La Via del Profumo – Gringo & Holy Water

Gringo opens with a bracing peppermint that almost comes across as a cool eucalyptus. A spicy frankincense with a peppery/clove like angle pushes forward pretty quickly – the herbal notes paired with the resinous incense has a really interesting hold/cot contrast.
The opening is quickly joined by a citrus lemon drop that feels slightly candied, subtle and sweet. It’s a clean, masculine opening which feels quite simplistic, but cleverly put together.

A rich, spicy rose similar to the one I smell in Tauer’s Incense Rose comes into play – and actually now I’ve mentioned it, Gringo shares a slight resemblance with the entire composition of the Tauer (which ironically I wore today) – rose, citrus fruits, incense.

A bitter patchouli in the background of Gringo and the slightly fleeting citrus pulls the fragrance away from the Tauer resemblance – along with a leathery note (which is listed as Castoreum) which gets more prominent over the next few hours. The castoreum has that rich nutty texture that reminds me of a subtle, more earthy mix of labdanum and Isobutyl Quinoline (the bitter leather note famously in Bandit amongst many other fragrances). As I said, it’s a subtle inclusion, but with the patchouli is a great alternative support for the frankincense.

The incense burns strong, as does that lovely spicy rose, and the quiet base supports these two notes – taking a more rugged edge into the drydown from the fresh, clean beginning, where the patchouli becomes slightly headshop-ish and a little musty. My favourite part of Gringo is the later drydown, where the stuffy patchouli is joined by an incredible sandalwood (probably the best I’ve smelt), and whilst maybe a bit “dated” for some, I think it’s quite charming :) Very nice work.

Holy Water opens with a crack of pepper and a cologne-fresh lemon. The frankincense comes forward quickly after, and paired with the freshness of the lemon, is completely different to the opening of Gringo surprisingly. Using these same two notes, Holy Water’s texture is translucent and smooth – it literally glows off the skin, particularly as a chorus of neroli joins in.

Now, this isn’t my usual kind of fragrance – fresh, translucent, and citrus isn’t really my thing – but the quality here is lovely, it’s crystal clear, and an unusual take on a cologne type fragrance with the dominant inclusion of incense. The incense is presented almost mineralic – cold and damp, and not remotely smoky.

As it continues, similarly to Gringo, a rose joins in. In Holy Water however the rose is a pale, tea rose – it enhances the lemon accords a little, and brings a slightly soapy quality to the heart. The floral addition is much-needed, but it turns out the tea rose then begins to dominate above the frankincense. For me, Holy Water becomes a little bit too simplistic here on. It is pleasant enough, very clean and light, with the soapy tea rose and subtle, mineral frankincense leading the fragrance to the finish. An unexpected, yet again very subtle, herbal element manages to creep in: it smells a little like lavender, but much lighter – it may just be a facet of the rose?

A sandalwood rounds the fragrance off at the end, although it’s not as potent and rich as that in Gringo. These two fragrances are great examples of how similar notes can create completely different fragrances. Whilst Gringo is obviously my favourite – they are both lovely introductions to the non-oud fragrances of this line :)

Gringo 15.5ml La Via del Profumo – 37 Euros
Holy Water 16ml La Via del Profumo – 42.15 Euros

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6 thoughts on “La Via del Profumo – Gringo & Holy Water

  1. Thanks for introducing me to this line. I have not heard of them. Lovely bottles too.

  2. laniersmith says:

    Oh boy that Gringo sounds like a lot of fun! And the bottles are wonderful I love those heavy clunky slightly olf fashioned bottles. Great post.

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