As the rest of Ciampagna’s line, which is starting to look like one of the nicest surprises of 2015 so far for me, the “visual” inspiration and the ambiance are quite clear since the very first sniff: a sort of dark, provincial “austerity” somehow sitting between a feel of desolation and a raw, archaic, vibrant naturality. In “olfactive” language: dryness, thickness, earthiness, a palpable “artisanal” feel, an overall dark and meditative mood, but at the same a peaceful sense of quiet thanks to balsamic and aromatic spicy-herbal-floral notes - I guess evoking the “soothing power” of nature. Ducalis is particularly, elegantly dark and dry at first, yet with a warm heart, mostly focusing on a thick woody-floral blend with dark shades and spicy hints; as minutes pass though, it progressively unravels its beautifully intricate texture, which is quite more than you would expect at first. Sweet, velvety, slightly metallic flowers on warm, balmy but also dry and really austere woods: two main “axes” each comprising several facets that you get throughout the evolution. Flowers range to the threatening obscurity of rose and jasmine, to “whiter shades” of lily and cyclamen; the same for woods, which comprise nuances ranging from sandalwood (“juicy”, sweet, bright and cozy) to drier, shadier and “woodier” notes of rosewood and cedar, with some added weight thanks to cloves, leather, and nutmeg. A touch of amber and vanilla provide some sweet and warm “roundness”. Overall Ducalis may appeal fans of oud scents as well, as it shows some similar sort of “dark silky thickness”, just more complex and aromatic – not due to a single note (but indeed, woods, jasmine, nutmeg and leather do create a similar aroma). On the other hand, flowers are worked in a really peculiar way here, which kind of just uses “some” nuances of them; so despite you see many of them listed in the composition, I wouldn’t define this a “floral scent” – rather a woody scent with many interesting and complex nuances, this including flowers. Artisanal to the bone, totally fascinating and sophisticated but at the same time kind of raw and dark. Utterly enjoyable. Bravi!