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domingo, 31 de janeiro de 2016

Mathi Gritti: A Young Rose Named Mathilda

by: Serguey Borisov

There`s not much information about Venetian perfume house Gritti Venetia in our Fragrantica database. Surprisingly, this new brand (founded in 2010), while being annually presented at perfume exhibitions in Milan and Florence, flew under the radars of our perfume encyclopedia journalists. Only one review, devoted to one out of 17 perfumes, written by our colleague Ida Meister in 2012 (on the 2012 edition Damascus) is definitely far from justice. Meanwhile, Luca Gritti has released The White Edition, consisting of 4 perfumes in 2014, and four Collection Prive perfumes in 2015, reviving the historic glory of his ancestors.
Here I will tell you more about Mathi, one of the brand's newest perfumes, the extrait from the Gritti Parfum Prive collection.
The Gritti Parfum Prive bottles are easy to recognize immediately – the stoppers are completely covered with small shimmering black rhinestones. It looks really impressive, even for a man's eye. This collection identifies the essence of the most precious part of our lives, i.e. past and present, which is why Luca Gritti has chosen a jewelry accent to show the preciousness of personal values. The past of the houseGritti Venetia is linked to the family ancestor, alchemist and traveler Alvise Gritti, the son of the Venetian Doge Andrea Gritti; while the future of Gritti Venetia are Luca`s children. Two perfumes, Ephesus and Arete, specifically express the glorious past of this family, the ancient Ephesus culture, the knowledge and the excellence of the Gritti family during the heyday of the Venetian Republic. Two other perfumes, Mathiand Loody, are named after his daughter’s nicknames, Mathilda and Ludovica, who are apparently the future of the Gritti family. Both perfumes are built upon the centuries-old symbol of love and feminine beauty – the beautiful rose.
Loody is a complex, spicy oriental composition around Moroccan rose, with hot spices on top and dark, viscous patchouli, leather and whiskey in the base. And Mathi is the most simple and perfect solution to create a rose fragrance. Mathi is the perfect soliflor of May rose. It is the Damask rose absolute (or a perfectly executed aromaportrait of it), diluted and extended in time and space due to the warm honey and softest musk chords. This is a gentle breath of hundreds of May roses, and nothing superfluous to interfere with it.
Close up, straight from the skin and right after spraying, Mathi may seem a little strange. The first minutes of the fragrance development could evoke a girl's preparations for a big party. Pretty chaotic preparations, by the way. It smells like she paints and re-paints her nails (something tart and sharp like nail polish and solvent). It smells like this girl took a bath and used a lot of powder and body lotion (some white aldehyde and dry chalkiness). It smells like she cheered herself up and made some kind of natural blush for her cheeks (something that reminds of berries and champagne). All this can greatly detract from The Ideal Rose image.
But Mathi was not made to be smelled like that, closely sniffed up from a wrist for a minute – no one is looking through a microscope to find Mona Lisa's beauty, right? Mathi needs distance and expanse. These roses need a light breeze to unfold from a tiny drop to an invisible cloud of roses, a choir of hundreds of roses that will fly away without reason. Wait a few minutes to let the Mathi drop evaporate and spread its large wings. Or just walk about – down the hall, down the street, along the promenade. And you will be followed by the most beautiful trail of roses. A trail so sublime, fine and voluminous that all the legends of 1000 and one night will become clear and real to you.
My first meeting with the fragrance happened one warm September evening, walking down the street when suddenly I heard a beautiful rose singing. As if somewhere close by a May rose bush had come to flowering out of its proper time. It was like I was suddenly transported into Grasse's fields of May roses. Well, I was following behind the Fragrantica team, right after a busy day of sniffing and testing at Pitti Fragranze, so the delicate blooming rose aroma (or something extremely similar to it) was wafting from them. I sniffed all my colleagues immediately and made a survey to find out which rose perfume this was! The next morning, I was at the Gritti Venetia stand, and sure enough – yes, this was the marvelous rose, a monument of natural beauty.
The perfume is extremely long-lasting on my skin, and even the next day, I can still smell its warm shade, with musky, warm honey, and dry powdery sandalwood nuances. From the perspective of contemporary perfume art, Mathi stays somewhere in the past, in the pre-Chanel period («I want to give women an artificial perfume. Yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something that has been made. I don't want any rose or lily of the valley; I want a perfume that is a composition»).
The 19th and early 20th century was a time when highly professional, but artistically naive perfumers attempted to portray the aroma of blooming roses as accurately as possible, to convey the natural aroma of flowers without any changes or additions. It was the period of elegance, when a flower perfume was perfectly “comme il faut”, and there was no need to build lush floral bouquets around the rose, or to complement roses with the bright spotlights of an aldehydes accord, or add sweet oriental or bitter green contrasts to the rose beauty. There were no rose chypres. There were no rose ouds. There were no transparent roses. Rose is a Rose is a Rose. It`s beautiful by itself. Hans Christian Andersen in his tales (“The Nightingale” or “The Swineherd”) explained that perfectly.
I believe we should rejoice that such natural and non-artistic perfumes are still around – in fact, everyone should find something to one’s taste in the fragrant kingdom.
Notes: Damask rose absolute, Honey accord, Sandalwood, Musk.
Photo from the exhibition Esxence 15 - Jane Wonder; of.izobrazheniya - Gritti; fotolia.

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