Now, as those of you who have been reading Fragrance Bouquet regularly know, I consider my love for fragrance all-encompassing. There is room for just about anything, whether purely synthetic (Why, hello NR!) or purely natural. So why all this talk about perfume construction? Because exploring Roxana Villa’s sampler packet was something of a revelation… The experience grounded me, reminded me all that is good and gorgeous and magnificent about a well constructed perfume that follows an absolutely traditional, classic development. Her fragrances are ever-changing, confirming the words of an industry professional in Paris who’d told me that the more natural a perfume, the more it changes throughout the day.
Two of the scents in the sampler pack have truly captivated me, Vespertina and Aurora. Today we take a look at Vespertina, while a review of Aurora is forthcoming. Meaning “Evening”, Vespertina is a glorious, floral scent with rich veins of spice. Its construction is absolutely marvelous, with top notes that you’ll want to chase after like fleeting dreams, floral heart notes so deep they make you feel like you can get lost in their nuances forever, and spicy, woody base notes that linger comfortingly on the skin until the skin’s own beauty shines through. Roxana describes this fragrance as “Orange woven with flowers, grounded by earth”.
The fleeting top notes are slightly bitter and medicinal, intensely herbal in character. They explode in a burst of black, roughly ground peppercorns and disappear like a dream through a botanical garden that’s slipping through the fingers upon waking up… The gorgeous spiciness of the black pepper remains however, easing us into the deep, dark, magical labyrinth of the floral heart notes. Through the persisting spicy blast, emerges a fabulous dirty, highly indolic orange blossom note, supported by narcotic ylang ylang and nightly jasmine. Far into the background, I smell hints of well aged, beautiful rose essence, highly romantic and moving. As time goes by, the bitter orange blossom note becomes creamier and creamier, shedding its indolic character and turning ever more sensitive and feminine. As an orange blossom scent, this one is very close in feel to Satellite’s playfully bitter 40º à l’Ombre (one of my favorite neroli/orange blossom scents out there), rather than to more traditional, sweet and heady orange blossom scents like Prada’s or L’Artisan’s Fleur d’Oranger. Vespertina is incredibly long lasting, and even though it starts as dark and mysterious, it soon transforms in aa summery, utterly romantic white floral scent will envelop the wearer for hours. When it does arrive, the drydown is myrrh-tinged sandalwood sweetness, peppered with spice.
Images: All images used in this post are property of Roxana Villa.