Buying perfume samples online makes me feel like a child in a sweet shop. Whenever I'm on a website offering me x amount of samples for a small sum I go a bit nuts. And if they have testing friendly prices, like Bloom, Les Senteurs and Roullierwhite, I'm very happy to indulge in my hobby and include some never heard of scents just for the fun of it.
Testa Maura is a Corsican perfume house and Carticasi is described as: Mastic, galbanum, rose. That's it. Take it or leave it. Completely fulfilling any clichéd image I ever had about Corsica. If you don't like it, f... off. We don't need you or any of your Parisian friends. Don't buy our houses, don't eat our food, stay away from our women (this knowledge is entirely based on Astérix en Corse...)
Unfortunately, I've never been to Corsica. M. has been, and he says it's the most beautiful place in Europe. I'm not disputing that, but I really want to see for myself. A lot of travelling descriptions seem to agree on the particular aroma of the island. Chestnuts, for sure. And this alluring mastic. The resin of the mastic shrub, often used as a spice to flavour Mediterranean sweets, can also be chewed as a gum, the word "masticate" actually derives from the very plant.
Testa Maura perfumes are labelled as being made of 100% natural ingredients so I assume that the scent is quite a true rendition of the original plant and its resin, but I wouldn't be able to tell for sure before I have been to Corsica and smelled it myself (hint, hint, hint.)
|My visual interpretation of Testa Maura, Carticasi|
There is a German rhyming song about colours and this line:" Gruen, gruen, gruen sind alle meine Kleider, gruen, gruen, gruen ist alles was ich mag..." sums up this perfume quite nicely. Even if you don't speak any German, I think you get the gist of it. This is a green scent, make no mistake. But what a green! All the greens! From the citrussy yellow to the mossiest dark, and lots and lots in between. A fresh scent with tons of warmth. Does that make any sense? I hope it does. The freshness here is not the Northern European pine tree sort, it evokes the Mediterranean, sun burnt soil and dry, resinous shrubs. There is something raw and untamed about it but it's never harsh. For the rose note you have to wait a while and when it arrives it's faint and a mere hint. Carticasi is a beautiful fragrance but it needs some sun on the skin, so I will come back to it in summer. Or even better, take it with me on a journey to Corsica (hint, hint, hint.)
How and where to wear:
On a ferry to Corsica, sprayed on hair that gets swept in the warm wind
La Corse image copyright Astérix en Corse by Hachette Livre, Paris