One of the most beautiful natural phenomena I have seen is the desert in bloom. I’ve only been fortunate enough to have my timing coincide with this a few times. The riot of color in the otherwise desiccated landscape is a testament to the concept that life grows anywhere. I have been told one of the more amazing examples of this happens in the Atacama Desert of Chile in South America. The place known as the most arid on earth becomes covered in purple flowers. I visited during the summertime when I traveled down there. I can confirm the dryness. I felt like I went through a case of lip balm and hand moisturizer not to mention enough water to keep hydrated. My reason for going is the Atacama is one of those special dark spaces where there is no light pollution. With the low humidity and altitude that night I spent peering through a telescope seeing celestial bodies I had never seen before. When I received my sample of Altaia Atacama I wondered which attribute they would choose.
Altaia has been a fascinating story being told by founders Marina Sersale and Sebastian Alvarez Murena. They learned that their ancestors came from the area around Argentina. Each release has told something about the people and places of the area. They chose to evoke the magic of the driest desert in the world in bloom as the inspiration for Atacama.
The way this is achieved is through a desiccated aromachemical which captures the dry dusty earth. Layered over that is what is called a “salt crystal accord”. What I experienced is something like what is in a lot of aquatics, dried salt on sun-warmed skin. Created through some musks and ozonic ingredients. Then just as it happens in nature jasmine blooms from this forming an expansive floral cloud. Freesia adds in that high altitude freshness. There is a grounding accord of clary sage and tonka bean forming the vegetation and the glowing heat waves.
Atacama has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I really enjoyed the tonal shift from dusty tract to desert in bloom in the early moments of this. I thought to myself this is what happens when a spring floral perfume blooms in the desert.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.