The greatest cities in the world carry signature smells with them as well. It is interesting to see what a perfume which wants to capture one of those cities chooses as their interpretation. Every once in a while my scent memory of a place and the imagination of a fragrance creative team coincide. The new A Lab on Fire One Night in Rio effectively captures my memory of many nights in Rio de Janiero.
More accurately One Night in Rio captures the smell of the early morning. Something I learned in my time in Rio was the night ends when you say it ends. As long as the party wants to keep going it rolls on. In my late 20’s this was a lifestyle I could get used to. Most nights ended with my group of friends walking home with false dawn on the horizon. The smell of those early mornings was especially sharp as the night blooming flowers overlapped with the blooms of the morning. I am not sure whether perfumer Jean-Marc Chaillan has ever been to Rio but this was one of my favorite natural floral scents. It was a way to signal this particular night was over.
Creative director Carlos Kusubayashi has taken some of the most commercial mainstream perfumers and allowed them a bit more latitude than they might get in a more commercial brief. For One Night in Rio M. Chaillan takes that leeway and fills it in with tropical fruit and flowers. It makes for a very sweet composition.
One Night in Rio opens on one of those flowers of the dawn as orange blossom rises up first. M. Chaillan adds a little shade with a judicious pinch of pepper mainly to draw you to the more repressed indoles present in the orange blossom. The heart is where the gardenia of the night and the magnolia of the morning create that shank of the evening accord I was describing above. M. Chaillan lets these two florals intertwine and samba a bit. Passionfruit provides a bit of colorful complement. The final phase is the smell of amber and musk as the exertions of the night come home with a bit of sweaty skin made less skanky with some vanilla.
One Night in Rio has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I have always found something magical about those hours where the night gives way to the light. I especially enjoy them when I approach them from the nightside. M. Chaillan has produced a fragrance which captures that transition in a place known as Rio.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Twisted Lily.
Economy of expression can be a difficult trick for most anyone. When it comes to perfumery the Durante family knows how to consistently make fragrances which sing with three to four notes. Their line of perfume is called Profvmvm and it has produced thirty of these minimal note/maximum enjoyment perfume since their first releases in 1996. The thirty-first release is called Sorriso and continues this style of perfume making.
Sorriso means smile in Italian and it made me smile as one who loves chocolate and orange together. Orange and dark chocolate are my favorite combination as the sweet of the orange contrasts with the bite of the higher concentration cacao chocolate to make for a savory combination. The note list for Sorriso is brief as always; bitter orange, bitter chocolate, exotic woods. When I read that I expected my candy bar to materialize from the atomizer. That isn’t what happened and it made me give up my mental image and really pay attention to what was there.
Despite the listing of bitter chocolate it really seems like it is more cocoa powder on display in Sorriso. It is cocoa powder lavishly spread over a tray of orange wedges. Despite the note listing describing both the chocolate and orange as “bitter” I found them to be on their best behavior, more optimistic than jaded. The orange was juicy with a pronounced sweet over the tart. The cocoa powder adds a desiccated quality with a smooth chocolate sweetness with only the slightest hint of an edge. Chocolate in perfume can sometimes be a bit overwhelming and the choice to stay more towards the cocoa powder kind of chocolate makes Sorriso a little more approachable, I think. The woods come into play very late and they sort of sneak up on the orange and chocolate. Both times I wore Sorriso it felt like they just sort of arrived out of nowhere but they keep things soft and tilted towards the sweeter, creamier side of woods.
Sorriso has all-day longevity and moderate sillage.
In a world where communicating in 140 characters is lauded so should Profvmvm and the Durantes be praised for also making a complete olfactory statement in three to four notes. Sometimes that is all you need to make someone smile with delight. Sorriso does just that especially for those who like a little orange with their chocolate.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample purchased from Surrender to Chance.
I think that every perfumer I have met has made something that I truly adore. There are a select few of them though that just seem to create perfume that never fails to make me smile. One of the perfumers in that category is Cecile Zarokian. She is early in her commercial career but she is slowly but surely building an impressive portfolio. The latest entry is also the latest fragrance from Laboratorio Olfattivo called Kashnoir.
Laboratorio Olfattivo is an Italian brand which is dedicated to artistic perfumery. They give the perfumers who work for them a lot of leeway when they are creating a fragrance for them. It has really brought out the best in many of the perfumers who have created fragrances for them. Mme Zaokian is just the most recent to join those who have enjoyed the freedom to create without a marketing group overseeing everything.
According to the press kit Kashnoir is inspired by “narcotic flowers, psychotropic herbs, and haunted spices”. There is also a lot of description of it being similar to a search in the East for a mysterious and lethal drug. This is what is wrong with reading the words first as I was expecting something like opium den chic. Mme Zarokian had something much different in mind. She takes an ingénue of a floral note in orange blossom and sends her on a psychedelic trip.
Kashnoir starts off very innocent and bright with a halo of lemon and lavender over the genteel orange blossom. This is something we’ve experienced many times before. Coriander signals the change to something a little more “noir”. This is also a greener coriander than I’m used to in a fragrance. It gives it even more of a roughhewn quality than it usually adds to a fragrance. A ridiculous amount of patchouli and benzoin take the orange blossom even deeper into unusual territory. This combination of deeply resinous notes almost seems to bring out the indolic qualities of the orange blossom to a more pronounced level. It is more likely that it is the only thing left to stand up to this set of powerful notes. I often remind people that orange blossom is a white flower and does contain an indolic core. With Kashnoir I think I can actually have a fragrance to show the truth of that. Heliotrope and vanilla combine to give a soothing almond milk like finish to this trip.
Laboratorio Olfattivo Kashnoir has overnight longevity and above average sillage.
Cecile Zarokian has done a masterful job of taking orange blossom and finding a way for me to view it in an entirely different way. It is a trip well worth taking.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample from Aus Liebe zum Duft.