just luxuriating in the long-tail iris that is L’Attesa. It is a perfume tailor made for those days when you want to loll around the house. Sig. Brun and Sig. Tedechi are trusting their brand to many of the best young perfumers working. L’Attesa shows that faith has been rewarded again. Sig. Maffei has created a signature perfume which exemplifies all of his best qualities as a perfumer.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample from Masque Milano at Esxence 2016.