(homage to) HEMINGWAY
The shortest brief in the opera collection is an ode to a raw material that both Alessandro and Riccardo adore – vetiver – and to a writer which inspired both of them – Ernest Hemingway. For this creation, Alessandro and Riccardo were looking for a perfumer with the right “assets” when, during a visit to IFF in Paris, they heard about a young promising perfumer called Fanny Bal. It was early 2017. Upon investigating, they found out that Fanny was the protégé of Dominique Ropion (famous for having created Vetiver Extraordinaire…), and that Fanny herself was very much enticed by the vetiver note. When they finally met each other, it was definitely love at first sight. To use Fanny’s own words, “When I first met Riccardo and Alessandro, I felt a great connection, because they are as passionated as I am. We are talking the same language and sometimes we don’t even need words to understand each other. It was very easy to work with them, as we directly agreed on an olfactive direction for this new Scene, built around Vetiver, a raw material that we both love”.
Fanny replied to the terse brief creating the fragrance of the Opera collection with the shortest note list. But – hey! what a list! Three different Vetivers, of the best quality money can buy: Vetiver Heart, Vetiver Oil Haiti, and Vetiver Oil Java Molecular Distillation – all three produced by the Laboratoire Monique Remy. All topped up by a fantastic opening of Ginger Oil Fresh (another stellar material from LMR) and Rhubarb.
Reading a short note list does not mean that one should expect to be smelling a simple composition. On the contrary: exactly like the prose of Hemingway – where short sentences, straight to the point, were actually pointing at a very deep meaning – the perfumery style of (homage to) Hemingway is minimalist in the notes yet very complex in the evolution (in particular on skin).
Fanny managed to achieve such a result through outstanding natural raw materials: the complexity of each of these stunning materials would be enough to make the single material a finite perfume in itself. She also overdosed the vetiver: the primadonna of this creation occupies almost the whole stage. The three vetivers account for a total of almost 60% of the total weight in the formula. This, united with a high oil concentration, arguably makes Hemingway the fragrance with the highest percentage of vetiver in the market.
The formula was finalised by adding an unexpected Caribbean vibe: avoiding the bergamot and lime clichés, Fanny introduced the vibrancy of the typical citrus head-notes without using a citrus: fresh, lemony and zesty ginger, paired with the sour facet of rhubarb.
Do you feel like Hemingway drinking Daiquiri at the Floridita and singing aloud with the other patrons?