If you imagine the environment which might produce someone interested in scent Corsica would be one. The small island of France is known for its geography known as the Maquis. It is a mixture of scented herbs and flowers which give Corsica the sobriquet, “The Scented Isle”. One of the pioneers of modern perfumery, Francois Coty, was born there. One of the best current practitioners of modern perfumery, Marc-Antoine Corticchiato, is also from the island. He has released a few perfumes inspired by his home; Parfum D’Empire Immortelle Corse is the most recent.
M. Corticchiato picks out immortelle as the component of the maquis to feature here because that is what surrounds his place there. I adore immortelle on the rare occasions it is featured as a keynote. The reason it is rarely showcased, I presume, is it has a strong maple syrup-like quality which might not be pleasing to some. It is exactly that which draws me to it. As I’ve become more familiar with the ingredient, I’ve learned it is more than that syrupy scent. M. Corticchiato used it as a keynote in his take on an aquatic last year, Acqua di Scandola. It was one of the few times I found the immortelle distracting as it seemed forced to compete with a mineralic oceanic accord without finding any harmonic. In Immortelle Corse that is all dispensed with in a simple construct where the immortelle is featured in all its midsummer glory.
If its summer the sun is high in the sky. In a perfume of that time of year lemon evokes the sunshine which is where we start. A bracingly tart lemon is given a sweet patina. It reminds me of the sugar covered lemon wedges called lemon drops. The fruit changes to a more burnished gold as apricot takes over from the lemon. It is here where the immortelle makes its first appearance. The apricot embraces the syrupy nature. It makes the immortelle seem to be bursting at the seams. The thing that I’ve come to notice about immortelle is a hay-like quality underneath the sweetness. M. Corticchiato uses saffron to tease out that thread while amplifying it. It gives a wide-open space feel to Immortelle Corse. A final bit of velveteen moss adds a plush green base to finish this summer walk on the Maquis.
Immortelle Corse has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
I’ve never been to Corsica but M. Corticchiato has been familiarizing me with the scent of place through his Corsica inspired perfumes. Of all the ones he has done it is wherever in the Maquis the immortelle blooms so fully to inspire Immortelle Corse I would want to visit first.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.