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.