Gringo is my new favourite from La Via del Profumo. The funny thing is that I already had a sample many years ago and I liked it but wasn’t wowed by it. A few weeks ago I ordered a new sample and it totally blew me away! First of all: Gringo is very persistent for a natural perfume. Folks who want decent longevity will be happy with this one. But to me the smell is the most important thing: The clever juxtaposition of very dirty (castoreum) and very clean notes (mint, citrus) is simply great. Gringo has a hefty dose of castoreum in it and one can smell its full power, but just at the moment when the scent would become too dirty the wonderful mint-note comes into play and covers the stinkier facets of castoreum up. I think there should be more perfumes featuring mint. Patchouli, frankincense, sandalwood and vanilla give the scent a solid and sweet body, so that the perfume appears almost monolithic, but paradoxically at the same time Gringo is kind of weightless and very easy to wear. A nice touch of citrus gives Gringo a Mediterranean feeling. Allegedly there is some rose in it, but to be honest I have problems detecting it. Probably the rose is somewhere in the background holding the scent together. Gringo doesn’t develop much over time, so what you get in the beginning is basically what you get in the end - and that for many glorious hours.
29th August, 2016 (last edited: 02nd September, 2016)
If you’re familiar with Dubrana’s work, the palette here is quite the same of many others among his masculine offers (notably Tabac and Don Corleone), here with a bolder animalic-musky twist: civet (rich, dirty, sweaty), patchouli, oak moss and a light floral breeze which together with the earthy-indolic base, kind of reminded me of Rabanne’s Ténére and Bogart’s Furyo at first. The rose petals floating over a pile of steamy animalic stuff is somehow the same here as regards of the abovementioned fragrances, well supported by sandalwood and its peculiar sweet-syrupy woodiness. A few notes, all vibrant, sharp and clear, as per Dubrana’s style. Another great example of dark, natural, intense masculinity in a bottle (I know it’s outdated to classify scents by gender, but sometimes it works – surely it does for this brand). The smell here is earthy, woody, sweaty and from times to times even moldy-indolic thanks to civet; easy to think of many old-school masculine chypres. Still it’s all more natural here, so in a way, smelling more rich, more “alive”, more effortless, less “formal” and less tamed down (and less synthetic). For some reasons not a “wow” entirely, perhaps for a sort of boring linearity, but overall surely a fascinating and solid scent.
Yes an interesting fragrance with a compelling minty lemony opening. The note of lemon is throughout heady but tends to become progressively smoother, earthy, more animalic, incensey-resinous and vanillic. The rose (by soon vegetal and green) is wisely connected with patchouli, earthy notes and incense in order to provide a fantastic "neo-retro" atmosphere. Brightly avantgarde (neo-yippie) and vintage concoction at once, indeed. In particulare castoreum, sandalwood and lemony vanilla are so smooth, sensual and intense as surrounded by a subtle steady minty undertone. Evocative about cozy dodgy (yippie) parties in the East London secret venues. Castoreum and earthy patchouli provide an elusive slightly stuffy existentialist atmosphere. The evolution performs a sort of aromatic earthy "beyond-retro" rose-frankincense earthy-hesperidic accord absolutely delightful and nonconformist. Cultured, nostalgic and indipendent is the Gringo's wearer, he is an eccentric fellow, reads Jack London, wears vintage fabrics, loves aromatherapy, weeds and oriental aptitudes, dislikes conventional glamour parties and prefers aromatic candles, english gardens and moquette far down in the suburbia clandestine venues.
A suave and rather arresting fragrance that showcases some dry, dusty frankincense with a touch of aromatic woods and spice. I'm almost positive there is some tobacco flower in there as well. I thought it smelled like Grezzo d'Eleganza without the sweetness.
As the story goes, GRINGO was originally composed for an Italian stylist who turned it down as he thought it was too audacious to be appreciated by his customers. Seriously? What a moron! With all due respect, this stylist probably wears thin watery crap all day and hangs around AdG-drenched clients. That's just too bad for him for this 'charming rogue' is definitely one of my favorites from this house.
If you've tried Grezzo d'Eleganza, you might be reminded of it, especially the opening phases. At first I thought it was Grezzo with extra citrus and some peppermint. Is that the shared castoreum, perhaps? And then it develops into a really complex set of accords which to my nose is dominated by peppermint, with Mysore sandalwood (creamy smooth), rose (to deepen and join with the sandalwood), a hint of vanilla (to sweeten and kiss the others), and frankincense (to sparkle a little and raise our heads). A really interesting and enjoyable experience. I have only just tried it though and will be interested to see what it might be like in larger doses and in different weathers (it's winter right now).
Lasts ages, has good sillage for 2-3 hours and then retreats gradually to medium/low sillage - just above skin level. (A really good tip, if you don't know it already, is to put some on the front of your wrist. Every time you raise your hands towards your face, you'll smell it. I also like to put some on my sideburns - the hair seems to hang on to the oils longer/evaporation is a little slower.)
How does it make me feel? It's quite a zingy feel from the lemony peppermint, which is youthful and with the castoreum a bit frisky, but it's also sophisticated and centred, rather as L'Aventurier perhaps has already commented. I will certainly enjoy the rest of my small sample and, depeding on how my other Via Profumo samples pan out, it may well reach the Buy a Bigger Bottle list!