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Querido mate, sos vos?!
First of all, I have to say in front of my comment that years ago and in the course of two monkey stays lasting several months, I fell all the more, immortally in love with the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Along with this unbroken love for the Argentine capital, it went to a brew almost ubiquitous in the Rio de la Plata region: the mate - which, because of its bitterness, can often cause the funniest facial distortions in European palates during a first tasting. Of course we are talking about the real leaves of the Mate plant, chopped and then smoked (which by the way belongs to the cactuses) and in a so-called Calabaza as an infusion through a metal straw drunk hot drink. The raw material for this drink, which in my opinion bears little resemblance to the Mate soft drinks that have become fashionable here in Germany, is yerba mate. Since my first stay in Argentina, the daily enjoyment of the Mate in its traditional version has been an indispensable part of my life and accompanies me through every day with its touching, concentration-promoting and at the same time invigorating effect. Why am I telling you this? Well, Mate is one of the three main notes of the new release from Louis Vuitton.
So, after this detailed prologue, we finally come to the fragrance Cactus Garden to be discussed: My expectation to get a portable mate in fragrance form was unfortunately disappointed. After I had sprayed the filling on my arm, I deliberately smelled alternately at the sprayed skin area, at my Calabaza with the freshly infused mate and for safety's sake even at my current 1kg package of the Yerba Mate (Nobleza Gaucha, my favourite Argentine yerba). Unfortunately I could not find any similarities. What I get from Cactus Garden instead is a faint, only very close, citric note in the first half hours, which barely hits me from my socks and quietly reminds me of the better (and much cheaper) Artisan Pure by John Varvatos
But you are wrong about the fragrance if you judge it purely by its boring top note. In the drydown Cactus Garden develops much more beautifully, and even if still no mate, the lemongrass with bergamot admixture appears more and more clearly. Whatever that may be, it seems to me that the Sillage - after it was barely perceptible in the top note - now unfolds much better and the scent can now, even if weakly, not only be perceived when sniffing directly at the sprayed area.
Nevertheless, it's all in all a very unspectacular and fleeting unisex spring/summer scent for the price, which smells pleasantly bergamottig-lemongrass and won't bother anyone, but in my opinion neither offers anything new, nor is it able to portray what's being commanded in a way that somehow stands out. The shy fresh citrus lemongrass note lasts about four hours on the skin before Cactus Garden fades away like many citric scents in a discreetly sweet woody skin note. The search for the olfactory essence of my liquid life elixir, the mate, must therefore continue.