Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio EDT

Officially, it's lemon, peitigrain, bitter orange, galbanum, lentisque, fig and lavender. It's citrus, green, fresh, milky & woody, inspired by the Gardino di Ninfa near Rome.

Most definitely Mediterranean, by which I mean an eclectic voyage taking in everything from Sicily to the Middle East; lemon and petitgrain, darkening to bitter orange which introduces the resinous middle of galbanum and lentisque, an evocation of Cretan wooded groves, finishing with a milky figginess bringing just that briefest hint of Arabic perfumery, that slight and subtle pungency found so overpowering to western noses in agarwood but just hinted at in this perfume, granting the merest of animalics more as a memory amongst the green woods than an actual present micturating feline.

While that certainly reads like one of those highfalutin paragraphs that you'd read aside any number of scents, it is my compression of a number of thoughts summarised into a single albeit just about comprehensible string. 

I confess, I had to look up something that was really bugging me somewhere in the middle of this scent and that was the lentisque that I referenced. Mastic, another gum resin which when blended with galbanum heightens the green woody accords giving a real sense of presence within those groves. Milkiness is an adjective which is applied to this scent and I can see why, but it's more than the tears of a freshly cut fig - it is the mellifluence of those resins. There's something else in there which comes more as wafts from father afield - it's lavender, fresh and herbal, quite the counterpoint to the stuffy, dusty lavender of French soaps and one which you'd likely not immediately associate with lavender, more just a pleasant waft from afar.

That's the takeout: this scent is quite alive. It's not extracts of this and essences of that; it is that walk through that Mediterranean garden.

I've been wearing this on alternate days for the last week so that following that very first introduction, I've had some time to get to know the scent. It's easy to become quite nose-blind when you're specifically smelling something so purposefully, so one of the things I often do when getting to know new scents is to spritz is on just before going to bed and then paying very specific attention to the first scents upon waking. I also like to just spritz is on, forget about it and see just how many times a waft of the scent comes through during the day and whether there's much left at the end of the day.

For me, following that fleeting initial sparkle of citrus I get about an hour of real clean aireiness before a good few hours of the resins as they strengthen and punctuations of herbs and blossoms as they waft gently in and back out again with the breeze. The citrus does flow in and out, and with several citrus scents in there it's a different citrus each time. I'm quite attuned to Arabic perfumery and so perhaps get more from the resins and the pungency of the fig than folks attuned to Occidental perfumery who may well get much more green from the resin and floral blossom from the fig and petitgrain, and just a quizzical pause as a friendly cat is spotted amongst the trees.

This is modern and quite gender-neutral. It will appeal to the modern man and does have that masculinity within the darker citrus, resins and herbal notes. It's a personal scent, close to the skin and giving an air of interest to those in your immediate vicinity. It does not announce itself nor does it make a beast of itself.