The smell of ebony
Grenadille d’Afrique means as much as “black wood” in Latin. Dalbergia melanoxylon. The tree from which the wood is obtained known as ebony. This ebony and the natural environment in which there were the inspiration for the creation of New York’s latest fragrance by Aedes de Venustas, which had its premiere at this year’s Pitti Fragranze in Florence and soon to appear in selected perfumeries worldwide. Grenadille d’Afrique was created by Alberto Morillas (as Palissandre D’Or from 2015). So it is the second perfume which the Master has created for gentlemen Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner. Interestingly, both smells really woody and has wood in the name.
The woodiness of Grenadille d’Afrique comes down to his vetiver dominant. Vetiver is present from the beginning, although at first for a short period “refreshed” with the bergamot and eventually supported by juniper, violet and lavender. At the base you can still smell mostly Haitian vetiver, set on a dark, almost charcoal in its character chord composed of vanilla and labdanum. Besides its evident woodiness the fragrance has also a distinctive mineral aura. The just mentioned ingredients accompanying to vetiver work here on the final result, without “taking control” individually. They have been subordinated to the vision of the creators, which in one sentence characterizes Alberto Morillas: fossilized wood rubbed in a vanilla accord
When testing a perfume, I am always looking for comparisons with other fragrances to let the readers not knowing the scent imagine its nature. With Grenadille d’Afrique there is a lot of such to compare. But the most adequate seems to be Encre Noire by Lalique (eau de toilette). Alberto Morillas work reminds me precisely of the cult perfume composed by Nathalie Lorson in 2006. But of course there are differences. In Grenadille d’Afrique we will not find – to my delight – sour notes of Encre Noire and that big dose of cashmeran. The juniper took here over the role of the cypress. Morillas work smells fresher, it s more stylish and seems to be more pleasant and easier to wear, at least for me. It projects politely and lasts on the skin over 8 hours. As a whole, Grenadille d’Afrique convinces me even though it is not so original as Palissandre d’Or and not so mesmerizingly beautiful as Iris Nazarena. Nevertheless, it is a very solid position not only in the portfolio of Aedes de Venustas but also in the family of vetiver centered fragrances.
main notes: bergamot, lavender, juniper, vetiver from Haiti, cistus (labdanum), vanilla, musk
launched in: 2016
perfumer: Alberto Morillas