Somewhere in the southeast of Europe there seems to be an emigration agency that advertises: "Come to Down Under and do something with scents! Aesop" are Greeks who went to Australia and from there, like Alexander the Great, conquered the world with their soaps and fragrances. "Fort & Manlé" is actually Fort, namely Mr Rasei Fort, who is both the sole perfumer and sole owner of the brand, which of course raises the question of who or what the hell "Manlé" is. Maybe one of you knows. Commissario Odorato will receive any relevant information. But to get back to the topic, Mr. Fort is an Australian of Turkish descent and looks a bit like a cozy little bear with hipster trouser straps. There are probably already niche perfumes from Australian companies of Armenian and North Macedonian origin and I just don't know about them yet.
I have happily come into possession of a sample collection of this brand and this is the fourth fragrance I am testing and also the first that is not a gourmand. Mr. Fort (keyword bear) seems to like chocolate and things like that, not only for eating but also for smelling. I don't think that's so good for me, because I usually don't like gourmand fragrances that much, but I'm not the measure of all things. In addition, Mr. Fort likes names like "Mr. Boynokopff's purple hat" and "Confessions of a garden gnome" for his perfumes, which I find stupid. But I can't have it my way. I also find the design of the flacons terrible (which Mr. or Mrs. Manlé might be responsible for, who knows). But I would never have a prejudice against the fragrances, although a lot has come together in the meantime where the whole direction doesn't suit me. The fact that the (fortunately at least not so-called) company "philosophy" presented on the company's website, like that of many other noble brands, contains the saying: "The exorbitant price of the ultra-chic ingredients we use is as much a matter of course to us as it is to them" (add: "Because we pass it on to customers who don't give a damn either, because we don't sell to the plebs") is a bit unnecessarily pompous, but even that may be seen differently.
Since I am fair and objective to the limit of canonization, I give this fragrance a chance. I don't think he's half bad. In essence, this is a lily of the valley fragrance, and I like lilies of the valley. My wife likes lilies of the valley even more. Lily of the valley is something like her signature flower. I think that's great. I suppose it's the strong lily-of-the-valley note in this fragrance that is responsible for the many rather derogatory, not to say pejorative statements here, which tend to place the fragrance more in the Mother's Day gift and boring area. You can see it that way, but you don't have to. Lily of the valley currently has a bad image. But like every Turkish-Australian hipster, with or without braces, knows: Today grandma, tomorrow announced! That was also the case 50 years ago with Kreuzberg, then with Prenzlauer Berg, then with Friedrichshain, currently with Neukölln, on the horizon is Wedding on the way, and in 10-15 years Tempelhof will probably be incredibly hip. And there, if you want to belong, even remotely, you will wear lilies of the valley, oh, what, thick, fat lilies of the valley.
I have a tendency to get out of hand. So, the heart of the lily of the valley is enlivened by a congenial violet, the rose is hardly noticeable, mango can be, perhaps gives the whole thing a sweet touch like agave syrup, but the little bear can't leave the gourmand aspect entirely. Now that is a very fine round, somewhat greenish thing there, in the flowery heart of the fragrance. It may smell a little tulpy, too
The whole thing is flanked upwards by a beautiful, finely tuned citrus cloud, a bit harsh and fresh (the association with mint I can understand 100%, it's there, the freshness of yuzu and bergamot and the pungency of pepper), but all in all nice and light, so it harmonizes with the flowers. Towards the base I don't smell so much anymore, maybe because the scent has already dissipated before it has really arrived at the base.
All in all, a beautiful, green-fresh, citric, a little bit sweet-fruity, happy lily of the valley fragrance, which can also be worn by men. Funny thing is, my wife doesn't like it at all. Crazy stuff.
It should be added that "Confessions of a Garden Gnome" is sold as a 50 ml bottle for 230 Australian dollars, which is equivalent to 142 euros. Almost 300 ochres for 100 ml is a little more than the 3 Euros for 100 ml of my beloved Czech "Konvalinka", but the scent here is also much more complex, as I like to admit. And from Australia it is also a longer way than from the Czech Republic. According to the company's website, however, there are no retailers in Germany who sell it anyway. Nor is it the case in countries as insignificant in terms of fragrance as France or Italy. It is offered in detail only in Australia, the USA, Mexico, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Cyprus, Romania, Spain and several Arabic countries. Lily of the valley is possibly more appreciated there, who knows!