Most of the time I receive an e-mail with the press release for a new fragrance a few days before the sample arrives. Like anyone I enjoy imagining what it is going to smell like when it arrives. There are times when the list of ingredients seems like it came from two different perfumes. They couldn’t possibly be from the same scent. This was what happened with Comptoir sud Pacifique Yucatan Secret.
When you see that name and read the press blurb they talk about Mexico and the cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula. Before I got to the ingredient list, I expected a tropical jungle watery style. Then this was the list I read: bergamot, watermelon, lavender, absinthe, amber, cashmere woods, and sandalwood. Say what? I expected the watermelon to be Calone, which is a beachy type of ingredient. The opposite of what the fresh-water cenote is. Lavender grows everywhere but next to a cenote, not likely. Absinthe is the alcoholic distillation of licorice-like wormwood. Only if this is a cenote being visited by the cast of Moulin Rouge. I didn’t know what was going to be in the sample vial. Perfumer Thomas Fontaine turned all this seeming contradiction into something quite enjoyable.
I was right that watermelon translated to Calone. It is at its most generic beachy aquatic in the first minutes. It is its interaction with what comes next that changes that. The absinthe and lavender are not a combination I would have expected to be as good together. Absinthe has a sharp alcoholic herbal burn. Lavender soothes that with a powdery and herbal balance. The Calone finds traction as the melon aspect forms a weird cocktail which I enjoyed. The woody base adds some foundation as the amber interacts with the top accord most apparently. The other woods are there as framing.
Yucatan Secret has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
If you’re looking for a tropical jungle scent for summer, this is not it. If you’re looking for a summer perfume which is totally different from any other aquatic allow the green fairy to lead you to Yucatan Secret.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Comptoir Sud Pacifique.