When I was writing my Perfume 101 on Acqua di Parma I had my little collection all sitting in front of me. As I was looking at it I realized that I had neglected the little collection of blue bottles with Blu Mediterraneo written on the label. As I reacquainted myself I was once again struck by the nice balance this set of fragrances strike hovering between an eau de cologne and eau de parfum concentration. I was also reminded of what a nice job these do with the title note. It was funny when a few weeks later I received the latest Blu Mediterraneo release Cedro di Taormina. I was excited to see what could be teased out of cedar.
The Blu Mediterraneo series is meant to not only feature a note but also capture a place in the Mediterranean. In this case we are in the Sicilian beach town of Taormina on the east coast of the island. Taormina features Mt. Etna rumbling off to its west while you look out upon the Ionian sea. Perfumer Francois Demachy wanted to capture some of the fire of the volcano along with the freshness of citrus and cedar. In the end Cedro di Taormina takes you from shore to caldera and back again.
When M. Demachy is working at his best he takes specific pairs of notes to create memorable chords. The opening and heart accords of Cedro di Taormina show this ability. The opening is the lighter citrus feel of citron paired with basil. Because citron is a lighter less tart version of lemon it allows the herbal aspect of basil a little more traction. M. Demachy keeps this opening as light as a Mediterranean breeze. Not so as we move into the heart as lavender and black pepper capture the heat of Mt. Etna. The heart is mostly black pepper and the lavender is pushed into the background. Even though it only exerts a minor presence it is an important modulator keeping the black pepper from being too strident. The lavender also pulls the basil in with it to help keep the pepper well behaved. This volcano is not quite ready to erupt. The base is the promised cedar but it once again picks up a breeze of cistus and vetiver to help cool down the warmth from the heart.
Cedro di Taormina has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
After having found my Blu Mediterraneo collection I know I will be wearing these a lot for my weekend morning jaunts. Cedro di Taormina is going to go right into that rotation.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Acqua di Parma.