I feel as if I’m repeating a Public Service Announcement every month when I remind you to go to Zara to try their fragrances. Part of this is the brand has an irritating habit of releasing a lot of perfume all at once. Two months ago I received an envelope of samples covering the 32(!) new releases. One of the things which keeps me from being too grumpy about it is there are discrete groupings of perfumes in collections. One of those collections of three were composed by perfumer Alberto Morillas. My favorite was Zara Morning Sunray in Sevilla.
All three perfumes are named after a time of day in a Spanish city. The others Bohemian Sunset in Barcelona and Nightfall in Madrid finish what I think of as the Spain Grand Tour collection. What the brand seems to ask of its perfumers is to distil popular styles down to their simplest components. Then balance those. For example in Bohemian Sunset in Barcelona M. Morillas takes a classic beachy aquatic accord and adds the sun of bergamot and the driftwood of cedar. Nightfall in Madrid is an Oriental base accord as perfume with cardamom and tonka bean forming a classical construct around sandalwood. They are so easy going they are ideal for these warmer months. What sets Morning Sunray in Sevilla apart is it goes in a different direction than I expected with more of a complex design than the other two.
Sevilla is known for its orange groves and orange blossom. Which is what first surprised me as it begins with a very herbal duo of rosemary and tarragon. I use this as dry rub on certain meats I grill. This opening is what my fingers smell like after rubbing them on the surface of the meat. I went in expecting soft citrus and got a snappy sharp herbal opening instead. Jasmine floats among the herbs without overwriting them. I enjoyed this clean expansive jasmine as it caught up the herbal pieces. Based on the others I kind of expected this to be where it ends. Then I got a delightful surprise as M. Morillas adds austere silvery church incense. It swirls through in shiny resinous threads. In my mind’s eye I saw sprigs of tarragon and rosemary intertwined in a jasmine vine with incense smoking in a brazier below.
Morning Sunray in Sevilla has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
I keep telling you dear readers if you’re feeling up to venture out to shop again stop by Zara. There is a hidden treasure chest of fragrance there. If you start your journey in Spain, make Morning Sunray in Sevilla your first stop.
Disclosure: This review is based on samples provided by Zara.