4 settembre 2014

Orto Parisi: Viride and Bergamask (by Alessandro Gualtieri, 2014)

Today I'm writing about Viride, Stercus, Brutus, Boccanera and Bergamask, the new "Orto Parisi" line by Alessandro Gualtieri (better known as the Nasomatto).
Some people see the names of these fragrances as another provocation from Alessandro (Stercus means, well... manure; Brutus means something near "villain", Bergamask is a play on words between the city of Bergamo and the word "musk", sounding like "males from Bergamo" etc.) but I only see this as a confirmation of the fact that Alessandro has a precise idea of what perfumery is, an idea that differs a lot from the clean and harmless one, all-candies-and-white-musks of many industrial brands (and sometimes also of many niche brands too).
His taste for sensuality is primitive, irrational and un-domesticated, he's not afraid to evoke human "filth" in order to communicate what's in his mind. In the end, composers who have the courage of their convictions are not so many ... and when I find one, I usually appreciate it.
The inspiration for Orto Parisi line comes from Vincenzo Parisi, Alessandro's grandfather, who used to be a farmer, thus living close to earth, its seasonal cycles and rites, which used to be connected to subtle or pungent, flowery, heavy, sometimes even horrible smells.Although this country life so rich in contrasts (poetic and practical, pastoral and cruel) permeates all fragrances, these are perfectly standing without knowing anything of the inspiration that created them, and this is another point that I loved.
I'd start with the two I loved most: Viride and Bergamask, which represent a pair opposites: a classic, reassuring fragrance vs the boldest one of the lot.
Viride is built like a classic fougère, with a perfect balance of sweet and aromatic notes: warm hay (coumarin/heliotropine) and lavender or lavandin (an absolute, I would say), with some natural and synthetic woods I can't define, but which gives the fougère accord a base on which to sit. Like all fougères, evolution is not the most articulate, the balance between the two sensations lasts a few hours, slowly slipping into a sweet, powdery feeling. This fragrance is very classic, elegant like a freshly shaven dad dressed in white shirt, ready for Sunday Mass. After tons of "modern fougères" which smell of anything but fougères, finally a modern one, built with all the rules of tradition. Despite of all provocations and theater, Alessandro knows classic perfumery and performs it very well, when it's the case!

Bergamask is instead a fragrance of exaggerated courage: Alessandro succeded in loading it with a ton of indole without compromising on wearability. The indole is used extensively in perfumery for that dirty, earthy feeling of human warmth, which sometimes also characterises half-rotten jasmines or roses exhaling their last breath. But it isn't declared and anyway, its heaviest part is gently covered in some way. Here however, this sensual, dirty, earthy, note is carried in triumph by its opposite: a crispy, clean, fresh, summer-y bergamot. I also suspect the presence of rum ether or some other unusual alcoholic note, also because in a country festival (the inspiration for this fragrance) fruit, alcohol and sweat (you know, dancing requires effort) are absolutely consistent. The scent is intense and pungent, unusual and very addictive. I wear it with pure fun, and I have also received several compliments.

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