Heading into 2020 it seems like vetiver is having a moment; again. It waxes and wanes in popularity due to how ubiquitous it becomes. I’ve never tired of good vetiver fragrances because a good perfumer has many tools to make it feel different. Mark Buxton is a good perfumer which means Linari Drago Nero should be a good vetiver perfume.
Linari is one of those underappreciated perfume brands. Creative director Rainer Diersche releases on an infrequent schedule which might be a reason it isn’t mentioned more. I have usually found the time between new fragrances has proven to lead to better results. For Drago Nero he again collaborates with Mr. Buxton. They have been working together on the last four Linari releases since 2012.
For this black dragon they chose to use two sources of vetiver. A cleaner grassier Haitian version and a smoky one from Java. They tend to provide the foundation between the early moments of Drago Nero and the latter stages.
When I saw the ingredient list, I saw pineapple listed which made me groan a little bit. Mr. Buxton instead uses a tart green apple to provide a crisp green fruit to complement the similarly clean green of the Haitian vetiver. There is also a citrus-like undercurrent in this vetiver. With mandarin that quality is given a bit more prominence especially in the earliest moments. A rich orange blossom provides the bridge between the two vetivers. The floral sweetness captures that citrus thread in the Haitian vetiver. The slight indolic core of the orange blossom grabs those tendrils of smoke rising from the Java vetiver. As Drago Nero resets itself a strong amber and woody mix shows the eventual destination. Sandalwood and Guaiac wood provide the woody part. Ambrarome gives a drier amber effect over the final phase.
Drago Nero has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Drago Nero is a different vetiver perfume for the shift which happens around the orange blossom. I liked the tonal change as it made me feel like I was wearing a different perfume than what I had put on in the morning. That made it more a shape-shifting vetiver chameleon than a roaring black dragon. If you are looking for a new vetiver for the spring Drago Nero is a good choice.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Linari.
The Holidays are all about the traditions. In other words the expected. In my family if there is something missing it can cause heartburn. Additions are welcome though. Holiday traditions can grow bigger just don’t make them smaller. There is a comfort to those things we are used to. The same is true of perfume. I generally am happy to see a perfume which shows me something different. There are fragrances which just want to execute a classic style; Ciro Columbine is one of those.
Ciro is another of those resurrected heritage brands from the first half of the last century. Overseen by owner-creative director Rainer Diersche it is choosing the path of new perfumes with heritage names. Since only a charmed few will have ever heard of a brand which stopped making perfume in 1961 those names shouldn’t carry too much weight. Hr. Diersche is not new to the fragrance game. He has also been the creative force behind Linari since 2008. He began Ciro last year with an initial collection of six. Columbine is the first I’ve tried but based on it I am going to seek out the others.
When I saw Columbine I was thinking the flower. Hr. Diersche was thinking about the heroine of Italian Commedia dell’Arte. The lover of the more well-known Harlequin. Hers was to provide honesty through lines which pierced while also engaged in the seduction of Harlequin. She was beloved for her truth and beauty. Hr. Diersche collaborates with perfumer Alexandra Carlin to capture this multi-faceted character.
Columbine opens with a mixture of genial mandarin and acerbic tagete; capturing the playful sharp tongue of its inspiration. Baie rose and neroli come next. The neroli creates a floral version of the mandarin while the baie rose finds the tagete and gives it an herbal contrast. Columbine begins to shift as tobacco and osmanthus provide the next layer. This is a balanced pairing as the leatheriness of the osmanthus and the narcotic sweetness of the tobacco find an amplified richness. It gives way to a straight suede leather accord which gives a slight animalic tinge to things. Musks give that tinge a deeper shade. The sweetness of benzoin provides the finishing touches.
Columbine has 14-16 hour longevity and average sillage.
I like the idea of a heritage brand making contemporary versions of classic styles. Columbine does a great job of this. Sometimes I just want a perfume done well. Columbine exceeded my expectations.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.