Just purchased a sampler of six Ayala Moriel perfumes. Out of the lot, this fragrance is definitely one of my favorites. My initial impression of 2-3 other Moriel scents was that of aging and outdated hippy oil. However, Palas Atena jumps ahead as a subtle, beautiful and mature fragrance with harmoniously blended citrus, floral and woody notes. The previous reviewers stated it already. This is definitely a citrus scent with top notes of neroli, orange and cinammon that immediately jump out. I did not find the initial notes to be medicinal just very citrus-y. After 15-20 minutes or so, the fragrance balances nicely with heart & base notes of lavender, jasmine and sandalwood. All around, this is a very pleasant and lovely scent. Not sure if it is a keeper but I am certainly enjoying my sample!
Many of my favorite scents are here, and this perfume conveys the strength that you would expect from the Greek goddess of war and wisdom. Palas Atena opens with a medicinal note that reminds me of an ointment for scrapes and burns my grandparents kept on hand called "black salve" or pine tar. Not at all unpleasant but surprising nonetheless. As the scent unfolds, the warming cinnamon still stands out. There is something earthy and soft like a smoldering campfire. The orange and champaca have real staying power. The base notes are beautifully subtle. It's an intriguing oriental and wonderful for autumn wear.
An understatedly gorgeous scent, Palas Atena's cinnamon note is what makes this perfume so intriguing and interesting. If I could compare this cinnamon note to anatomy, it is the psoas muscle, connecting heaven and earth (the upper body to the lower body). The cinnamon pulls the sweet top notes earthward while lifting the earthy patchouli, sandal and amber heavenward. Palas Atena constantly shifts between these realms...heaven and earth...with the cinnamon constantly adjusting to shifts in body chemistry (just as the psoas constantly adjusts to shifts in posture and locomotion). This is also a lasting scent of exceptionally high quality. A "natural perfumer" who makes everything in small batches using natural botanical essences, Ayala Moriel's skill (at crafting perfumes and sourcing ingredients) is on full display with this warm, rich, intriguing floral-oriental. I agree with Purplebird7 that this is almost a chypre: I believe it's the cinnamon that gives it that shimmering, shifting, mysterious quality.
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Harmonious with my skin. An Oriental that is almost a Chypre. Gentle sweetness of orange and neroli are lifted and cleansed by lavender. Compatible notes of jasmine and champaca add complexity. Cinnamon prevents the whole from entering the two-sweet realm. Patchouli grounds it with earthiness. Sandalwood lingers and floats throughout. Well-blended, spicy Oriental that is strong but quiet. I love this.
Top notes: Sweet Orange, Lavender, Neroli
Heart notes: Champaca, Jasmine, Cinnamon
Base notes: Amber, Patchouli, Sandalwood
Look at those notes! As an orange blossom junky, I'm drawn to this scent. Yet, that's not all that's here to reward. There are earth nymphs scampering around this orange grove, alternately peaking out from behind the trees. Once in a while I think I'm teased into believing I smell gardenia or cloves, but the notes dart away and hide in the patchouli underbrush. This is the kind of scent I could wear a couple times a week: pretty, not high-pitched (so my "alto nose" is happy), interesting enough not to become boring. The thing that's lacking is a volume knob that would allow me turn up the sillage. Once I find something this pleasing, I don't want to strain to enjoy it.