After a look at the first seven perfumes from the Spanish niche house of Ramón Monegal (see Part I), here are the seven more feminine leaning perfumes.
Apart from being available at First in Fragrance, and through their own website (that will be relaunched soon) in Europe, the brand will be available in the US from Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and luckyscent.com, come fall. (And I believe the fondest wish of Perfumistas everywhere is for a discovery set!)
Cherry Musk: Notes include white musc, fruit musc, Muscenone, cherry accord, strawberry, tree moss and rose.
If you have a young daughter or a niece, this might be a lovely present. Fruity, musky, you know the drill… But this one is well made and smells quite a lot better than the notes suggest. On my skin, surprisingly, neither the cherry (that note can be lethal on me) or the strawberry are dominant, I get a lot of jammy rose on musk and that is actually very nice.
L’Eau de Rose: Notes include rose essence, tea rose, neroli, Ultrazur, patchouli and musk.
A fresh and dewy rose, light pink, not red. Uplifting, young and happy. A very pretty perfume to apply and go without a second thought, a good companion for casual days. The drydown is a soft musk with a hint of earthy patchouli, a very faint hint. A bubbly and giggling scent that makes you smile.
Cuirelle: Notes include honey, Somalian incense, Indonesian patchouli, Bourbon vetiver, green cedarwood, musk, cinnamon and extract of beeswax.
A honey scent that works on me! Hallelujah! Honey can go so wrong on me (like Miel de Bois) or it can be love (like Back to Black). Cuirelle is a honey scent that evokes an illusion of leather, sweet leather. Woody and spicy notes combine to create a leather drenched in golden honey. A true beauty!
Lovely Day: Notes include extract of Sambac jasmine, rose extract, liquorice extract, iris, cedar, Soft ultrazor and cassis.
Surely the strangest perfume in the line, Lovely Day is a gourmand that juxtaposes liquorice and cassis with a floral phalanx of jasmine and rose. Sprinkled over it like powder sugar is a soft iris note. It is appetizing and off-putting at once. Steadily swaying between lip-smackingly edible and, well – totally not, this leaves me a bit at a loss. It does smell like a bouquet of flowers covered in pink bubble gum.
Kiss My Name: Notes include absolute of Indian Tuberose, iris, cedar, Absolute of Egyptian Jasmine, Tunisian neroli and tolu balsam.
Opening beautifully, if a bit metallic, Kiss My Name (NOT a fortunate name in my opinion, but maybe it is only me who has expletives on her mind.), is loud, exuberant and happy. A diva she is, although not one to play in the same league as the ones mentioned above. Her arias can be a bit tinny and screechy some days, on others she impresses with more depth than the middling performance of the day before suggested. All in all she is not totally reliable, but, as always, that perception could be the fault of the audience (me, in that case).
Entre Naranjos: Notes include Tunisian orange flower extract, orange, petitgrain, neroli, amber and Indonesian patchouli.
A fresh and realistic orange, juicy, tart and sweet. The sparkling opening does not last though (not really a shocker, that is just what citrus does, it is a fleeting thing of beauty), and Entre Naranjos dries down to a soft woody, faintly orange-y amber. Lovely, but a short-lived pleasure.
Impossible Iris: Notes include Italian iris, mimosa, raspberry, ylang-ylang, Egyptian jasmine and Virgin cedarwood.
A lovely name like this raises expectations and curiosity. So what makes this iris impossible?
Impossible Iris opens strong and rooty, the dusky, dusty, earthy, carroty iris root complemented by the slightly harsh, raspy aura of mimosa. Over time it quiets down, becomes smoother, softer, more elegant and refined, raspberry gives a surprisingly lovely pink hue to to the perfume, ylang-ylang softens it further and adds a creaminess the opening was lacking. A half hour into wearing Impossible Iris, I am entirely happy with it. Buttery smooth, soft, elegant and lady-like, this iris is anything but impossible. It is incredible.
So, after testing fourteen new perfumes, I’m a bit exhausted. I think to launch with such a big number is a bit much. Generally I prefer a new brand to start small and giving the perfumes a chance to establish themselves before expanding. I like the way Vero Profumo or Neela Vermeire Creations have done it. But that said, Ramón Monegal is a solid line with many very good perfumes and only a few duds.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Do you like to have many choices within a line right from the start? Or is it just too much and the perfumes are cancelling out each others chances for long-term survival?
Are you going to try Ramón Monegal?