In April of this year I blogged about a niche Italian fragrance house whose star is on the rise: XerJoff - a brand that embraces the idea of opulence and excess, and whose perfumes are nothing short of stupendous.
The most recent series in the XerJoff line is the delightful Casamorati range - a collection that preserves the distinguished history of a glorious fragrance house that was founded in Italy between the 18th and 19th centuries. The House of Casamorati was traditionally revered for its perfumed bathing soaps, and the vintage aromas once used to scent their creations have now been reincarnated in the form of this stunning Xerjoff perfume duo.
XJ Casamorati 1888 comprises two eau de parfums - the first Mefisto; an uplifting Italian oriental scent for men, and the second, Fiore d'Ulivo, a fresh floral for women. To my nose however, each of these scents can easily be worn and enjoyed by both genders. Mefisto is a tribute to classic Italian colognes, with a crisp citrus opening leading to a more floral heart of lavender, rose and Florentine iris. These accords shimmer over a rich base of sandalwood, cedar, vanilla and musk... the overall impression reminds me a little of Creed's Silver Mountain Water; however Mefisto offers something more of a classic Mediterranean character with rich undertones that lends it a soft and luscious oriental finish. In terms of refinement and finish, the Creed simply does come close.
But for my money, I am very taken with Fiore d'Ulivo... a parfum which embodies spring time in the Mediterranean, where the olive trees bloom for just a few days each year. This perfume is a simple composition, using just a handful of ingredients, but one with a very profound outcome. Fresh citrus and lotus flower rest at the top of this scent, where the gentle olive blooms take a starring role. For anyone who has smelled olive blossoms straight from the tree, Fiore d'Ulivo is a very accomplished rendering of that lovely perfume. Tender jasmine and magnolia emphasise the floral facet, and there is a lush soapiness present which conjures a sense of vivifying purity; as if having just washed ones hair in natural rainwater that has been perfumed with tiny flowers. Clean amber and musk lie beneath which add depth and a feeling of richness to the mix. XerJoff are not mincing words when they refer to Fiore d'Ulivo as a "magical springtime potion".
Gratifyingly, both Mefisto and Fiore d'Ulivo are offered in generous eau de parfum concentrations that render them detectable on the skin some 8 hours later.
The Casamorati collection are available through very select retail outlets in the UK, France, Italy and Russia, and retail for €165 each. The perfumes pictured above show this range presented in exquisite hand-made Chinese porcelain flacons, however due to the unexpected porousness of the bottles, they will soon be shipping in beautiful glass flacons instead. Should you ever come across a porcelain presentation, it will surely serve as a very rare and precious keepsake.