Olentium, Le Parfum, our signature and launch fragrance, is the Mediterranean imagined. Born on one Mediterranean island – our home base of Malta – Le Parfum is the embodiment of many neighbouring islands. To wear it is to island hop down the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy to the central Mediterranean.
Le Parfum takes you from the Campanian Islands in the Gulf of Naples to the Aeolian Islands off north-east Sicily, to La Trinacria itself and onwards, almost mapping Caravaggio’s great escape route, to Malta. Its notes peel off mirroring this journey to blur one island scent memory into the next: islands visited, lived on and longed for.
Top: Italian citrus of bergamot, mandarin, lemon and herbs of basil and myrtle.
Heart: jasmine, orange blossom.
Base: ambers and musks.
It is a hard to define perfume family as while citrus floral, it also has a herbal, cologne feel to it at the outset and yet dries down to a warm, slightly sweet musky-ambery base. Genderless throughout, as even the jasmine and orange blossom heart is anchored in an earthiness never veering into cloying narcotic territory so familiar in white florals.
From Capri and Ischia comes inspiration for the citrus top, which is a short, sharp burst giving Le Parfum an enlivening opening. Imagine the scent of luscious Amalfi lemons drifting over a rocky creek. You dive in, your skin startled by a freshness that is all too fleeting on what will become another hot Mediterranean day.
The clear seas around the volcanic Aeolian Islands give Le Parfum the idea for its edge of salinity and amber. Interestingly, Malta in prehistory traded a specific volcanic mineral with Lipari and Salina. The links among Mediterranean islands are millennia old.
Sicily offers up its famed jasmine and orange blossom for Le Parfum’s heart notes. Here, you find them tempered by herbal notes. These are down-to-earth floral scents with a hint of the indolic notes that can envelop you on a hot summer night in a Sicilian courtyard.
Finally, though appearing in light touches from start to end of the peel of notes, is a resinous cypress and a hot mustiness that recall the scents of Malta. Imagine sun-scorched rubble walls, limestone cliffs, old stone farmhouse gardens scattered with the browned debris of fallen cypress needles.
In our imagination, island are alluring and redolent of carefree summer living – or ‘il bel farniente’ (the sweetness of doing nothing’). To live on a Mediterranean island all year, brings a different viewpoint. The sea can be rough and relentless when storms batter fragile limestone coasts. There is a gritty harshness to life on islands.
Travel the wild, desolate interior of Sicily and see the abandoned farms and rugged terrain dotted with the occasional tree, and you get a sense of just how harsh life was there even to the mid-20th century. Mediterranean islands today see tourist migration but in the past, migration was outbound and undertaken out of necessity.
For this reason, Olentium Le Parfum is a complex scent; not only the islands of holidays and dreams of escape but also one that is grounded and earthy in honour of the centuries of another side of island life.
Olentium Le Parfum, Mediterranean fragrance, comes in 50ml and 30ml eau de parfum atomisers as well as 15ml glass-stoppered flacon in perfume strength. From early autumn 2022, we are also offering a no-alcohol 15ml Parfum Extrait which is available for international shipping too. Olentium Le Parfum is 50:50 naturals to synthetic aroma molecules. Discover Olentium Le Parfum, a Mediterranean fragrance.
For more on summer notes and Mediterranean fragrances, see also our posts: