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If Luci ed Ombre is a fragrance representing the undecidedness between light and shadow, with Mandala our creative directors wanted a fragrance able to “sing two notes at the same time”. Having a change to step into a faraway monastery, and listen to monks performing “overtone singing”, is an out-of-this-world experience – hence the endeavour to recreate a fragrance conveying the same meditative, trance-like feeling. Myrrh and incense are the two most prominent notes of this composition.
Alessandro and Riccardo were introduced to Christian Carbonnel, several years ago, by a friend, lover of opulent fragrances. So they met Christian and got to know more about his company. With time, the friendship between Alessandro, Riccardo and Christian grew, and finally Alessandro and Riccardo decided it was high time they started a collaboration with the talented Spanish perfumer. On top of his experience with spicy and ambery fragrances, Christian surprised the creative team with some incredible materials.
Mandala opens with a kaleidoscope of spices, creating the feeling of a whopping medical-dipped oud, sweaty, shuddering and sensual. Yet no agarwood was employed in the composition.
A steroidal incense work, myrrh and frankincense smashed into one-another with great energy. Christian’s perfume work is cleverly composed of ingredients he understands very well and combined in such a way as to impact the senses in a vivid-fireworks-in-the dark style.
The myrrh and frankincense punch out at you simultaneously; for a dizzying moment the mind and nose are overwhelmed. You’d be forgiven for thinking these two notes will be the only things you will smell, such is the kickass joy of the overture. Then then two coalesce into a single high-toned note, steady and unbroken, the odd vegetal bitterness of the myrrh smoothed out by the woody ancient Zen of frankincense. Two materials in fascinating harmony yet still discernible as separate components.
Eventually, Mandala was launched in 2017 alongside Bruno Jovanovic’s Times Square. The two fragrances project two quite different facets of Masque Milano, indeed a duo of perfumes divergent enough in style as to cause a few ripples of intrigue in the busybody world of perfume gossip.