THE BEYOND ~ Au Delà by Bruno Fazzolari Editions

b fazzolari editions

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Glinting in the winter morning light, freshly varnished and perfectly manicured nails drummed on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. They were exactly the same shade of Vreeland red as the magazine with a laughing Kate Hudson on the cover. She was unaware of this little serendipity of color as she looked out over her vast living room to the snow dusted terrace that hung twenty eight floors above 5th avenue.

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New Years Eve morning. L’Ascension by Olivier Massiaen was playing on the radio.  She sighed, and flipped open Harper’s Bazaar. A beautiful girl with a perfume bottle, The page turned. “Kate Hudson gets festive in this season’s hottest styles. Welcome to Holiday Glamour……”  And indeed the actress looked very festive and hot and stylish and all the rest. Turned page. Chanel models in Chanel, Page on to Dior bags followed by Louis Vuitton.  A blond having too much fun being a blond in Michael Kors. The smile that made Julia Roberts a mega star smiled over her shoulder from the page for Lancôme. Still a pretty woman.  Austere Armani, proud Prada, Gucci Gucci Gucci. Any other day it would have been fun, like it always was.  Magazine meandering usually ended up in a trip down 5th to Bergdorf, then Barneys and always Bulgari for a bauble. She tossed the magazine aside and sank back into the silk over stuffed pillows of her now back in style Michael Taylor sofa.

Another Sigh. The sun shifted and a beam bounced off the ice on the terrace banister, glance a crystal on the chandelier and hit the facets of her pale violet diamond Deco inspired engagement ring. All twelve of the flawless carats caught fire. She lazily wiggled her ring finger and watched Tiffany & Co. dance within the stone. She pushed against the pillows, rose up from the sofa and tightened the sash on her Stefano Pilati silk robe.

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The deep pile of the Nepalese rug caressed her toes as she sauntered to the terrace doors to look out to the West over Manhattan. She had hours to get ready before dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. Hours to think. The trees in the park encrusted from the ice storm the night before looked like a Swarovski forest from Doctor Zhivago. Beautiful and cold, it looked as if there were wolves down there howling at the silver plated sky. Only last month she had been warm in San Pancho under the November sun on the Nayarit coast of Mexico. She met Jane and Earl Miller and fell in love with them when she went to stay at their little hotel. Getting to know them as she lounged by the pool at Roberto’s Bungalows was when it began, slow and steady and building over Thanksgiving and into December. The realization that she wanted what they had. She couldn’t put her finger on just what made their marriage seem authentic and real. But she knew now that she would not find that kind of love staring at her across the well appointed table at the Waldorf on New Years Eve.

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Late in the afternoon as she applied the finishing touches to her make-up she felt terrible for what she was about to do.  She knew he would not understand, she understood that he thought he loved her. She realized nether he or she had any idea what love was really about. Finished dressing by five-thirty she called for her car, put the engagement ring into its box and into her purse. There was only one thing more to do. She looked at the array of perfumes on her vanity. She picked up the small unassuming bottle of Au Delà and applied it to her wrist and neck. The old world yet modern beauty of the perfume enfolded her, comforted her, and promised of life to live beyond tonight. It whispered very softly just behind her ear “…the beyond.” She smiled for the first time, just a tiny hint of a smile really. After Auld Lang Sine she would be free to find out who she really was.

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(Bienvenidos paraíso, Roberto’s Bungalows) 

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Au Delà by perfumer and artist Bruno Fazzolari is something very special. I first smelled it along with the other perfumes of his initial launch into the perfume world last March at San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon. You can read about that event in my post, “Meeting The Magicians ~ SF Artisan Perfume Salon 2013”.

Au Delà immediately struck me as a fabulous perfume that recalled the great days of the house of Dior in the early 50’s. It is so reminiscent of such beauties as the old original Miss Dior. Not the silly girl she has become today in her reformulations but the beautiful confident woman she was at the dawn of post war glamour. I have to give credit to Hilary Randal who was the one to pinpoint for me what I was smelling in that bottle of Au Delà that day back in March.

Bruno has in his collection all of which was released in 2013, Lampblack, Jimmy, Five, Monserrat,  It’s Better Not To Worry Abut It and Au Delà. Each are exquisite and should be explored by any and every perfume lover, but for me Au Delà is the masterpiece of the line. It is the goddess in a bottle, the essence of French chic created by and artist who grew up in both in France and the United States.

This perfume was inspired by one of the major French composers of the 20th Century, Olivier Massiaen. And in this inspiration there is music, glorious music. To equate this fragrance to the inspiration just listen to L’Ascension by Massiaen and you have the tones and notes of this perfume.

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(Au Delà is right for any woman with the slightest chic)

It opens with a simple clear, glowing note of coriander. This note is almost immediately obliterated by an unfolding song from a beautiful jasmine that is wreathed with Neroli and orange blossoms. This plays its melody with increasing sensuality as it is aroused by the arrival of the base notes of Amber, Oakmoss and something magical created by Bruno known as Immanence. Immanence is a fantasy note that is as ephemeral as a dream and as real as fairy dust. It is the God note that encompasses everything and exists in all creation. It is there in the base of the perfume and gives it wings, shimmering wings on which to fly.

NYC Man(Au Delà is perfect for a man with great personal style)

This Chypre is indolic, intoxicating and inspiring. It loves to live on the skin of both men and women and in so doing finds the essence of male or female sensuality in the meeting of perfume to flesh. Since its release Au Delia has won both the Gold Medal for Top Artisan Perfumer at the International Artisan Fragrance Awards and the Gold Medal at the San Francisco Artisan Fragrance Salon.

I found this award winning perfume to be sublime with a respectable sillage and good longevity. You can find it at Bruno’s Webpage and at Tigerlily in San Francisco. Tigerlily is the first brick and mortar store to carry Bruno Fazzolari Editions. For a debut perfumer Au Delà is exceptional and I look forward to watching Bruno Fazzolari’s journey as an up an coming perfumer.

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Au Delà by Bruno Fazzolari Editions  Five Gold Stars *****

BRUNO FAZZOLARI WEBSITE: http://brunofazzolari.com/

TIGERLILY: Love & Luxe

(Tigerlily pop-up)

1169 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA94110

Hours: 12 – 6 Wed, Thurs
11 – 7 Fri, Sat
12 – 5 Sun

415 648 7781
info@loveandluxesf.com

ROBERTO’S BUNGALOWS: http://robertosbungalows.com/

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Listen to L’Ascension by Olivier Massiaen

LA STRADA DI GIO ~ Acqua di Gio by Armani

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Amalfi-Coast-of-Italy

Eons of erosion and salty breakers have formed the cliffs along the Amalfi coast. Tourists from around the globe flock to this spot on the Italian map where the mountains dive from precipitous heights like suicide bombers into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Neptune fans the ragged rocks with a glittering saline spay like diamonds from the deep. Rocky small beaches challenge one to find a comfortable spot to lie under the bronze eye of the sun.  The one narrow road from Castelammare di Stabia to Vietri Sul Mare, the Via Mauro Comite is jammed with Vespas, Italian sports cars, and tour buses the size of small yachts. Hairpin turns and blind corners dare drivers to great speed and daring maneuvers. The tour buses lumber along and lean out on turns threatening to dive into the sea with all aboard.  The wondrous natural beauty of this garden of lemons and lime trees, flowers, fruits and scrubby trees is inundated year round by the masses seeking to find some little corner of the real and personal beauty of this legendary coast.  It has been like this since the days of the Romans.

 

(TOUR OF THE AMALFI COAST)

High above the Via Mauro Comite and even further up than most would dare to go is a small sanitarium. It is a place where people go to recover from a long illness. Small cell like rooms open on to a terrace with views that seem to reach out to touch the very shores of Africa. Something left over from the late 19th Century, deserted now of the sick and in a limbo of antiseptic dreams it is waiting its turn to be transformed into a small tourist hotel. The quiet elegance of the place will soon be overrun by the fast money and hubbub clamor of the tourist trade and those who want to be where everyone else is going. What was once unique and apart is now copied and emulated until the original becomes mundane. But up here from high above the clamor of the masses in this place that will soon be transformed into the ordinary it is still possible to close your eyes, take a deep breath and smell what was once so rare.

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Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani was first introduced in 1996, the nose behind the fragrance was Alberto Morillas the creator of so many classics, among them the legendary M7 for Yves Saint Laurent. Acqua di Gio was ground breaking and original with the introduction of the oceanic note and from its creation sprung a whole pantheon of imitators. It is so popular that reportedly a bottle is sold on this planet every five seconds. This perfume stands in legend like Chanel No.5 does for women, as the go to scent for men; what can you say about it?

It smells nice. It smells like a vacation at the beach. It smells ordinary in its extraordinary nature due to the fact that it is so copied and that is a shame. For in retrospect we are blinded by the imitators. Having smelled its clones by other houses, a few of which I own it is next to impossible to be objective. We have to travel back in time 17 years and clear our minds and try.
It opens with an antiseptic camphor blast, like a medicinal menthol that expands the sinus. This introduction fades to lemons and limes and a cocktail of citrus with a jasmine flower nestled in cooling ice. Then in the middle the Calone molecule induced sea air rises with an Oceanic note and carries with it the summery blooms of Mediterranean Mignonette, green peppery Freesia, lush mysterious Cyclamen, Violets, a drunk on summer Hyacinth, roses, wild rosemary and even more jasmine all woven into a garland jauntily placed upon the head of a tanned youth eating a juicy warm peach. He may even have dusted that peach with a bit of nutmeg. The dry down is a solid foundation of amber, patchouli, Oakmoss, cedar and a clean fresh musk. This is all very predictable .

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Once worn for the day one can see the dull appeal this has to its wide range of admirers. It is supremely safe and unchallenging to the nose. A perfect introduction to those new and nervous to the world of scent, teenage boys I am told bath in it. Acqua di Gio is “classic” in this sense and has a sophistication in the way it was created by a master nose but unsophisticated in the results. Like the Amalfi coast has a reputation of great beauty and excitement and for that reason the beach is very crowded. When you get there you discover it is not Amalfi after all, but Coney Island.

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TWO BRONZE STARS **

AMALFI COAST FIVE PLATINUM STARS *****

****revised 1/7/13 to clarify my position on this fragrance*****

(FIAT FUN ON THE AMALFI COAST !)

ON THE TRAIN TO VENICE ~ Armani Eau Pour Homme

The uniquely plaintive train whistle echoes thought the huge train shed of
Stazione Termini Roma.

(“ROME ADVENTURE” 1962)

The doors with an airy whishing close and with the second  whistle blast the sleek Ferrari red Italo bullet train begins to wheel like a  silky sliver of light from the cocoon of the station. Suddenly, like any city in the  world, the backside view of Rome appears. Across the rows of polished steel tracks the walls and roofs of the city begin to slide away with increasing
speed, crumbly, golden and eternal, farewell Roma. Onward the train glides toward the final destination of Venice.

The train at top speed cuts with  surging power and grace though the beautiful central valley of Italy that lies  between the Apennines and the costal mountains. This deep lipstick red machine  is now speeding along at a smooth imperceptible 250 miles an hour. Quietly it  banks like a private jet gently and with much less noise it takes a turn. With
each turn left then right it becomes a waltz across the landscape Train  attendants move along in their chic uniforms with carts overflowing with snacks  and beverages. Everyone on the train except the tourists are thoughtfully and  beautifully dressed. Outside trees, and farms and hills and towns fly buy in a  beautiful kaleidoscopic whiz of green light and terracotta shadow. The glamour  of train travel is alive and well in Italy.

(LEAVING FLORENCE)

In no time at all the Duomo  of Florence appears on the right side of the train. In the station and out again  and on over the pass in the Mountains between Florence and Bologna.

(PASSING THROUCH BOLOGNA)

There are  high towers in the city of Bologna that lean too. Pisa has no exclusive rights  on leaning towers in Italy. Bologna’s can be seen high against the sky as the  train rolls out of the station to cut across the Po Valley and into the Veneto.

(ARRIVING VENICE ~” SUMMERTIME” 1955)

As the train leaves the mainland and ventures like Cupids arrow straight across the causeway  for the heart of La Serenissima the city shines on the lagoon. In moments the  passengers are descending from the train and moving caught up in the bustling  throng, though the station and out onto the Grand Canal. The whole world has  changed with this startling view of Venice accept the legendary style of Italy  and her people. They like Rome are eternal.

(KATHERINE HEPBURN HAPPY TO BE IN VENICE IN “SUMMERTIME”)

In its classic men’s perfume  from 1984 Armani Eau Pour Homme, the fashion house of Giorgio Armani captured  all the style and refined polish one finds in a train trip across Italy. Sleek,  elegant and powerful this fragrance has it all. It pops on the skin at first spray, the top notes of mandarin, green orange, basil, bergamot, lemon all  conspire to create what I can only describe as jalapeno peppers. This surprising  accord almost lost me the first time I tried it on but it was as it turned out  just a little lurch of the train leaving the station. I was willing to overlook  this in anticipation of the journey ahead. Up from the bottom notes comes the  sandalwood to smooth and calm the top notes. This note like a good train  conductor stays always present for the rest of the journey.

As the opening notes die away and leave the sandalwood to greet the most powerful of the heart notes jasmine, and lily it moves to its restrained presentation which  makes it stand out against the other overwhelming power fragrances of the 80’s.  These two notes hold court over the more subtle rose, nutmeg cumin and clove.  Here it is close to the skin and will remain so. As the journey though the  heartland continues enter the notes of cedar, oak moss and musk. This lasts a  good four to five hours. As the train begins to loose steam in the dry down  there is just a whispered memory of jasmine and sandalwood left and they find  support in a hint of patchouli musk and vetiver. At about 6 hours the ride is  over.

The first time I tried Armani Eau Pour Homme I found it to be a  bit of a disappointment. That was two months ago. As time went by I would come  back to it and try it again. Finally I was in tune with its subtle style. Like  the extraordinary suits and elegant gowns of Armani it is all about understated  elegance.

FOUR GOLD STARS ****

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