Times, they are a-changing. People – not that much: this is why the myth about Echo and Narcisuss is always inspiring, and what I was thinking about while sampling and testing Aroma Echo&Narciso from DFG1924, getting more and more attracted to it. I tested it during the hot summer months but came to enjoy it fully during the first cold, Autumn days. Its notes and accords then started to bloom beautifully on my skin, unfolding a layer upon layer of fragrance with a deep, amber-infused tremolo in its base. The bright voice of Echo at the beginning and the hypnotical beauty of Narcisuss to follow…to the end.
Narcisuss. What comes first to your mind when this name pops up? Scrolling the feeds on the most common social media platforms reminds me sometimes of this story about a double (triple? or multiple? Ancient Greek gods were cruel and full of vengeance) curses: a talkative nymph Echo was cursed by Juno, making her unable to talk: she could only finish sentences other people started, and Narcissus – punished by Nemesis, the goddess of revenge – who rejected Echo, fell in love with “all the things for which he himself is admired“. He ended loving himself to the point of self-destruction. Even to this day, the voice of the Echo is heard, coming from caves and labyrinths, and always having the last word.
And we’ve all seen Narcisusses falling in love with themselves, hovering over the brink of fountains of various online platforms, gazing upon their own image in admiration, and losing the touch with reality. There were some serious researches made, and this is one of them: Emily Lowe-Calverley and Rachel Grievein “Self-ie love: Predictors of image editing intentions on Facebook” (2018) found narcissism to be a relevant predictor of the intention to post digitally altered images on the site. They note that previous research suggests that photo editing and related activities facilitate superficial behavior and self-promotion. They also speculate that narcissism may be becoming more common due to social media image editing.“
Yet, not every selfie falls necessarily into these categories: some people are just trying to REMAIN social in these ungodly times, and some edits are made just to cover up some minor flaws: we shouldn’t be too quick to judge. Not with people, and not with perfumes.
Back to the fragrance! The perfumer behind the whole collection of DFG1924 fragrances is Roberto Dario – a chemist, and a perfumer based in Treviso, Italy. This is a family-owned niche perfume brand, dating back to 1924. What was once a small lab, owned by Dalla Favera Giustino, producing liqueurs, elixirs, and creating perfumes, is recently revived by Patrizia, Giustino’s grandson’s wife. Aroma Echo&Narcisso belongs to the original line of fragrances Specieria Officinale, but when Roberto Dario first met the owners, he changed the previous formula, so this current formulation (2107) is his creation.
If I reinterpret the fragrance according to the story about Echo and Narcisuss, what you feel first is the shadow of nymph Echo hiding in a fresh, dewy forest. You can’t see her, yet her presence is felt through the vibrant opening tones of brightness, brought about by fresh, and bitter-green bergamot dipped in spices. It’s green, it’s orange-pulp juicy, and it is framed by cinnamon dust. But this fragrance isn’t about Echo. It’s about Narcisuss (and not the flower)!
As the attention shifts to the image of Narcisuss, honeyed tobacco leaves softly unfold their golden hues, like in tender Autumn sunlight. They are skin-warm, skin-close, and quite sensual: it’s the reflection of the golden-haired youth of irresistible beauty that shines. Soft incense rises when the fragrance warms up on your skin, meandering along edges of almost sweet tobacco, adding a touch of mystery. I always find fine blends of tobacco and fresh incense highly addictive, alluring, and hypnotizing.
Amber starts to flow, and it is a sweet, dark vanilla tainted stream of sensually enticing, and soft-glowing hues that feel like moist earth, tender and warm, but never leaning into too much darkness.
I must say that the base of the fragrance is enjoyable for any amber-lover, and the addition of black pepper sparkles that meander throughout the fragrance, forms a superb balance to vanilla in the base, lifting it up instead of letting it sink too deep into saturated sweetness.
In the further stages of the dry-down, when both main characters have left the scene, a frail but steady trail of tender musks remains. It’s a very soothing and meditative ending of a graciously composed fragrant story that lingers on the skin for quite a while.
If you’re an amber-lover, you’d most probably enjoy this elegant and quite classical-leaning fine fragrance.
Notes (as listed by the brand): Bergamot, Tobacco, Oman frankincense, Vetiver Haiti, Black Pepper, Tonka Bean (and more, including some powdery and soft musks in the dry-down).
The Plum Girl
Photos: DFG1924, Paintings& details by John William Waterhouse: Echo and Narcisuss, The Plum Girl
Disclaimer: A sample of Aroma Echo&Narciso was kindly sent to me by Roberto Dario, my opinions are – as always- of my own.
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