September 14, 2016
The Siren, Edward Armitage, 1888
“Think how we sailed up-wind, the brine
Tasting of daphne, the enormous wave
Thundering in the water cave—
Thunder in stone…"
— Archibald MacLeish, “The Rock in the Sea”
Photo by Nathaniel Goldberg for WSJ Magazine, May 2015
For the last two years, we traversed the globe in style with Parfumerie Generale’s La Croisiere collection, which served up cocktails on spray-glittered sundecks while transporting us to lush tropical ports. Now, alighting from the ocean liner and stepping into a small wooden boat, perfumer Pierre Guillaume sets us drifting under a cobalt sky towards the rocky coves of Greece with 27 Limanakia, the first perfume he has added to his Collection Numeraires since 2014’s Isparta.
Limanakia beach, Greece, photo by Helias Doulis
Named for a popular beach outside Athens whose staccato shore holds hidden recesses, Limanakia (meaning “small ports” in Greek) sings of the Aegean. But like the perfumes of La Croisiere, it is by no means a predictable aquatic fragrance. Steeped in mineral, woody-green aromas, Limanakia is a scent-photograph of the Aegean coast: warm water against stone, the strands embraced by wind-twisted cypress and wild cistus.
Photo by Thanasis Krikis for Vogue Greece, July 2012
Limanakia opens with complex greenness like a crushed laurel leaf unfolding on a bed of dried grass. It quickly shifts into a coniferous mintiness. Then, as the various verdant aspects combine, a mineral note slices through, as if the boat has come ashore and we are now climbing through brush and flint.
Cistus blossoming, photo by Andrea de Maria
Cistus, or rockrose, grows wild along Aegean coasts and is the source of the resin labdanum. Here, the cistus note adds an unexpected warmth after the bracing opening, like drying in the sun after a swim. Spice notes rise slowly, like a melody approaching from a distance. Cumin becomes gradually more detectable, adding a slight tang of sweat before it merges with a mossy note in the dry down.
Giola Lagoon, Thassos, Greece, photo from Architecture & Design
The tightrope balance of Limanakia, its interplay between heat and chill, between mineral and arboreal, and its uncanny ability to recall the Greek shoreline without any use of calone, is a hallmark of Pierre Guillaume’s wizardry as a perfumer.
Pierre Guillaume of Parfumerie Générale
This winter, when you cast a wistful eye over holiday photos pinned to your refrigerator, spray Limanakia on your wrist and close your eyes.
Notes: artemisia, cumin, flint, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, tiare flower, immortelle, patchouli, woody notes, cashmere wood and labdanum.
Disclosure: sample provided by Parfumerie Générale. My opinions are my own.
— Lauryn Beer, Sr. Contributor
Editor's Note: Parfumerie Générale 27 Limanakia debuted at the recent Pitti Fragranze Fair September 9-11
27 Limanakia, photo from Parfumerie Generale
Thanks to the generosity of Parfumerie Generale, we have a 30 ml bottle of Limanakia for one registered reader worldwide. To be eligible, please leave a comment with what appeals to you about Limanakia based on Lauryn’s review, where you live and if you have a favorite perfume from the Parfumerie Generale Collection. Draw closes 9/17/2016
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume