Au Dela opens with a heavy, classical citrus and culinary green accord of pungent coriander, a hint of lemon and bergamot, undercut almost immediately with a dense moss. It reminds me (in style) of Mito by Vero Profumo – a gorgeously sharp citrus opening, a white floral seamlessly blended heart and a green moss base… only this is a little warmer and softer (and just a smidge soapy – neroli?).
The neroli adds a distinctive soapy and somewhat powdery accord in the heart, there’s a little orange blossom and a very transparent, clean jasmine. The powder throughout (which at times seems to come from a vanilla/amber in the base), is a subtle melancholy touch, reminiscent of the accords that run through vintage Guerlain classics and maybe even Roucel’s older work for Dior (although even that smelt a little more modern). It’s not a dated smell, but a reference to fragrances of the past, and it’s very, very nice.
I admit, to me at least, it smells relatively simplistic, or maybe even minimalist… it is beautifully composed and balanced, extremely soft on the skin – but with a lovely throw. A no-frills chypre structure (with a hint of powdery amber) using the bare necessities only, but nicely done: a gorgeous, easy wear.
Lampblack is a beautifully balanced, tarry “thing” up top, the black petroleum-like notes immediately combatted and freshened somewhat by an abrasive and bitter grapefruit and black pepper. It as a very similar “sour-fruit and smoke” vibe that I get in Lil by Olympic Orchids, only the smoke here is more literally… like an undercurrent of rough black leather. The difference between this and a million other smoky leathers is the restraint of it on the skin, and the visual structure it delivers… the leather literally smells “underneath” everything else – whilst the fresh citrus notes up top create something reminiscent (although not scent-wise) of the fresh vs. leather Knize 10.
Whether it is lime leaf (which I think it is), or something else, the sour green of citrus fruits stays for much longer than expected, slowly giving in to a smoky vetiver underneath. Again, as with Au Dela, there’s a signature powder making the whole composition smell more classical, than modern or avant-garde (as these kind of compositions often do) – and that makes a realllllly nice change.
The memory of lime, subtle bitter greens, smoke, vetiver and powder is how the fragrance pretty much stays until the end. Now and again a bit of extra texture is thrown up from a sharp, oily “petrol” note, and then the powder tames the whole thing down. It’s again, surprisingly easy to wear, very nicely done – and an original take on a “leather”.
Bruno Fazzolari Lampblack 30ml Au Dela 30ml EDT – $85 each http://brunofazzolari.com/store/