The core of this really good sweet orange cologne is built on mandarin, fruity rose and balsamic notes, and around this a class of molecules related to rose oxide sets up a metallic ringing note that vibrates like a tuning fork way above hearing level. These are glowing, red and orange jewel-like damascones.
Baldessarini's hi tech glass and steel character is oddly out of sync with its traditional citrus, wood and spice structure. In this case, where damascones take the place of spice the effect feels both sci fi and passé, like a magical ruby shining in a bracelet of wood.
Baldessarini lies on a line that connects damascone-heavy Paris with the 1988 phenomenon Cool Water, in which (according to Bois de Jasmin) the derivative Dynascone was used.
Arriving on the cusp of the nineties, this Hugo Boss flagship masculine can be seen as fitting into the existing trend away from sillage monsters and towards a quieter decade.
But experience shows us the door to Perfumery's new world order was not unlocked by damascones and their derivatives, the key was found in the other side of Cool Water's gateway structure; it was the watery and not metallic notes that best represented the movement towards a new purity.
Baldessarini saw the game was on but they backed the wrong team.
This extraordinary fantasy cologne is from a bygone age, but it is still beautiful none the less.
This review is about the original Hugo Boss version made by Prestige Beauté.
Time has finally been kind to Baldessarini. Its metallic orange head is now in fashion, feeling as it does like a template for the penetrating top notes of the mean-eyed, Sauvage style masculines.
The hard incisive top of Baldessarini has been brought back, but this time its with a difference. The expensive and fragile damascones which gave it that internal glow have been replaced by a grapefruit derived industrial molecule; what used to be the sheen of rose crystal has now become the sting of raw chilli.