Parfumo di degustazione
There are not so many “red” gents' perfumes, and just like some other colours, you may criticize that there are no reasonable facts that justify such categories. Yet, I intuitively experience some fragrances as being “red”, and I do not mean the packaging: Joop! Homme, Guerlain's Habit Rouge, Jil Sander Feeling Man, Gainsboro Exception. Maybe, Joop! Homme is the most evident red perfume due to its wild cherry style.
I would not hesitate to add Red Sea to this list, although if you look at the fragrance notes, it should be rather “orange”, due to the mentioned orange blossom. Orange blossom without any doubt plays a leading part in this composition, but this note is further darkened by certain floral an spicy notes. It even goes beyond blood orange, and it rather gives me the impression of dried barberries.
Behind the fruity-florals, there is some woody notes, and also some soapy muskiness. Again, the fragrance notes point at the wrong direction. Red sea is anything but the common floral soap perfume. The clean washing powder musk which is definitely incorporated is so beautifully integrated into this composition. It adds something to the background, but is far away from being dominant.
The core of this perfume is the beautifully crafted spicy heart. It is not overwhelming, and it never questions this perfume as being basically floral-fruity. Yet, all the magic is provided by that. It alienates anything else. The mentioned cinnamon note seems to be detectable, but the oomph in this spicy heart is a certain dirtiness, presumably provided by cumin. Cumin is not my favorite as it usually gives me the impression of sweat. However, in Red Sea, this note (if it is cumin at all) is handled with the most possible discreetness an with great craftmanship.
Micallef's perfumer has a serious love affair with patchouli. More or less all Micallef perfumes smell like that – even it is not in it at all. Having said this, Red Sea is a typically Micallef fragrance. It shares the same oriental opulence that in a way is Micallef's brandmark. Thus, Red Sea is not a perfume for every day use. It will take its revenge if sprayed without consideration. Consideration is what Red Sea actually demands from its wearer. If Red Sea was red wine, it would be a vino di contemplazione, something to have as a singular joy, not just a companion to some excellent food.
So, never wear Red Sea at office or at any occasion where people might want to have your attention. If you do so, at some point, you might find Red Sea sticky and cloying. If you decide to wear Red Sea, you need a certain attitude. You have to stand up to it in order to cope with it!