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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Maria Candida Gentile Leuco Review, aka Audrey has a Recollection

I wasn't sure if I would like Leuco by Maria Candida Gentile.  Every time I see 'honey' in a notes list, I get a little uncomfortable.  I don't really like the scent of honey in perfumes when it's a heavy, dark resin-like scent, as it tends to overpower everything else.  However, I have yet to meet a Gentile scent that I don't like, all of them tend to be so well blended and beautiful, that I folded and purchased a mini bottle each of Leuco and Kitrea.  Today I'll be focusing on Leuco.

Leuco opens with a fun spray of citrus and black pepper.  It's sweet and pretty yet holds an edge of sexiness and I get some lily in here.  There's an element of beeswax but no dark honey that I can see, which is a huge relief......I get no tuberose at all.  This scent is bright, yet seems contemplative and calm.  It's the kind of scent that I would spray on after an hour long massage when I'm feeling very relaxed and a little lazy, and just want to be surrounded by warmth and comfort.  The pepper is not anything that would make you uncomfortable, it takes on the element of a slightly warm incense.  It's almost like a pomander sniffed in the summer air.

The spice and floral continue to braid together and the citrus holds it all aloft, never heavy but very present.  The notes never seem to fade but organize themselves into a definitive structure.  You can practically see the pyramid of notes, but they all exist as a whole and the removal of one would destabilize the entire construction.  This stage holds its strength for a very long time and becomes rather clean smelling.....wait......what?  It's my mom!

This fragrance smells very, very similar to Maja by Myrurgia (the original scent) with an overlay of citrus.

Fragrance has more power to trigger memory than any other sense.  Babies and children bond to their mother instinctively by scent, so the scent of your mother is will typically become an incredibly appealing fragrance to you with its ability to make you feel warm, happy, and loved. 

My mother was a huge fan of Maja by Myrurgia soap.  She always had a box of three lingering around and it was a 'luxury soap'.  As a child I found it a little nose-tickly but nice enough, and I recall sniffing the box with pleasure, fascinated by the beautiful design of the box and wondering how I could make a flamenco-style dress for my paper dolls.  Since then, I have always associated the scent of Maja with my mom in her glamorous mood.  She wasn't one to dress up but she always had a splash of cologne, at the very least, and citrus scents will always remind me of the Dominican side of my family, all of whom were big fans of 4711.  My best childhood memories are heavily laced with those turquoise and gold bottles and the scent of clean adults in the humidity, radiating the warmth of that cologne. 

Leuco is beautiful, clean, warm, vibrant, and a little sexy.  And it is bringing memories back in a tidal wave of my mother's bedroom and its dark green rug, her grey beige dresser with the seventies TV propped up the corner and her sewing machine on the other end.  She is dressed for a tennis lesson and is directing me to put on my sandals.  And I am very, very happy because she smells like sunshine, 4711 and pretty soap.

Once I make that connection I can't let it go.  I am huffing my arm and holding on to this memory.  The scent continues to develop and the citruses eventually, after a long period of time, let go of the scent allowing the florals and spice to take over.  At this point the tuberose is vaguely recognizable but it's the lily that gets my focus.  Is this a honey scent?  No....but it holds the lovely beeswax element adding that incense feel to the pepper and retains that scent the whole time, similar to the beeswax that I find in Seville a L'Aube.  During its very last stages the scent seems to sweeten a bit further (never cloying) retaining the barest memory of the lily and tuberose.  It remains there, strong, steady and happy, for over 10 hours on my skin.

This is a scent to be worn and treasured, and it's a scent that I want my children to associate with me, so they can share the memory of the scent of my mother through me.....sunshine, citrus cologne and pretty soap is Leuco.

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