Bahiana is a fruity-vanilla scent (perhaps what I call vanilla it's coconut: it smells vanilla to me, though) with zesty fresh head notes and a subtle white breeze of flowers. It is so linear it's basically all there: fruits, vanilla, citrus, flowers. For hours. Decent, but utterly boring and a tad cloying after a while.
Bahiana is an absolute delight from beginning to end. Part of the delight comes from surprise – this is the rare tropical fruity floral that manages to side step all of the “flip-flops and pina colada” associations that usually go along with the genre. It opens on the most realistic note of freshly peeled mandarins that I have ever smelled. It is so good that I blinked in astonishment and then spent the next few hours spritzing it on again to play this part of the show back again.
Of course, the volatile citrus cannot be sustained, but it is a testament to the skill of perfumer Jeanne-Marie Faugier (who did Vespres Siciliennes for MDCI and Caravelle Epicee for Frapin) that what follows is as interesting and well-done as the start. It is basically a light rose and citrus duo resting on a bed of creamy guaiac wood and coconut. The coconut here is not the shouty, suntan oil type of coconut used in everything from Creed’s Virgin Island Water (which I quite enjoy) to Serge Lutens’ Un Bois Vanille (which I don’t). Rather, it is present in the perfume only as a sort of breezy, salty wood accent that calls to mind more the fibrous husk of the coconut rather than the flesh itself.
The dry down is remarkable for sustaining the essential character of the fruit and woods accord right to the end – in my experience, tropical fruity-florals usually verge off into sourness (Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, to give a prime example) or die a sudden death on my skin after a mere two hours (Virgin Island Water). Make no mistake about it – this is no heavy-hitter in the sillage or longevity stakes. You do need to reapply after four hours, which is the most I can get out of it. But the scent is so beautifully light, balanced, and natural-smelling, that reapplying it just makes me happy to be smelling it all over again. If you are looking for a tropical fruity floral that has brains, class, and lasts longer than a traditional eau de cologne, then this one should be in the running. Its genius lies in making you feel like you are relaxing on a beach without actually smelling like a beach. Perfect for people, like me, who work in an urban jungle and who need a shot of sunshine (but not a shot of tequila).
Notes: Brazilian orange, caipirinha limon, mandarin, tagette, green leaf, rosewood, gaiac wood, elemi, amber, musk, coconut
With listed notes like mandarin and coconut, I feared this might be a pina colada for the skin. Surprise! The opening is tropical fruit alright, but the accord comes off more like ripe mango, guava, and perhaps even a bit of passionfruit, rather than suntan lotion. Soon after application I found a buttery-smooth woody note welling up under the fruit. Could it be sandalwood? Checking the notes, I decide it must be the rosewood and gaiac at Bahiana's heart. And a beautifully handled wood it is! It blends with the bone-dry coconut note to form a warm cushion for the exotic fruits.
This is indeed tropical, and strictly for summertime. That said, Bahiana is the richest, most complex, and most lasting fruit fragrance I've encountered in a long time. It persists for at least 6 or 8 hours on me, with a lingering amber, musk, and wood drydown just lightly touched with fruit esters. How MPG gets those citrus notes to last so long is beyond me, but I'm certainly not going to complain.
Thank you, MPG!
Here is fuller notes list.
TOP: Brazilian orange, Caipirinha lemon, yellow mandarin
MID: Tagette, leafy greens, rosewood, gaiac wood, elemi
BASE: musk, amber, coconut.
First of all -- the coconut and amber are very subtle and (as a fan of neither) not a problem here. No suntan-lotion vibe, no buttery-rich sweetness.
This is a lovely unisex scent, certainly dry enough for a guy to enjoy.
Starts with lovely orange-citrus notes: soft and gentle, rather than acidic.
Then there are leafy and woody notes, all of which are very natural and subtle.
Settles into a very pleasant citrus-wood.
There is only the merest hint of coconut -- more in the green fig line.
Lovely woody dry-down.
A subtle scent, should have a broad appeal.
This one seems made for summer and summer seems made for it. Bahiana is very suitable for the hot typical weather of Bahia and seems a sophisticated and balanced composition of fresh, citrus notes over flowers with a soft and sparkling aroma, with discreet fruity touches and a light woody base. Very comfortable on days that you don't feel like wearing anything because of the heat.