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Manzanilla is the Spanish word for chamomile. Literally translated, it means "little apple," alluding to the tart, fruity green-apple scent of the herb. Since chamomile thrives in sunny climates (like those in Spain), it seems a good choice for a scent to conjure up images of sunny plains, rugged coastlines, medieval castles on high plateaus. Add in some dry citrus and lavender top notes, some woody mid-notes, and a leathery-amber-musk accord underneath it all, and you have the recipe for Nine Flags' evocation of Spain.
Since the fragrance is long discontinued, and only turns up rarely on eBay (at scary prices), few who don't remember this from times long past are likely to get to smell it. Which is a shame, because this was one of the best of Nine Flags' creations. Listen to Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain," or the final movement (the uptempo one) of Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez," or perhaps some Manuel deFalla ---- or even Chick Corea's jazz tone poem "Spain" and you'll have an idea. This is not the scent of full-out Flamenco (for that you'd need to visit Casa Puig), not the Gipsy Kings nor the "Capriccio Espagnole" by Rimsky-Korsakov. It's lighter, more even-tempered, suave but with a few rough edges. It's Madrid or Barcelona rather than the Costa Brava or la Mancha. Definitely Spain though --- magnifico!
27th March, 2010