Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Aurora by Roxana Villa : Perfume Review

Long-time Fragrance Bouquet readers already know my stance on the issue of natural perfumery since I have written about it in the past, but if there is still any doubt in your mind about whether a great natural perfume can ever stand next to a great synthetic one and survive the comparison, then I beg you to order a sample of Aurora right away.

What beautiful, twinkling magic has been weaved in this amazing, heart-moving fragrance? Because it is surely magic, or at the very least the magic of art and love, that make this fragrance evolve so stunningly on the skin, going through countless transformations that seduce the senses one after the other while its creator humbly proclaims it "simpler" than the creations that followed! Aurora was born as an experiment, an exploration in recreating the scent of carnations -and perhaps it is no wonder I love it so, carnation being the symbol of Fragrance Bouquet. Be that as it may, the improbable beauty of this scent lies in the dream sequence it slowly, artfully, reveals before it reaches its final, very much intended and happily successful destination.

The first bloom is a luxuriously waxy, lustrous, almost oily abstract floral that instantly reveals the richness of this bouquet. However rich, not once does it become decadently overwhelming: its grandeur can be compared to that of colored rays of light guiding one's way in the darkness, or gemstone sparkle against dark velvet. And as I write this, I suddenly realize that aurora (that is, the phenomenon) is indeed just that: rays of radiant light against the night sky. The realization leaves me slightly shaken, because I've been keeping notes on this perfume for about two weeks now and this is the first time I make the connection. Aptly named, then. It is in fact, this interplay of bright light -translated by my heart and soul instinctively as hope- and darkness, that is the most striking feature of Aurora, as well as its continuum, the glue that seamlessly binds it all together. I grin with the pleasure of one who knows that is being fooled, but enjoys it so, like a child watching a magician, when I start smelling erotic lilacs, an elusive note that cannot be captured as a natural. But it is there, an illusion recreated on the road to the field of carnations, as real as my memory of the thriving lilac bush that completely covered our fence when I was a child. And then Ylang Ylang, a soft sense of leather (myrrh?) and the bouquet becomes positively narcotic, seducing, magical. Suddenly, the incredible warmth of the rich floral notes is charged by a chilly breath and I find myself vividly experiencing the same sense of coolness found in an ever-shaded niche of a stone church. In the shaded, cool darkness tendrils of incense complete the picture. I want to stay there forever but soon the spice kicks in and I allow myself to be blissfully transported once again: sweet amber and rich spicy clove start weaving the picture of blood red carnations. This is the most meaningful, heartrending, stirring carnation I've ever loved, and believe me, I've searched far and wide.. From Caron, to Santa Maria Novella, to CdG, MpG and vintage Balenciaga, Roxana Villa's carnation is Fragrance Bouquet's favorite. I am thankful.

Images: The images included in this post are property of Roxana Villa.


Perfumeshrine said...

Hi D! Roxana makes some wonderful things (I was completely blown away by her Q!)Nice to see her get the recognition her passion and love for fragrance deserves :-)

Happy holidays!!

rosarita said...

Good morning, Divina! I have not read of Roxana before, but your beautifully written words compel me to seek this out. Best to you :)

ScentScelf said...

D, a most lovely painting of a review! I have very much enjoyed sampling my way through other of Roxana's work (Q, Sierra) but am still looking for THE one--which is something I trust will happen, given how much I appreciate her work.

One thing I love to note in her constructions is layers/depth/development...something I find also in certain Liz Zorn...and something natural perfumers are sometimes lacking.

You've got me hooked, of course. Though carnation is not a favorite note of mine, I really want to go on this ride. And the aurora borealis is just about my all-time favorite experience of nature...me, a garden/earth person...so maybe there'll be an extra connection here. :)

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ooh, it sounds lovely. I love the name and that it actually reminds you of its namesake... I'll definitely seek this one out...

Ines said...

Wow Divina! What a breath taking review. You really know how to explain what feelings a perfume gives you. And now I'll just have to order a sample to try. :)
Merry Christmas!