Maybe it’s old age creeping up on me, but I’m beginning to appreciate fruit-heavy fragrances in a way I have never done before. Key to unlocking a whole category that you've previously dismissed is, of course, finding one example of its form that steals your heart before you even know what’s happening – for me, that fragrance was Robert Piguet’s Visa. I ordered a sample of it as something as an afterthought (I was exploring the house of Piguet and didn’t want to leave one off the list), and let is sit in my sample box for over a year before finally trying it out in a fit of boredom one night.
Well, that sneaky Visa – she stole my heart. The first sign that I was in love was that I started hiding the sample from myself, popping it into drawers and into cereal boxes and so on, in a vain effort to slow me down. That didn't work and I bought a decant from a friend. That had barely arrived at my house when I decided that I needed a whole bottle, such was my anxiety that I would someday be without Visa in my household. This is crazy behavior, by the way. As for Visa itself – well, one could argue that it’s nothing revolutionary. But for me, its fantastic peach and plum notes were my aha! moment, when I realized that fruit could and should be “my thing”.
The fruit notes in Visa are remarkable – white peaches, plums, and pears that smell true to life without smelling the slightest bit loud or fake. Darkened at the edges by the burnt sugar of immortelle and wrapped up tenderly in a powdery benzoin blanket, Visa’s peaches and plums feels bathed in autumnal dusk compared to the strobe-lit glare of most other fruity-floral fragrances. There’s a certain winey, “stained-glass” glow to the stone fruit that makes me ridiculously happy.
When I visualize the type of person that might wear Visa as her signature fragrance, I see a sexy librarian with glasses and a knowing smile. As deep and as comforting as a well-powdered bosom, Visa presents the wearer with a restrained take on loud fruit-chocolate-gourmand “chypres” such as Angel and Chinatown. Here there is no excess, no loud notes playing out of tune, and thankfully, no fruit loop-flavored syrup anywhere to be found.
Everything in Visa is set at hush levels. Even the leather note is gentle – a buffed grey suede rather than a twangy new shoe. The suede and the slight drinking chocolate powder feel in the base offers a gentle cushion for the fruit notes, and a dignified end to the story. Half the pleasure I derive from wearing Visa lies in trying to guess what category it falls into. Actually, it straddles several at once – the fruity-floral, leather chypre, fruit leather, gourmand, and maybe even the dreaded fruitchouli. But far being a brainless fruity, sweet thing you use to stun the opposite sex into submission, Visa is poised and a little bit mysterious. It’s for grown-up women who know their place in the world, not little girls trying to fit in with the crowd.
As you walk through a room you leave a part of you behind...making heads turn and everyone asking,"what kind of perfume are you wearing?" you says VISA 2007. This fragrance oozes the self confidence and sexiness of the modern day lady who can handle anything that comes her way.Luxurious, Gorgeous,Sensual,Oriental,Irresistible,Evocative,Warm and Seductively Gourmand.
Smell the fruity accents on top(bergamot,pear and white peach)and you are transported into a nightclub with music blasting out of the speakers and cocktails being served,the floral heart evoking lithe bodies swaying to the rhythm of the song.the dry down includes mysterious note of patchouli,benzoin, vanilla,vetiver and leather to make a sensual and sexy potion.
VISA 2007 is perfect for modern and sophisticated ladies who wants to make a first impression that will not soon be forgotten.the best seasons for this one are Autumn and Winter.Truly elegant and makes a woman feel sexy,mature and confident whenever she wears. This is the scent to wear when you want to get noticed,not for the faint of the hear,wear this and you will definitely get the attention that you want.
Longevity?Good on my skin.
Under review here is the 2007 release, composed by Aurélien Guichard. Guichard created Visa between his breakthrough opus Chinatown and his reformulation of Azzaro Couture. Between them these three scents establish a distinct personal style, but they also represent different facets of a single, extremely fertile idea: a hybrid between the lactonic chypre genre, (whose antecedents go as far back as Mitsouko,) and gourmand floral orientals in the modern mold of Angel. The lynchpin note is patchouli, which appears to bind the chypre and oriental components along a common axis in each of the three scents. Besides those patchouli sutures, evidence of common paternity includes boldly three-dimensional lactone-based fruit accords and vanillic base notes so emphatically powdery they cause a pleasant, if peculiar, sensation of ground chalk in the nostrils. Of the three sisters, Visa is the darkest, the spiciest, and the most oriental in its overall flavor. In many respects it may also be the most approachable and easy to wear of the three. It should find an especially receptive audience among those who enjoy the overall structure of Chinatown, but find it too intensely sweet or dissonant to wear with comfort.
Visa’s top notes are among the most immediately captivating I’ve encountered in a long time. Lush fruit, orange blossom, vanilla, a flourish of aldehydes, a touch of smoky leather, and a subtly pungent animalic element (synthetic civet is my guess) play a grand harp glissando across the olfactory centers. The olfactory colors shift and merge into a soft, luxurious, and utterly seamless accord that simultaneously conjures brushed suede, caramelized spiced fruit, and tropical blossoms, all wrapped in Guichard’s trademark powdery vanilla. Patchouli is ever-present in the foundation, though it does not register strongly as an individual note. Instead it works alongside the quietly persistent animalic musk from the opening to imbue a sense of living warmth to the entire composition.
Visa is potent without ever seeming crass or loud, and offers substantial sillage and longevity. The beautifully soft powdery/mossy vanillic drydown remains a joy for many hours after application. Fully worthy to stand beside its Bond No. 9 and Azzaro siblings, not to mention the outstanding recent reconstructions of Bandit and Baghari. (The latter again by Guichard.)
The reformulated version of Visa is a rich, sensual but somehow linear and contemporary fruity-floral chypre, much lighter and more lively than "classic" chypres. Aldehydated and solid, a sort of more adult and calmer version of Daim Blond, less syrupy and more powdery. The drydown is equally powdery-floral, slightly dry, with a subtle suede note, much lighter than I expected – I was hoping for some naughty, darker side to reveal, but instead it was pretty much all there. Well-executed, safe and pleasant, the perfect gift for a refined woman/girl; but to be honest, a bit pale and "mute" to me, with a feel of waiting for something which (spoiler alert) you won't get.
The recent version:
Peach and pear like long-lost siblings unite to a delicious opening blast, with a violet leaf component and a citrus underpinning. It is rich, fruity but not sweet. Rose, ylang-yang, benzoin and patchouli are added in the drydown, with the latter making a mark in particularly. In the base the centre of the base notes introduces itself as a nice sandalwood that is given depth with a balanced vanilla of limited sweetness. This is all very well blended of high-quality ingredients. Performance is exceptional with very good silage and projection, and an outstanding longevity of eleven hours on my skin.
Remembering the vintage from a while ago, I agree it was the superior, richer scent, but in the case of Visa the reformulation is a very good product indeed - not always is the modern version a bad one.