The opening is joyful and citrusy, bringing to mind a bittersweet Mojito cocktail with its notes of rum, peppermint and lime. I am particularly impressed by the lifelike lime note which instantly evokes images of the fruit being squeezed with gusto by hand over a glass, the citrus oils making the fingers fragrant for hours thereafter. Too, there is a mustiness underlying the citrus fruit scent, lending intelligence and depth to the opening. It is a most gladsome, zesty and energizing opening, causing the heart to beat a little faster to keep up with its rhythm. My nose also identifies traces of jasmine, which help make the top notes rounder and longer lasting. The heart notes take our joyful Cuban fiesta from blindingly bright noon to sundown, with skies of gold and red. Intensely spicy, the clove emerges dark and seducing. Even though it is always a strong, long-lasting note, it is used in perfect proportion in Cuba, making the result sheer and natural. It is combined with highly fragrant bay leaf, which I absolutely adore. Closing my eyes, it takes me back to a time when well-dressed gentlemen still used to place a couple of these most redolent leaves in their wallet to keep it lightly perfumed. The two notes –clove and bay- compliment each other so well, the result is seamless and hazy: It is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I am left with deep admiration. And the genius of Cuba further becomes evident as the beautiful, rich tobacco note starts rising to the top: Tonka, clove and peppermint were all traditionally used to flavor tobacco and it is revealing of vision and understanding to smell a composition in which all these notes enhance and showcase each other exactly as they were meant to. Aside from augmenting the beauty of the tobacco leaf, the sweet, caramel scent of tonka also pays homage to that old case of rum, whose sumptuous, candied flavor served as direct inspiration for this fragrance. Marvelous! The drydown in turn is soft and warm. Sweet and balsamic, as well as a tad smoky, the result is both cuddly and sensual. The starring note is absolutely gorgeous opoponax: Velvety, dark and comforting.
Cuba is available in 100ml Cologne Spray, as well as 100ml Aftershave. What’s wonderful though, is that it also comes in Bath Oil format. Isn’t that just fabulous? Men need pampering too! Lastly, something which has more to do with the quality of Czech & Speake products in general, rather than Cuba in particular: The spray pump is the best one I’ve ever encountered. It offers complete control – you can spray as lightly or as heavily as you wish. My preferred way is a light mist, which is absolute sensory delight on the skin.
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