May 1, 2018
Gian Luc Perris of Perris Montecarlo and perfumer Luca Maffei 2016 Art and Olfaction Finalists for Rose de Taif (photo via Brandusa Paulesca of Atelier Fragranze Milano)
Gian Luc Perris, perfumer and Founder of Perris Montecarlo and Luca Maffei (alone, together and separately) have joined forces to create Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria, Mandarino di Sicilia and Cedro di Diamante, an olfactive tribute to the citrus fruits of Southwestern Italy. All of Esxence 2018 was buzzing with excitement. And rightly so, as they are each are as good as citrus gets.
Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria, Mandarino di Sicilia and Cedro di Diamante photo via Ermano©
Sampling Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria, Mandarino di Sicilia and Cedro di Diamante was a highlight of Esxence 2018 for all of us (see Michelyn’s, Ermano’s, Danu’s, Lauryn’s and Sebastian’s Best of Show reports).
Sponge bergamot extraction. Photo by Pierre Bénard©
Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria: In their pursuit in using only the finest natural ingredients, Gian Luc Perris and Luca Maffei have eschewed machine-extracted bergamot oil in favor of the time-honored “Sponge Bergamot”; wherein the oil is passed thru a natural sea-sponge which eliminates the pith and membrane, and in doing so removes much of the overly green and bitter facets of the Linalyl Acetate so common in commercially produced oils. The Sponge Bergamot is created by two brothers in Calabria, the “toe” of southwest Italy, and production is limited to approximately 20 kilos per year. Working with award-winning wunderkind perfumer Luca Maffei, the end result is a bergamot oil that is unlike any other I’ve smelled; astoundingly floral and fruity, this is a bergamot that feels truly “alive” jumping off your skin and making you dizzy with its beauty.
D’été Cocktail. Vogue Paris June/July 2014©
It’s a veritable explosion of citrus and slightly spicy notes that will have your nose glued to your wrist. In the 80’s when I was working in Northeastern Brazil, I remember stopping at a beachside juice stand for a “Suco de Laranja” (fresh pressed orange juice) but the young man pulled out what looked like giant tangerines which he proceeded to juice over ice. The ice cold natural sweet and stunning floral taste made me catch my breath. The smell and taste of that juice were unlike anything I’d encountered and this is what the Bergamotto di Calabria fragrance brings to mind; this is a truly special one-of-a-kind scent creation and if you’re a fan of bergamot notes, you absolutely cannot miss this one. This is my favorite of the three, although the next two are certainly strong contenders.Notes: Petit grain, neroli, fresh ginger, jasmine absolute, Orange absolute, pepper, Iris, sandalwood, musk, vetiver, patchouli.
via Green Mandarin ultanel©
Mandarino di Sicilia: Turning now to Sicily, the island at the end of the “toe” M. Perris honors the green mandarin, a slightly drier and more bitter citrus fruit with it’s own unique and beautiful scent. Using young mandarins that are not quite ripe gives this Eau de Parfum the fresh and green notes reminiscent of the green mandarin leaves and shoots, and the addition of the yellow mandarin, jasmine, and geranium sweeten the jus slightly. It’s as if you’re having lunch at the height of a warm Sicilian afternoon, in the midst of a green citrus grove with the fragrance of the hot leaves and fruit mixing with the heat emanating from the ground underfoot. Magical and evocative.Green mandarin, bitter orange, yellow mandarin, petitgrain, jasmine, geranium, orange blossom, cedar, amber, musk.
Cedro Limon Johann Christophe Volkamer 1908©
Cedro di Diamante by Luca Maffei, has nothing to do with cedar wood, but rather the citron-like Italian fruit known as Cedro Límon, grown in and around the Calabrian town of Diamante. A sometimes football-sized nubby yellowish citrus whose pith and zest are prized throughout Mediterranean and Middle East countries for their flavor and glorious scent, the Cedro oil is also used extensively in perfume creation. Perris Monte Carlo Cedro di Diamante with its base of oakmoss and musk, and spiced notes of pepper, ginger, and cardamom is the most “fougére” of the trio, a bracing and electrifying pure green citrus jolt which is perfect for summer splashing; a grown-up version of the beloved Jean Nate splash from the 70’s, but without the sweet and floral overload. I am already looking forward to dousing myself in the morning aprés le bain and feeling fresh, vital and full of life. Citron, lime, lemon, lemon verbena, pink pepper, ginger, cardamom, Sichuan pepper, iris, oakmoss, musk.
Sr Editor Robert Herrmann and Gian Luc Perris of Perris Monte Carlo photo by Robert H
If you think it isn’t possible to create fragrances that still manage to surprise and delight using familiar notes, or feel like you’ve “smelled it all”, then turn your nose towards the three new citrus Eau de Parfum created by Perris Monte Carlo and prepare to cast off cynicism and your nose will rejoice.
Disclosure: Thank you SO much to Gian-Luc Perris and Perris Monte Carlo for supplying my samples of Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria, Perris Mandarino di Sicilia and Perris Monte Carlo Cedro di Diamante. . The opinions are my own.
–Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor
-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief (special thanks to Pierre Bernard for use of some of his photo©)
Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria ,Perris Montecarlo Mandarino di Sicilia and Perris Montecarlo Cedro di Diamante courtesy of Gian Luc Perris
Thanks to the largesse of Gian Luc Perris of Perris Monte Carlo, we have a special draw for one registered reader for your choice of either Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria OR Perris Monte Carlo Mandarino di Sicilia OR Perris Monte Carlo Cedro di Diamante(so be sure to register if you have not done so). The fragrances will not be ready until end of May so the winner must be patient. To be eligible please let us know what appeals to you about Robert’s reviews of Perris Monte Carlo Bergamotto di Calabria, Mandarino di Sicilia and Cedro di Diamante, which you would like to win and where you live. Have you been following our Esxence reports? Please put that in your comment as well. Perris Montecarlo is available at Bergdorf Goodman, Printemps Paris, Fortnum Mason and stockists worldwide. Draw closes on May 5, 2018.