15 luglio 2015

Kamasurabhi (Lorenzo Villoresi, 2015)

In the late '70s and early' 80s my father was still working at the Port of Genoa and his work often took him on board merchant vessels for document control and procedures for discharging cargo. If he knew he would get on board a ship coming from particularly exotic places, he never failed to bring along something to give the officers as a welcome. Generally it would be something typically Italian like a packet of pasta or a bottle of wine.
In particular, when the vessels came from China he generally was returning home with little treasures that none of us had ever seen before: masks made of rice paper so thin that one could see through it, traumatizing "Hundred Years" eggs (duck eggs subjected to an oxidation process underground that completely transforms the color, texture and flavor), but especially jasmine, sandalwood and orange blossom soaps, and small fans made of sandalwood that, while cooling you down with air, also intoxicated you with the beautiful scent of sandalwood.

Obviously these last items were my favorites, and some of these are still circulating at my parents'(not the eggs, fortunately). Well, thirty years after, both the fans and the soaps still bear traces of the scent!
Why I'm telling you all this? Because the other day I received from Maestro Lorenzo Villoresi a sample of his new creation, Kamasurabhi, I sprayed it on... and I jumped back thirty years! I had not smelled such a clear and powerful sandalwood note since those fans. A woody, pungent note, yet gentle; mystical yet daily
This is not Santalum Album (the rare Mysore quality almost impossible to find), the smell is quite different and lacks the creaminess and biscuit-like softness, but without any doubt it is exactly the same variety of sandalwood that I knew before studying perfumery and I was reminded of it when I wore Kamasurabhi.
But let's get to the scent itself.
The "scent of pleasure" (this is the translation of the name in Indian language) is an interesting creation centered on the sacred sandalwood fragrance, which is coupled to a bouquet of flowers traditionally considered as sensual (rose, jasmine, tuberose, ylang ylang, orange blossom and narcissus) plus other typically Indian flowers, whose fragrances is mostly unknown to me (above all the Bakul and Kadamba, because I know the Pandanus plant, I still have a vague memory of the fragrance it emanated). 
The result is multifaceted and unique, gently exotic, evoking an idea of India (of course, for me, of China) both sensual and spiritual, full of colors and contrasts and thus really close to reality. Villoresi has granted Kamasurabhi no sugariness, this is rather an "undomesticated" scents and does not smell of "East seen by a Westerner"; rather it is a kind of Polaroid snapshot of a real place away from us. I perceive a truth that somehow touches me deeply, as if Kamasurabhi was created as a gift of love for India. I can not explain it better, but it's definitely a scent that speaks, and that is exactly what a perfume should do.


The life of the fragrance itself is coherent, about three to four hours, while the sandalwood drydown remains perceptible for eight hours and beyond as a transparent veil on the skin. 
It might be created as female scents, but I would see it on a man very well, too.
Visit Villoresi's English website (here) for all infos about it!

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