New Perfume Review Masque Milano Ray-Flection- A Jolly Good Perfume

There are times when I write about a perfume and I have to guess about the emotion behind it. It is nice when I know the people behind a new perfume who can provide those answers to me. Back in the middle of November I was invited to an online premiere of Masque Milano Ray-Flection. Creative directors Alessandro Brun and Riccardo Tedeschi along with perfumer Alex Lee shared the story behind it.

Riccardo Tedeschi (l.) and Alessandro Brun

Ray-Flection is the first release in the Fourth Act of the perfumed opera. According to them we are now in the Act of Dreams. The next set of perfumes begun by Ray-Flection are dreams, fictional constructs. The creative team was thinking about the idea of an “alien flower”. There is even a little big-eyed alien on the bottle. I’m not sure they got into orbit. I found Ray-Flection to be a perfume grounded in the joy of making perfume.

Alessandro, Alex, and Riccardo in Tanneron

Ray-Flection is a honeyed mimosa perfume which takes the gold of the puffy flower and floats it on a golden flow of honey. The perfume started with all three men making a trip to Tanneron, France where mimosa is harvested. If I must stick to the extraterrestrial flower theme the golden puffballs look like spores from an alien plant. Except mimosa is a gorgeous powdery gold. Mr. Lee uses an overdose of mimosa to accentuate all that can be found here. He is equally inventive with his source of a honey accord. He uses yellow mandarin and beeswax to form it. This is used in overdose because Sig. Brun couldn’t get enough. It pushed Mr. Lee into some interesting choices to retain a freshness to it all.

Alex Lee

It begins with that aspect on display. A top accord of aldehydes and cardamom fizz off my skin closely trailed by a cloud of mimosa. This is a lively opening where sunlight seems to infuse it all. There is a slight vegetal tint to mimosa that is rarely encountered except at overdose. Mr. Lee uses some violet leaf to tighten it up and enhance the freshness. The honey accord comes next as the mandarin imparts a sweetness to the subtly animalic beeswax. This is my favorite part of the perfume. This is not that treacly version of honey although it carries weight. It is an active flow of honey as the mimosa floats on top of it with some effervescence bubbling up from below. When Ray-Flection hits this point there is an unbounded happiness in the air. A bit of cedar and musks provide the base.

Ray-Flection had 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

As I said I don’t usually know the emotion behind a perfume. When this creative team presented the perfume there was a palpable joy which came through the screen. They might have wanted me to think aliens but all I get is a jolly good perfume done with pleasure for perfume.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Masque Milano.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Maison Lancome Figues & Agrumes- Another Good Mediterranean

I am not sure what has caused this coincidence within the perfumed universe but 2019 has seen several good new Mediterranean style fragrances. It has always been one of my favorite summer types of perfume to wear in the heat. It has as simple an architecture as classic cologne with many of the same simple pleasures when done well. The latest is Maison Lancome Figues & Agrumes.

Alex Lee

Maison Lancome has been a collection which celebrates those simple pleasures of a couple well-chosen keynotes interacting in harmony. I have enjoyed all the releases since this collection started in 2016. I don’t think there is a poor perfume in the entire fifteen bottle collection. This isn’t where I turn for deep kaleidoscopic development. It is where I turn when I want to smell good.

Patricia Choux

Figues & Agrumes fits in with its collection mates. As advertised, it is a fig and citrus scent composed by perfumers Alex Lee and Patricia Choux. It is a time-tested orange, fig, and jasmine Mediterranean construct. The perfumers do have a couple tiny frills up their sleeves, but this is a perfume predominantly about those three notes I mentioned.

Figues and Agrumes opens with the juicy citrus of mandarin. One of those frills I mentioned is the use of the sticky green of blackcurrant buds to provide some texture. It keeps it from being just orange. Orange blossom begins the floral connection to the jasmine sambac in the heart. It forms a summer floral water type of accord with the mandarin. The creamy fig inserts itself here providing a bridge down to the woods in the base. In this case a clean cedar leavened by some white musks and made a bit less austere with tonka.

Figues & Agrumes has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

I’m not sure how many Mediterranean style perfumes are too many to own. I do know I’m starting to test where that limit might be. I will be adding Figues & Agrumes because I still have room for one more good Mediterranean.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Saks.

Mark Behnke