“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”
― Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard
It has been with me for some time, this bottle of Eresia. I wore it, tested it, and planned to write about it sooner than this: I let the fragrance sink in my skin and listened to its fragrant language. And just as I was getting ready to sit down and write my review, an earthquake shook the cabinet with my collection proudly displayed, and one perfume bottle fell upon the others, broke and leaked all over the bottom shelf. Eresia was drenched with another perfume, and it took me quite a while to clean the bottle, wash out the remains of perfume lingering in the red tassel threads, and try to rub out any leftover traces with Ethanol.
When I finally succeeded, the bottle looked slightly soiled, patinated, and battered: strange, but this seemed to befit the perfume well…adding it a touch of patina.
It leaves me with the soothing feeling of patina, the sort of patina that one finds pleasing and comforting: a green or brown film of years or centuries gone by, and traces that time has left on the once polished metal surface. Yes, it reminded me somehow of an antique bronze doorknobs or the walls inside of an old renaissance palace – restored but beneath the thin new layers of paint, there are still traces of time passing over decades, hundreds of years gone by.
These walls breathe, and I like to think that I can feel the scent of their breath if I close my eyes and smell closely and carefully.
So let’s start this fragrant journey, using the heavy, old door-knock and slowly opening the door of Eresia, set in the Donnafugata Palace in Sicily.
Once you enter its world, it first greets you with a breath of freshness that emanates from the shadows of stone walls inside of a courtyard of an abandoned, ancient palace, its shades of gray overcasting the greenery of a hidden, long-unkept Mediterranean garden. Warm and cool at the same time, the fragrance opens with crushed pink pepper upon deep, elaborate bergamot hues. Swirls of dry, unburnt incense-smelling tones arise and glide smoothly, serene and calming, like the chant of Rosary whispered, repeated in low voices again and again.
The more mundane atmosphere of life behind these tarnished walls is painted with a very sultry atmosphere being introduced by smokiness arising as if coming out of cold, stone walls. The temperature rises, rays of hot Sicilian sun fall upon shadows and give a flowing, smooth texture with slightly powdery notes of guaiac wood, sandalwood, and white oud.
„The heresy lies in the wandering thoughts of those who dutifully attend the ritual (of Rosary), but whose minds are elsewhere on more fleshly pleasures.“ – Elisabeth Grech, perfumer / Parfums Clandestins
Eresia becomes quite woody, in an earthy-soft way, like a warm embrace. The heart of this fragrance is addictive, seducing, Oriental-leaning with just a touch of tobacco – tainted vanilla resinous sweetness, never imposing, simply underlining, and warming-up your skin ever so gently with slightly bitter/peppery/salty, well restrained, animalic hues. The scent of sin is well hidden under many vails, but always present.
Gentle, natural, yet so seductive, Eresia is a finely crafted „natural“ with elaborately constructed contrasts of dark and light, bitter and sweet tones, airiness, and smoke. Quite classical-leaning, non-linear, and multifaceted.
Notes: bergamot & pink pepper; ylang ylang & vanilla; aromatic white woods & tobacco.
Eresia is an all-natural Eau de Perfume, so give it time, patience and your skin to develop fully.
The first EDP in the Sicily Quartet, Eresia is drawing inspiration from the novel „The Leopard“ – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa‘s masterpiece. This is the fascinating tale of the decline and fall of the house of Salina, a family of Sicilian aristocrats. Il gattopardo inspired Liz Grech to create fragrant tales talking about the temporality of the world but also human nature, sins of the flesh and sins of the spirit, struggles between morality and decay, and the divine touch of eternity, humanity and divinity: clashes of darkness and light, will and temptation, worlds old and new, and the inevitable change.
The presentation is lovely, and I must say that I enjoy enormously sprayers with that „pffft“ fine dispersion and a micro-delay of spraying! Little things that matter!
Just as I was finishing this review, Liz announced that the second EDP in this line – under lockdown Devoto was born: the second fragrance of The Sicily Quartet. I haven’t tried it yet: „a floral-musk perfume based on the scent of narcotic white flowers on a sultry, early summer night in Sicily.“ Now, that sounds like more loveliness coming from Parfums Clandestins!
The Plum Girl
Photos: Perfumes Clandestins, Elena Cvjetkovic