Imagine wandering through the empty cobbled streets of Malta’s capital Valletta, under the moonlight with a wind swirling up from Grand Harbour, where 17th century echoes of Caravaggio’s escapades and artistry blend into a film set backdrop that could come straight from a film noir.
Olentium captured this scene in a bottle in our latest creation Bal Baroque Eau de Parfum. This opulent perfume reveals its secrets as the rich notes develop over time. Here, we take you on a journey through the inspiration, ingredients, and timeless allure of Olentium’s Bal Baroque.
Bal Baroque draws inspiration from the baroque splendour and mystery of Valletta, evoking the days of Caravaggio, the infamous painter and former Knight of Malta. The fragrance mirrors the chiaroscuro of his tumultuous life capturing the essence of dark secrets and untold stories in a eau de parfum that is enigmatic, opulent, alluring and seductive.
Caravaggio’s Enigmatic Stint in Malta: A Brief History
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the Baroque master painter, found refuge and controversy on the Mediterranean island of Malta in the early 17th century. His journey to Malta unfolded against a backdrop of artistic brilliance, a murder, knightly intrigue, and a dramatic fall from grace.
Caravaggio, seeking sanctuary in Malta after fleeing Rome due to a violent altercation, was protected by powerful patrons with links to the Knights of Malta. Known for their devotion to both martial and artistic pursuits, the Order recognised Caravaggio’s extraordinary talent. Caravaggio’s artistic prowess found expression in several works during his Maltese period, including the renowned “Beheading of Saint John the Baptist” painted as the altar piece for the Co-Cathedral of St John in Valletta.
However, his fiery temperament clashed with the disciplined codes of the Knights, leading to a series of conflicts and eventually his imprisonment for a reason that has never been clarified, though rumours abound. Caravaggio managed a daring and clearly aided escape from the ‘oubliette’ – an underground prison – leaving behind a legacy of enigmatic paintings.
The tale of Caravaggio’s time in Malta echoes through the cobblestone streets of Valletta, infusing the city with an air of mystery and artistic grandeur. This historical backdrop serves as a rich muse for the story of Bal Baroque, capturing the essence of Caravaggio’s nights and raunchy lifestyle in Malta in a narrative that unfolds with each note of the fragrance.
Behind Bal Baroque’s Perfume Notes
Bal Baroque is a powerfully constructed fragrance, embracing some of the most captivating and sensual natural materials. The top notes are laced with spice and smooth blond woods, featuring saffron, rose twig, and oakwood. The heart notes reveal a smoldering blend of black sacra frankincense, tobacco, oud, and patchouli. Finally, the base notes indulge in the richness of dark chocolate, vanilla, and rum. The result is an opulent perfume that unfolds like a well-scripted novel, but with a frisson of the unknown and unexpected, to pay homage to the life and times of the protagonist of the story. If you love oud, we’ve two posts you might like to read:
Sustainable Luxury – a Commitment to Upcycled Ingredients
We take pride in our commitment to sustainability, and seek out when possible materials both natural and non, that have proven to be less impactful on the planet. After all, perfumery ingredients do travel far and wide, so anything we can do to source more sustainably is to be welcomed.
Bal Baroque boasts the use of some upcycled ingredients, including hydrosols of Frankincense and rose which replace pure water and also add more fragrance, and a unique oakwood note. The oakwood is derived from the distillation of old wine barrels, adding a touch of history and depth to the fragrance in keeping with the story of Bal Baroque. This conscious approach to ingredient sourcing enhances the perfume’s character and contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly fragrance experience.
From Day to Night: Bal Baroque’s Versatility
Bal Baroque is a versatile fragrance that transcends seasons and occasions. Its opulence makes it ideal for evenings, adding a touch of sophistication to date nights or special events. While the deep, rich notes of rum, dark chocolate, and oud may suggest a winter fragrance, Bal Baroque surprises with its ability to shine even in the summer heat. The lingering aroma is akin to a sultry nights, making it a captivating choice year-round, and an alternative to citrus summer freshies.
Choosing Your Bal Baroque Size and Variety
Olentium offers Bal Baroque in various sizes to cater to different preferences. Choose from the classic 50ml bottle for a statement piece, a 15ml travel size for on-the-go indulgence, or deluxe 5ml samples to explore the fragrance before committing, along with regular 2ml samples. Or, choose our more eco-friendly sample cards made from recycled T-shirts and mailed free. For those who appreciate oil-based perfumes, Olentium also offers a natural, dry oil version, providing a unique and intimate olfactory experience for those who prefer not to wear alcohol fragrance. An advantage of our oil version is that it ships worldwide, with no restrictions. See shipping for full details.
Have a Ball with the Story of Bal Baroque
Olentium’s Bal Baroque is more than just a fragrance; it’s a journey into the artistry of scent-making and the allure of mysterious nights in Valletta. With its carefully-curated notes, commitment to sustainability, and diverse size offerings, Bal Baroque stands as a testament to our dedication to crafting exceptional fragrances. Embrace the opulence, let the mystery unfold, and indulge in the timeless elegance of Bal Baroque – a symphony of fragrance that transcends time and captivates the senses.
Finally, if the life of Caravaggio intrigues you, we can recommend reading this incredible and meticulously researched biography: Caravaggio – a Life Sacred and Profane. Readable and racy, the work of acclaimed academic and art historian Anthony Graham-Dixon, this is the book that reveals Caravaggio like no other. The author even tried out the oubliette prison in Fort St Angelo to see just how the artist’s escape was possible. Not for the faint hearted.