I wrote a review yesterday on Maria Candida Gentile's Leuco, and today I am reviewing Kitrea, another of her new line inspired by The Flight Of The Bumblebee. I have to say that I am amazed by what came out of this review. Keep going......
I took notes and wrote the following before I looked at the listed notes. This is crazy.
Kitrea opens with a mouthwatering punch of absinthe and lemon. It's breezy and cold and the absinthe fills your senses, like when you sip Pernod over ice in the middle of summer. In a few seconds I am reminded of time spent at my best friend's house, her parents were from Greece, and somehow this scent reminds me of their home. Her mother cooked frequently with lemons and there was always an aura of lemon rind and something vaguely minty that I associate with them. It's comforting and cool, and has an appealing density. It sweetens and I realize that this is the honey/beeswax element again, adding a solid background. It's the honeycomb that you eat a small piece of, and after the sugary amber taste resides there is a pleasant waxiness left in your senses that recalls the sweetness.
I am getting a very strong feel of environment here. It's smooth and gray and green. It feels coastal, like standing in a grove of trees and cypress,
breathing the cold breeze and pushing down with your hands into the
pockets of your coat. The ground is wet and cold and the underbrush and
grass are damp, but rather that running from the coolness you are
embracing it. It's reminiscent of standing on a rocky cliff and looking
down at the rough waves below, crashing into the tiny sliver of beach. There is lemon rind, not lemon juice, which adds to the effect of breeze and wind. It's all stones and and dirt and breeze and I find it quite beautiful in a wild, cold way.
The absinthe weaves in and out with the barest hint of the honey and lemon, and
I finally realize why it reminds me so much of my friend's house. Her
mother used to give us spoonfuls of a Greek treat, it was a thick, sweet
paste that came in a jar and tasted vaguely of mint. I looked it up
and found a recipe that indicated that this paste is made from mastic,
which is a resin made from the mastic tree. Apparently in some parts of
Greece this resin is known as "Tears of Chios" and has a pine or cedar
like flavor. This sweet but cooling treat was the culmination of fun
afternoons outside and left a pleasant aftertaste that lingered. This fragrance does that same trick of the senses. When you think it may be fading, it suddenly returns in a sensational rush that returns you to those early springtime woods by a stormy beach.
OK, now keep in mind that I wrote that before I read this:
"Kitrea is the union of the citruses and the sea, the dream of an island
full of lemons, the yellow of the sun that makes their peel shine from
afar and the wind that carries the smell of the unlimited, salty
horizon. It's the freedom of the waves and the inviting taste of the
south, an invitation to life, unconditioned."
I'd say Maria Candida Gentile is a master. To be able to capture a picture like that in a fragrance and actually have a wearer sense that same picture without even knowing the intent is truly incredible. Her scents have become some of the most loved in my collection and each one has the ability to affect my mood in a manner that most scents have not. I'll be reaching for this scent at moments when I'm overwhelmed with the day to day rhythm of my life and feel the need to embrace the wild and unknown.