Perfume Directory

Monserrat (2013)
by Bruno Fazzolari


Monserrat information

Year of Launch2013
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 18 votes)

People and companies

HouseBruno Fazzolari
PerfumerBruno Fazzolari

About Monserrat

Bruno Fazzolari:

Monserrat is fruity and bright, yet also warm, burnished and sensual. A fresh burst of green citrus, musky grapefruit laced through with soft green notes. Carrot seed lends an apricot aspect, while light jasmine adds floral qualities to the whole. Monserrat debuted at Jancar Jones Gallery, Los Angeles. It appeared in the gallery without a title, designated instead by a daub of paint on the label. The paintings feature luminous greens, dusky oranges and ochres. "I was thinking of worn and repainted urban walls; I also was thinking of fresco painting—which is the origin of the fantasy note 'wet plaster'.

Reviews of Monserrat

I get the wet plaster, fresh painted stone feel that Bruno was going for here. It is an interesting mix of green leaves, grapefruit, jasmine, apricots and carrot seed oil finishing with a white musk. The result lacks much depth that could have come from stronger contrasts. The smell of Monserrat is pleasant with no complaints, but does not reach for greatness and is shallow in the end. I think this scent was trying for, but not quite achieving the sharp clean crisp attitude of fragrances like Francis Kurkdjian's Petit Malin or 19-69 Villa Nellcote, both outstanding. Sadly this one is barely OK and definitely misses the mark.
30th March, 2020
Bruno Fazzolari's Monserrat is another mostly-fresh entry with an apricot dominance and contributions from jasmine and citrus, specifically grapefruit. Neither committed to the fruity nor the strictly citrus, it's a blend that indubitably seems geared toward warm weather wearing but does't fall into the citrus-dominant lot. For me, it mainly comes down to whether the wearer likes apricot or not, as it's the standout for me, with the jasmine and grapefruit serving familiarly and well-blended enough in the background. I'm not a huge fan of apricot but I'm pleased with its tempered use in Monserrat.

Still, this is not a fragrance I would reach for much, even if I had a free bottle. Five still remains the preeminent warm weather option of the line, over Monserrat and Room 237. Monserrat was a nice try, as usual, and not a terrible performer, though certainly not meriting the price ($110 for 30ml, same as the others) on performance; you'd really need to love the scent in order to buy it.

6 out of 10

10th April, 2017
Monserrat is an easy wear, but not an easy read. It is unashamedly a fruity-floral, particularly in the topnotes, which have a sunshiny, Doris Day vibe. Of course this is where a chill strikes me. Doris Days always scared the shit out of me. That blond, chirpy, starched-crinoline celluloid image was unnervingly untroubled. It's as if she cast no shadow.

Fazzolari makes a great case for the fruity-floral. It's not an intrinsically faulty genre, just one that's been saddled with the low aspirations of the perfume industry. An obvious approach to tempering the genre would be to make a slightly less sweet version, but Monserrat, for all its vivacity and buoyancy, is hardly obvious. A juicy, sweet/tart grapefruit lights up the composition and gives the touch of acidity that cuts any risk of syrup, but Monserrat is flagrantly sweet. The fruity topnotes end in a sugar-sweet violet tea.

Fazzolari lists osmanthus as a note, and the aromatic profile is there, but Monserrat seems to model osmanthus's form more than its scent per se. Osmanthus is its own fruity-floral perfume. The flowers have a recognizably peachy sweetness underlined by a woody tea note that aerates the scent and keeps it from cloying. Monserrat has a similar inclination, but the fruit and flowers are modulated by the scent of carrot seed, a very particular note that is woody, dusty, putty-like and matte. Carrot seed reins in the luster of the fruit and the flowers and creates a finely grained olfactory texture. This texture matches the 'fantasy note' of setting plaster that Fazzolari cites. Carrot seed neutralizes the reach of the flowers and create a push-pull balance in Monserrat. The balance is not the stationary point between two objects, but the active grapple between opposing forces.

Monserrat's breezy demeanor only partially disguises a shady undercurrent. Up top, Monserrrat is a day at the beach, but below is the undertow. This touch of menace puts Monserrat in line with two other Fazzolari perfumes, Lamblack and Room 237. All three hide something vaguely unsettling behind a facade of normalcy. Call it what you like--subtext, camouflage, lure--but each one carries a hint of danger. Monserrat is beautiful. Gorgeous, really. But it is also chilling, haunting. Lamblack is the dark and Room 237 is the fear of the dark. Monserrat is the fear in a handful of dust.

24th January, 2017
Reviewing Bruno Fazzolari perfumes is weird because his scents are so fully tied in with posters and paintings and synesthesia and art gallery receptions that it seems almost petty for a critic to say "I don't like how this smells" because there's a whole construct around them and not liking the smell feels like naively missing a greater artistic point. That being said, I don't like how this smells.

To explain, grapefruit essence smells nice, but has a strong undertone of cat pee. Currant also has a urine undertone. And tomato leaf smells great, but also like vomit. Monserrat is essentially these (along with something peachy and some vague flowers). The result is an intense smell, like some sort of chemical concentrate used to make tropical punch, but with pee and vomit hovering in the background.

Given time, the tropical punch wears off, and we're left with a strange smell that's an abstract combination of wood, green, fruit, plastic, vomit, and some sort of animal urine. It's not pleasant, but not as awful as it sounds, but it's weak compared to the topnotes, which gives the distinct impression that this perfume lacks an actual thoughtful base and what the smell is for most of the day is actually just the lingering dregs of the faded topnotes.

In all, I chose to reserve judgement on Bruno until I've tried more of his scents. I like his artful aesthetic and I'd much rather smell a perfume that aims high and misses than one that aims for mainstream dullness and hits. So I'm voting neutral, but I really don't like Monserrat...
20th December, 2016
I have voted neutral, but I could argue for thumbs up as well. It smells like a strong shampoo, but a brilliantly complex one, leaning feminine. I found the performance to be good, exciting even. It has a big personality.
21st June, 2016
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The core of the opening phase is a delicious fruitiness; a fruit cocktail of ripe peaches and pears that is counterbalanced by a citrus intermingled with subtle moments of bergamot. Underlying the top notes is a carpet of herbal grassiness and the whole combination of top notes works together beautifully.

The drydown brings out the floral side of this creation, mainly a jasmine that - on my skin - is more on the nimble and elegant side, and still associated with the green undertone; at this stage the freshness is replaced with a botanical plant-flowery mélange. The base adds a gentle white musk that fades out graciously.

The quality of the ingredients is very good, and as a side-effect the perfomance seems to suffer from the lack of synthetic enhancers: on me the sillage is on the soft side but the projection is adequate, and I get five hours of longevity. Overall a beautifully blended spring garden impression, maybe the one that once graced the environs of the famous namesake Catalonian Abbey. 3.5/5

17th November, 2015 (last edited: 08th December, 2015)

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