Most of the time when I write about perfume it is quite easy. I spend some time with a fragrance that pleases me and express that. There are infrequent times where I’m not sure if the perfume pleases me and I have a hard time expressing that. Which is where I have been with Orto Parisi Megamare.
Orto Parisi is the second line, to Nasomatto, of independent perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri. Sig. Gualtieri is one of the iconoclasts of perfumery. He enjoys challenging perfume wearers with constructs which embrace the unpleasant and synthetic. His question always seems to be, “Can you find something to appreciate within this?” I always find myself divided on many of his perfumes over this question. What is in the bottle is certainly the intent. My mission is to see if I can find something to appreciate. Megamare was one of these for me.
Sig. Gualtieri wants Megamare to be his interpretation of the aquatic genre. As I have remarked recently that style has found new life as perfumers embrace different aspects of that milieu instead of fresh salty air. It was not surprising to find Sig. Gualtieri’s version to be an embrace of the opposite. What I would describe as high noon at low tide. A pungent mixture of the detritus of the ocean cooked in the sun.
What I found very amusing was what seems to be his use of Calone in a small amount. I really only think I detect it in the first few moments. It is like him saying, “you think that is what the ocean smells like? Here is what it really smells like” as he drowns it in strong iodine-like vegetal ingredients. Growing up on the ocean I have always found this kind of accord, in a perverse way, fresh. The metallic wateriness is one of the ways I identify the smell of the ocean. This is the part of Megamare I enjoyed.
Most recently Sig. Gualtieri has a fascination for the powerful synthetic ambergris-derived woods. The second half of Megamare is a wave of those crashing over that low tide accord. Here is where I diverge from Sig. Gualtieri I like them, but they can become annoying. In Megamare he trots more than a few of them out. They overwhelm things. I’ve often wondered whether an overdose of these materials would find an unusual synergy, as the white musks do. Nope; at least in Megamare it hits me like a tsunami of blaring discordant ingredients. On the other hand if you are someone who believes quality goes with longevity this combination lasted for almost three days on my skin.
Megamare has 48 hours-plus longevity and average sillage.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Megamare. Does the first half outweigh the second half? Because that wall of synth woods lasts so long the answer for me is no. If you are an admirer of the synthetic woods Megamare is one you should try. Once again, I appreciated having my perceptions challenged.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Orto Parisi.