The more common fragrance types are boring because everyone does the same thing. Produce something that smells good using the same set of ingredients in the same order. This has been going on for nearly thirty years in the aquatic category. Just like other popular styles the general consumer seems happy to try the same scent over and over with a different name on the bottle. There are lots of ways to shake things up if you have a mind to. Armani Prive Cypres Pantelleria is willing to give it a try.
The recipe for most aquatics is some ozonic sea spray over an aromachemical like Calone followed by a lighter tropical floral leading to some light woods. It has been a crowd-pleaser since it appeared. Perfumer Alberto Morillas chooses to change the run of show to create a different aquatic experience.
This opens with a sunny neroli. If you experience the first couple of minutes you would have no idea an aquatic will follow. This is a bright lively version of the floral. By pushing it to the front of the pyramid it creates a different effect. The cypress comes next also advanced from its usual position in the base. The light wood and the floral make it seem as if you are reading the last page of the story. The typical opening of ozonic water notes and sage finally come crashing in. There is a pronounced saltiness to these sea spray pieces. They coat the neroli and cypress with a briny mist. Another change is to form a heftier base accord of patchouli and vetiver. It has an effect of adding earthy green to everything else.
Cypres Pantelleria has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
By shuffling the aquatic deck M. Morillas has formed something which feels enough different without losing any of the pieces which makes the recipe popular. I wish more would do the same.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Neiman-Marcus.