Originally published on http://www.cafleurebon.com 5 June, 2017
New Perfume Review: Giovanna Antonelli: 411 Intenso (Julie Massé), 611 Extremo (Cecile Matton), 811 Absoluto (Mathilde Bijaoui) 2017
Perfumes fronted with a famous celebrity face (a.k.a Celebuscents) often get a bad rap, or ignored completely many times with good reason. So what happens when a celebrity who is passionate about fragrance works with world-class perfumers using only top notch ingredients? Small stunning miracles, as attested to by award winning Brazilian actress and producer Giovanna Antonelli. You may not have heard of her here in the states, but in Brazil (a country roughly the size of the USA’s lower 48) she is theatrical royalty. After a chance meeting with the actress, and having fallen in love with her indomitable spirit, Brazilian designer Edson Fernandes along with his business and life-partner Lionel Guignard took a chance, and promising to create world class perfumes pitched the idea of a fragrance line to Ms. Antonelli. Despite having turned down numerous fragrance endorsement possibilities in the past, and excited about direct engagement in the project, Ms. Antonelli with her love of perfumes, agreed.
Thus was born a new Parisian fragrance company called COURTOIS/mourot, one of the first niche brands created for Brazil by a Paris company, and its first namesake fragrance range inspired by Giovanna Antonelli, is haute parfum all the way. All three of the perfumes in the brand new Giovanna Antonelli range are inspired by Giovanna herself and her love of the number “11”, a reoccurring number in her life that has come to represent “amor, alegria, abundância, felicidade, é boa sorte” (love, joy abundance, happiness, and good luck)
411 Intenso edp
“This eau de parfum was inspired by the Palais-Royal, a landmark of Parisian life, which although a bit antiquated still feels like a profoundly contemporary setting imbued with the spirits of Molière, Colette, and Cocteau. Home to La Comédie Française, romantic gardens and shops both old and new sheltered under arcades, it remains one of the most charming corners in the city of light, naturally chic, without ostentation. Giovanna reminded me of the Palais-Royal; a woman in love with beauty, feminine, a little theatrical, who appreciates beautiful classical things and appropriates them by modernizing them.” -Perfumer Julie Massé
Julie Massé, perfumer at Mane, is no stranger to fine perfume having created Prive Armani’s Pivoine Sozhou (with Cecile Matton), Si Le Parfum, and Si Rose, Fleur Universelle and Terres Aromatiques for Lalique, and fourteen of the sixteen scents for Shay & Blue London including the now-iconic Salt Caramel.
411 Intenso opens with a sharp rose and fresh bergamot, nose-tickling pepper, spicy and sweet but quickly turning dry, slightly dusty and summery yellow as the chamomile creeps in giving it a hint of the classic and old-fashioned perfumes of bygone eras. For awhile it borders on the comforting green and herbal astringent aroma of an ice cold glass of tisáne, condensation droplets running down the sides, served by your favorite “black-sheep-of-the-family Aunt in a sun-warmed afternoon kitchen. The scent of the highly polished wooden table, centered by a vase of wild grasses and flowers, woody and arboreal, dust motes dancing on the shafts of golden light streaming through the open windows, a waft of your Auntie’s sweat covered over by her heady peony and floral-scented splash cologne, and filtered through her vintage yet SO au courant Hermes scarf. Haunting, wistful, and beautiful as a daguerreotype seen through the sheerest bridal veil lens.
Notes: Rose de Bulgarie, Bergamot, Pepper, Chamomile flower, Jasmine sambac, Ylang ylang, Peony, Patchouli, Amber, Vetiver, Sandalwood.
“611 Extremo is inspired by the Rio Botanical Garden blossoms at the foot of the Corcovado peak in the very heart of Rio De Janeiro, the Carioca city. Under the watchful eyes of Corcovado’s 100 foot tall Christ The Redeemer statue, the park is filled with majestic trees, exuberant tropical plants, and collections of rare orchids, this is a haven of serenity just a short distance from the vibrant beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. As a true nature lover, Giovanna wished to dedicate a perfume to this extraordinary green space where she loves to walk with her children. The heart of Giovanna is pure Carioca, joyful, generous, and radiant. She inspired me to create a fragrance dominated by a vibrant urban tuberose, a fragrance with sensual and spicy notes that leave an unforgettable trail.” -Cecile Matton, Perfumer
Cecile Matton is another world-class nose you will know from creations such as Armani’s Pivone Sozhou (with Julie Massé), Josephine Baker for EldO, Baby Doll for YSL, Valentino Gold, and Elegance Animale for Lalique among others.
With 611 Intenso Ms. Matton has created a perfume as lush, tropical, humid and heady as Rio itself. Having spent a fair amount of time in the Rio Botanical Gardens, I can speak to its green, shady, and wooded beauty, meandering paths, lakes, footbridges, Japanese garden, and multitude of stunning tropical birds. Of the 345 park acres, only forty percent is “park-developed” the rest kept in wild forest creating one of the critical green lungs of the city. This perfume is all about the tuberose, from start to finish the tuberose note is present and persistent, while the other notes lap at its edges, helping to create a context for the buttery and almost candied aspects aspects of the moist and dripping tropical bloom. If you love Tuberose as I do, this glorious almost-gourmand celebration of tropical Brazil will definitely want to be in your collection.
Notes: Rhubarb, Pear, Bergamot, Tuberose, Egyptian Jasmine, Hawthorn, Licorice, Iris, Benzoin, Vanilla.
811 Absoluto: (Mathilde Bijaoui)
“Immersed in the heart of “SamPa”….. A Gigantic urban jungle, Sao Paulo is a very creative and cosmopolitan city open to the world: a tropical New York. “Sampa” (as its inhabitants lovingly call her), exudes a formidable vitality mixed with “la dolce vita”. Giovanna wished to salute the part of her that goes by “Gio”, the ideal of a “Paulista” epicurean hedonist who reinvents herself constantly and relentlessly. To that end I created a powerful perfume because it is here that the heart of Brazil beats the strongest! I wanted a voluptuous, intoxicating, and full-bodied signature that reflects the temperament of fire, both magnetic and sensual, and whose silky floral heart is gradually unveiled.“-Mathilde Bijaoui, Perfumer
Last but not least, we have perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui who has given us unforgettable scents like EldO’s Tilda Swinton Like this, Sex Pistols, and Bijou Romantique, Penhaligons’ Lily & Spice, Jacomo For Men, and Jo Malones’ recent Myrrh & Tonka among others.
Like SamPa herself, this third fragrance 811 Absoluto is big, brassy and blowsy, a take-no-prisoners green and slightly epicurean floral that carries its own jet stream wherever it goes. A study in contrasts, this is an edp on steroids, at once flighty and girly, but also gritty and street smart as a proud Paulista who is as comfortable in a “fio dental” monokini on the beach, or a severe suit in her CEO office, calling for a small coffee or cafezinho, for her clients. The jasmine and honey provide a deep slightly indolic sweetness, while the balsamic notes, patchouli and amber keep it grounded, sexy, and altogether help to provide the “in-control realness” of a “Brasileira Capaz!” To which I say “Tudo Legal!”
Top: Bergamot, Pepper, Clove, Lavender, Green notes, Jasmine, Honey, Balsamic notes, Patchouli, Amber, Musk, Vanilla
Disclosure: Thank you SO much to COURTOIS/mourot for supplying the perfumes. The opinions are my own.
-Robert Herrmann, Sr. Contributor