The opening is surprisingly light, for a Montale, that is. Ethereal and feminine, it brings thoughts of a gorgeous spring day to mind; the type of spring day that drives everyone out of the house to enjoy the sun and light breeze on their skin. The type of day that transcends time, seemingly lasting forever, until the last ray of sun disappears, breaking the spell. Then suddenly, the scent goes from being light and delicate, to rich and effusive. The warmth of the skin makes the scent positively bloom; the effect is akin to a wonderful fruit and flower puree that was sieved clear and left to simmer until we’re left with a powerful, concentrated, glossy culis of pure, unadulterated, refined wonder. What started off as an unsweetened, fragrant combination of wild- and tea rose whose aroma imparted a sense of intricate vintage lace, has become as ornamentally decorated as gem-studded brocade on acres of luxurious, colorful silk. The fruity notes are candied and rich; velvety, creamy peach on a bed of pungent pineapple that’s drenched in its own sticky juices. Behind it all, an overripe note, a dagger of miasma and taint whose twist instantly fills the heart with sin. Forbidden fruit indeed. The chypre base in turn, is as perfectly groomed as you’d expect, but somehow refrains from being haughty. It is a woman that has been around the block a few times, yet shows no signs of being tired, despite having done so on high heels every single time. She now reclines on a velvet-upholstered fainting couch, her lips twitching with faint mirth. It will take some effort to entertain her.
Images: Both Flickr, originally uploaded by Theodora