Near our place in the Florida Keys there was a marina with a well-kept secret. If you visited, you would be able to go into the little grill to buy a box lunch from Richard before heading out on your fishing charter. Richard was a man who had found his place in the world on the string of islands at the tip of Florida. What you had to learn was once every three months or so he would have a special invitation only dinner at the grill. Richard was a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef who wanted to occasionally exercise his skills beyond the box lunch crowd. These were nurturing community affairs where the locals would gather. It was here where I would have my first experience with all the classic French cuisine. Even after eating multiple courses I knew to always save room for dessert. Of all the dinners I attended there was one dessert which has never been matched. A delicate vanilla custard with raspberries drizzled with an orange oil, a sprig of orange blossom on top. I hadn’t thought of this in years until I tried Memo Sintra.
Sintra is the latest addition to the Art Land collection. This is the series which evokes these beautiful locales. Usually I am along for the ride. Except this time I couldn’t imagine myself in Portugal. I was in a marina grill in Florida. Creative director Clara Molloy works with perfumer Philippe Paparella-Paris on what I experience as a gourmand confection.
If there was one part of this which took me right back to the time and place it is the petitgrain which is right on top. This has a more pronounced green to it than I am used to. It is called mandarin petitgrain in the ingredient list, so I wonder if it is just a different source which creates the different profile. The orange blossom comes next and it is like removing the sprig on top of my dessert and holding it to my nose. For a moment it is all the flower and the citrus. But now comes the gourmand accord but not all together at first. Some raspberries pave the way. Then the vanilla begins to swirl in creamy spirals as a hint of cinnamon flows through. It firms up into that custard I remember. Some patchouli adds some cocoa-like contrast in the later stages.
Sintra has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
This is an example of that special effect fragrance can have. When a scent jogs loose a memory. I had a big smile when I was wearing this. Mrs. C asked me what was amusing me. I told her it was the perfume I was wearing. I didn’t share the story why. Just like Richard’s dinners Sintra is a covert pleasure of memories.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Memo.