This is an amazingly zesty fizzing verbena bomb!
If you like your citrus sharp and tart, this is for you. I found it had fairly good longevity for a citrus scent, at such an inexpensive price, you can afford to reapply every couple of hours anyway.
Tiny let-down...the packaging is fairly cheap looking, especially compared to the vintage. No biggie!
* Idiotically I missed the massive ginger note in this. It wasn't until I was grating some that my brain switched on and I thought "Monsieur Balmain!" The ginger in this is as big as the verbena. Wonderful!
29th October, 2012 (last edited: 03rd November, 2012)
Ignoring the Marie Antoinette back story that everyone seemed so up in arms about and concentrating just on the quality of the fragrance, I love this! Upon smelling, I was immediately taken back to the now discontinued Libertine by Vivienne Westwood, also a green chypre, but make no mistake, this is far more refined. Beautifully blended, it has none of Libertine's somewhat shrill opening. It is smooth from start to finish. I consider this to be Libertine in its 40's, gone is the rebellion of youth, the middle finger is delicately clasped, the lady has emerged elegant, noble, smelling great and far cleverer at hiding her disdain for convention.
Having read many reviews focusing on the back story and stating that it isn't possible that a fragrance like this would exist in Marie-Antoinette's time, I find it odd that Libertine was supposed to be an olfactory expression of the socialite 'Libertines' of the 17th century and the two ended up smelling so similar. Anyway, I digress.
Worthy of its price tag. Find it, try it, buy it!
20th September, 2012 (last edited: 05th October, 2012)
Compared to the other Ortigia fragrances, the moment you spray this you know it has a complexity that is slightly lacking in the other Eau de Toilettes/Colognes/Parfums in the range. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy most of them, but this is so much darker than the others. This is winter by an open fire with warm whiskey.
It opens with a head swirling mixture of pipe smoke, black pepper, aniseed, cardamom and spicy bourbon, and is almost too much for the nose to take in.
After 15mins an amazing balmy, almost balsamic accord takes over. Everything harmoniously softens, the smoke clears and the amber resins and woods appear with just enough vanilla to warm up the spice notes which remain. By this point, I can't stop sniffing myself and get an overwhelming sense of comfort from it.
A perfect amber that lasts (I applied mine 10hrs ago and it's still there.)
*On a side-note, every once in a while, depending on the weather, this can start off a little unpleasant on me. It opens smelling bitter, 70's and very manly. This passes after 5/10mins but is always an unwelcome surprise given that it normally opens so enjoyably. Might be best to try this one before buying.
This scent is made using a giant cactus with bright orange flowers, indigenous to Sicily, and opens with the strong smell of freshly cut stems that have been frozen in ice; green, cold, cedary and ever so slightly citric with a hint of flora. Interestingly, and equally, I also get a dry, minutely sweet, smokey tobacco note alongside the greenery that creates a wonderfully unusual partnership.
The dry down softens the top notes and introduces a whispering creamy vanilla to warm things up a little, and maybe, just maybe, a tiny hint of banana leaf.
It may just be my chemistry but after an hour or two I'd say this fragrance becomes gourmand. The cool greenery has all but gone and you're left with something that smells like a good quality vanilla ice-cream with a hint of coconut. There's still a hint of powdery flora, too, never soapy. I'm not a fan of vanilla or gourmands in general, but I really like what this becomes.
Too me, this is a scent that was made with summer in mind and is perfectly unisex. Depending on the weather, I find the green elements can stick around a lot longer. The coconut accord comes and goes, too. Sometimes it never appears, other times, I get a huge burst of suncream. What ever Fico decides to disclose, never disappoints.
All in all, an unusual scent that gets a lot of compliments. I love it!