Yesterday I reviewed three of the five new releases from Elisire. When I read the press release about Franck Salzwedel’s new line of perfume there were two out of the five which piqued my interest right away. It wasn’t because they were my favorite raw material or the note list. What intrigued me were these words, “Developed with Alberto Morillas.”
Alberto Morillas is the very definition of Living Legend when it comes to perfumery. He has made some of the greatest perfumes of all-time. For the great majority of his career that talent has been displayed on department store counters versus smaller niche perfume boutiques. In the last few years M. Morillas has begun working with a few niche brands. What separates his output when working on the niche side is a bit more freedom on budget. M. Morillas could take broccoli and crabgrass and make something which smelled amazing. M. Salzwedel allowed him some freedom to use some ingredients he might normally eschew in the name of budget. The two perfumes he has composed for Elisire, Poudre Desir and Jasmin Paradis show this to be true.
Poudre Desir is meant to evoke a flower garden after a rainstorm has passed. To achive this effect M. Morillas first uses a mix of bergamot and mandarin that shine like those first rays of sun after the dark clouds have passed. There is diffuse brightness which warms the early moments of Poudre Desir. The heart is iris in all of its promised powdery glory. If M. Morillas left it that way it would smell more of a woman’s vanity than her garden. To make sure that it is living flowers we are reminded of he partners the iris with jasmine, heliotrope, and gardenia. Those very heady narcotic blooms take the iris and make the powdery parts of it less prominent. It forms a fresh spring flower bouquet to bury your nose into. The base is a mix of musks which form a sun burnished skin accord which is framed with a bit of cedar. Poudre Desir is the smell of renewal after nature has washed it clean.
Jasmine is a supporting player in Poudre Desir but as you would expect in Jasmin Paradis it is the star. This time the citrus opening is exuberant and over-stuffed as neroli, bergamot, and grapefruit burst onto my senses with all of the energy that those notes can muster. It leads to the heart of jasmine. It is here where M. Morillas can really design a powerfully nuanced jasmine accord. He starts with the synthetic jasmine source Paradisone. If he was designing this on a budget he probably would have added in a drop or two of Jasmine essential oil and moved on. With a little more flexibility he takes two natural sources of jasmine; jasmine sambac and jasmine petals, layering them upon the synthetic. The Paradisone provides expansiveness and lift. The natural essential oils take advantage of the space and expand into them. They provide depth and texture the synthetic couldn’t provide by itself. Jasmin Paradis ends on a resinous base of incense, olibanum, and Ambrox. As in the heart the Ambrox provides a synthetic foundation for the natural sources to expand upon.
I think all five of the new Elisire perfumes are worth sampling. M. Salzwedel has produced a strong first impression with all of them. It will be these two by M. Morillas which will linger in my memory a little longer.
Disclosure: This review was based on samples provided by Osswald NYC.