Hanbury and Barry Lyndon. I found both interesting: Maria Candida seems to having temporarily given up her beloved incense and rich structures, opulent in an almost "tactile" way, in favour of more serene, bright compositions, optimistic without any dark corner. Especially Hanbury, the fragrance inspired by the gardens of Villa Hanbury in Ventimiglia (Ligurian Riviera).
Hanbury shows a rich texture and vibrant flowers, with a tenderness given by an honeyed note of acacia, appearing just under the opening of citrus fruits (including sweet orange) and orange flower. Acacia sounds exuberant and joyful; extremely feminine on female skin, tender and lively on a man's. The fragrance is quite persistent and develops gently in a stable way, developing a structured journey: at the beginning it pushes up in an optimistic and exuberant way, then morphs into a soft, floral heart, to get delicate and light in the finale, thanks to benjoin and white musk base notes. I found it very well executed, one of the few sweet floral scents I'd definitely wear blissfully -well, actually I'm looking forward to finding it in stores.
I can imagine it on a sophisticated but simple woman, dressed in white linen with a straw hat; in front of her an easel with watercolors on a large rock, overlooking the blue sea.
Barry Lyndon is a homage to Thackeray's novel, and to Stanley Kubrick's movie. While creating it, Maria Candida had in mind the scene in which Barry is forced to jump on his horse and gallop away in the grass, not with the grace of a majestic warrior prince, then, but in a hurry, like and adventurer whose questionable behavior eventually got him into trouble. Given these references, the scent feels unexpectedly discreet and gentle, opening with a nice artemisia note, paired with citrus and perhaps rosemary in an aromatic, stimulating combination not intrusive in the least. The lively opening is joined by wild flowers including heather, and gets support by an accord of tonka bean and leather (well, an extremely faint leather). After half an hour the scent lowers to a delicate poudrèe, almost rarefied. The artemisia opening combined with the poudrèe notes reminded me vaguely of L'Eau d'Hiver/La Biche dans l'Absinthe, in short, the sort of skin scents characterized by the same tone of voice. Welcome by anyone who loves delicate, evocative sensations, both men and women.
Furthermore, during an "Apericena" (cocktail+dinner) Maria Candida handed me to smell the one she is working on now, which could be her next launch, probably next year. And I liked that too! I promised not to reveal anything but Maria Candida, can I pronounce at least the word "soliflore"?