No doubts about Carticasi is a further extremely realistic and natural experiment from Testa Maura ( I would add a somewhat minimalistic creation as usual for the brand's releases) but in my humble opinion this datum is not always sufficient to "package" an achieved, complete and effective fragrance for us (with all its essential charge of texture and refinement). Carticasi is overly resinous and crude to me, utterly mastered by grassy, almost bitter and earthy undertones, too much wild in substance. The aroma knocks immediately you down with a sticky fist of mastic, spicy/floral alcohol (hints of pepper?), fir resins, minimal hints of citrus and musty/damp earthy galbanum. You feel yourself bewildered and crushed on a corner. In the course of the first five minutes indeed an almost suffocating, humid/alcoholic, cedary, pungent rooty harshness waves in the air narrating about a sort of forest undergrowth. Finally a lymphatic (vegetal and grassy/earthy) rose starts standing out in the middle of the humid grassiness but it does not manage to tame the wildness and to provide hints of refinement. The aroma retains its run almost linearly (with its not-evolving almost "O'Driu'esque" initial approach with vague Bang's conjurations) till when some woods restrain a bit the dampness providing a more solid woodsy basement for this longly harsh, alcoholic (in a cedary/lemony and spicy way) and probably peppery concoction of the wood. After a couple of hours a lightler floral spark seems dancing over a slightly tamed green harshness but that's not enough to refine and polish the aroma providing structure and "order". A wonderful woodsy odour but a not convincing fragrance under my nose. Longevity and projection are in the average on my skin.
02nd March, 2014 (last edited: 07th January, 2015)
Carticasi goes on with a very strong grassy-green note, strongly resembling the smell of freshly cut green grass. Underneath the mastic open is a very subtle rose undertone that really takes a bit of the bite out of the now slightly bitter green accord, as galbanum also joins the mastic in the scent's heart. The base has woody undertones, but the resinous biter-green remains through the dry-down, now in a more supporting role to the woody accord taking the fore. Projection is average to below average, with surprisingly above average longevity (especially for an all-natural).
Carticasi is a very nice release from Testa Maura indeed. It starts off a bit on the strong side with its cut green grass-like mastic note, but the rose and galbanum really compliment the mastic extremely well, giving the perfect juxtaposition of bracingly bitter (from the galbanum) and smooth and soft (from the rose). The woody notes in the base only enhance the overall experience and meld perfectly with the remaining bitter greens from the heart. While I can certainly see some being a bit put off by the open (which I personally enjoyed), it is only the prelude to the amazing heart and dry-down to come of this minimalist all natural gem. Carticasi earns a "very good" to "excellent" 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5.
Topnote: Mastic Resin
Heartnote: Galbanum, Rose, Ylang-Ylang
Carticasi has probably one of the most realistic note list I've ever seen. It exactly smells like the sum of its parts. A minimalistic yet quite interesting mixture of extremely bitter green notes and resins with a non-powdery rose/floral accord and a woody base. If you like the typical resinous green aroma of galbanum, Carticasi is a mandatory test. Not to talk that this is one of the very few good rendition of mastic available on the market.
As all the other fragrances from this line, it smells incredibly natural, simple with average longevity (considering it's 100% organic stuff).
Fans of bitter green florals take note.