“My goal with this scent was to enhance the ink-like notes of nagarmotha in a way that would create a transparent, colorful darkness” – Bruno Fazzolari
Far away, in one of my favourite cities, San Francisco, is the studio of Bruno Fazzolari. A talented artist and an award winning perfumer, Bruno very kindly sent me three samples from his range to review and I feel privileged to do so.
The connection between perfume and art is to me, a natural evolution. I have often compared perfume to poetry in so far as both are transporting and open to personal interpretation, but the same can be said for visual arts too. Like Andy Tauer, Bruno Fazzolari blurs the line between art and scent, and it’s a juxtaposition that works.
Lampblack is getting a lot of buzz right now and I shared my sample with friend of the blog Lisa Wordbird, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of perfume that dwarfs my amateur ramblings. She has heard of Lampblack and was keen to try it. She was an instant fan, as was I.
The notes in Lampblack are listed thus:
sweet orange, black pepper, bitter grapefruit, nagarmotha, benzoin, vetiver, shadow.
I don’t feel the need to ask what is meant by shadow because I’m guessing that we will each fill in our own blanks and our own interpretation, and I rather like the inclusion of an abstract note. Nagarmotha is the Indian name for what in English, is the equally delightfully named Umbrella Sedge- which gives an earthy, smoky background to Lampblack.
The bitter orange and grapefruit is noticeable from first spray and as the scent settled on my skin, I was somehow reminded of Victorian chimneys and industrial revolutions. The Benzoin gives this is a musty creosote feel- if you like Tauer’s Lonestar Memories you might like this too. However, what made Lampblack unique to me was the sootiness and, yes, the “shadow”. In a blind test I would have sworn to there being dark leather in this: an old cow hide jacket on the brink of decay. I do not mean that in any kind of derogatory way either: in fragrance terms, knackered leather smells terrific and is coveted.
Lampblack is all about the darkness, but the bitter citrus gives it a modern twist, like a soot covered Victorian miner in a modern five star bathroom. It’s smoky and earthy and whilst it’s great on me, it is out of this world on my husband.