There are independent brands which are turning important milestones the last few years. It is an indication of a fragrance collection which spoke to an audience over time. One of those early trendsetters who is celebrating their 15th anniversary is Eau d’Italie. Creatively directed by husband-and-wife team of Marina Sersale and Sebastian Alvarez Murena they were inspired by the hotel they own La Sireneuse in Positano, Italy. Over the past fifteen years they have used the history of the area and the hotel as launching points for their perfumes. To celebrate an anniversary they decided to keep it light and summery in Eau d’Italie Easy To Love.
Sebastian Alvarez Murena (l.) and Marina Sersale
The first half of the Eau d’Italie perfume collection had a serious perfume quality to it. Since the release of 2012’s Un Bateau pour Capri there has been a distinct lighter playful quality. This is where Easy To Love fits right in. Working with perfumer Dora Baghriche they create a clever twist on the classic Mediterranean style cologne.
The perfume shelves are full of takes on citrus, fig, and woods concepts to capture an afternoon in the Mediterranean. What the creative team does here is to provide a Tyrrhenian spin for the part of the Mediterranean that faces Positano and La Sireneuse. The only thing which remains is the fig. On either side is a richer fruit, a fresh floral, and a sweetened skin musk.
Mme Baghriche uses white currant as her opening fruity blast. It is exuberantly fruity, enough so that it had to be carefully measured so the green fig could contrast it with its creamy green quality. In a smart pivot she uses the freshness of peony to lift the currant and fig away from becoming too heavy. It turns it into a Tyrrhenian breeze. As delightful as this was it is the base which connected most with me. Mme Baghriche uses honey, tonka, and ambrette to form a sweet warm skin accord. So often in this style of perfume the skin musk is given a salty tint. The idea to drizzle it in honey and tonka is very pleasurable. It also gives this enough weight to be worn on a summer evening as well as the daytime.
Easy to Love has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
Easy To Love is a fantastic variation on a classic perfume trope. It lives up to its name. I have a set of three go-to summer errand perfumes. Easy To Love looks poised to join that group.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.
There is something about the onset of fall which makes me turn to weightier perfumes. The cooler temperatures and ever-shorter days have something to do with it. With the end of September here; the fragrances of the summer are being rotated back until their time rolls around again. The process is always bittersweet as there are many perfume styles which only thrive in the heat. I miss my airy transparent orange blossom colognes. Which made it a nice coincidence when I received my samples of the new Eric Buterbaugh Florals Floral Oud Collection one of them was tailor-made to solve my issue.
The Floral Oud Collection is a set of three perfumes creatively directed by Eric Buterbaugh around combining a flower named on the box with oud. Floral Oud-Rose, composed by Honorine Blanc, is a rich combination of two roses and Laotian oud. This is a deeply luxurious version of a common combination. A much less common combination is displayed in Floral Oud- Lily of the Valley. Perfumer Ilias Erminidis finds a fascinating overlap between the green of muguet and blackcurrant buds with the Laotian oud and ambrette seed musky oud accord. The one which transfixed me from the first moments was Floral Oud- Orange Flower.
Floral Oud-Orange Flower is composed by perfumer Dora Baghriche. Orange blossom is a not uncommon partner to oud. What Mr. Buterbaugh was going for with all three Floral Ouds was a more opulent version of these duets. In Floral Oud-Orange Flower it succeeds. If there is something Mr. Buterbaugh’s background as florist brings to some of the best in the entire brand is when you feel like the fragrance is being constructed in the same way his floral centerpieces are. Floral Oud-Orange Flower is a bouquet enclosed in an oud vase.
Mme Baghriche pulls out three specific flowers from her perfumer’s organ; champaca, frangipani, and the central orange blossom. As she begins to form the olfactory arrangement these florals present a potent accord. Patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, and oakmoss form an oud accord which gives a precisely tuned amount of lift to the florals. As this comes together vanilla drifts across it like a lagniappe.
Floral Oud-Orange Flower has 12-14 hour longevity and above average sillage.
There has been a culinary trend for making luxurious versions of common comfort food. While wearing Floral Oud-Orange Flower I was reminded of a crazy version of a grilled cheese made of aged cheddar, fresh-baked brioche, and truffle oil infused butter. There are simpler versions but once you’ve tried the gourmet version the more pedestrian styles seem lesser than. Floral Oud- Orange Flower is one of the best versions of this combination; done in an overtly gorgeous style.
Disclosure: This review was based ona press sample from Eric Buterbaugh Florals.
Olfactive Studio had one of the best creative years in its short existence in 2015. Creative Director and owner Celine Verleure took chances which worked with Panorama and Selfie. I wondered what 2016 would bring. The first part of that answer comes in the new release Still Life in Rio.
Still Life in Rio is sort of a sequel/flanker to one of the original three Olfactive Studio releases, Still Life. The same perfumer Dora Baghriche is back to compose this ninth release for the brand. Bu using Mme Baghriche again Mme Verleure allows for a sense of evolution to be displayed as you move from Still Life to Still Life in Rio.
Photo by Flavio Veloso
Another hall mark of the brand is the use of a photograph as the brief for the perfume. For Still Life in Rio she uses the photo above by Brazilian photographer Flavio Veloso. The picture is taken from one of the viewing platforms around the large statue of Christ atop Corcovado looking towards the other symbolic mountain of Rio, Sugarloaf. Sr. Veloso captures a moment in time where the golden sunlight is captured in the remaining fog of the night. That burnished radiance in the photo is evident throughout the development of Still Life in Rio.
Still Life in Rio begins with a nod back to the original. Mme Bachriche again uses yuzu mixed with black pepper and pink pepper. The final ingredient is a hot pepper. In Still Life it was Szechuan Pepper. Still Life in Rio uses Jamaican Hot Pepper. There is a difference where the Szechuan pepper simmers with heat; the Jamaican version adds an acidic contrast to the citric nature of the yuzu. I like the new version of the opening it is much more lively with the addition of the Jamaican pepper. Ginger emphasizes the new pizazz. The movement into the heart is rum and coconut water. If you have ever visited Rio there are whole coconuts which are opened and poured over ice beachside. In Still Life in Rio Mme Baghriche uses it as a way to lighten up the rum while softening it a bit. Copaiba matched with a soft white leather accord impart more of that misty golden quality seen in the photographic inspiration. The copaiba balsam along with the leather accord is such a deeply satisfying conclusion I always let out a sigh when the last of it faded away.
Still Life in Rio has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
I liked the nods back to Mme Baghriche’s Still Life throughout Still Life in Rio. It reminds me how assured Mme Verleure has come to know her audience and its willingness to follow in new directions. Still Life in Rio is a golden riff on the past while promising more of the same for the future.
Disclosure: This review was based on a bottle provided by Olfactive Studio.