If I were to take cues from brand names, then Masque Milano is fairly straightforward in its representation. Admirers of the art of opera, Alessandro and Riccardo have combined forces to capture some rare moments inspired from life to create an olfactive symphony of sorts.
Earlier last week, I was invited to meet Alessandro Brun in an exclusive media event hosted by Luxuria, at the Imperial Scentury. It was hard to miss him among the crowd of eager attendees. For there he stood— in his signature designer suit with a meticulously well-groomed salt and pepper beard. It wasn’t just his down-to-earth demeanor that impressed me as we conversed, but also his candid persona and his way with words. Interestingly, aside from creating perfumes, he also teaches Quality Management at the Politecnico di Milano university. And I must admit, the academic streak in me was exhilarated when he merged his practical applications of perfume making with cultural preferences, travel experiences and spoke of exclusivity in perfume.
“Times are changing and the market is evolving. Despite the growing consumer interest in niche and independent brands, this prosperous industry presents its own challenges,” says Alessandro Brun.
It is through Masque Milano, that the creative professor-student duo reinforce an impression of authenticity by creating what they classify, a unique experience for their customers. When asked what sets Masque Milano apart from its competitors, Alessandro’s response was rather assertive. “The exclusivity of designing fragrances by young, but very talented perfumers. I let them create their art without imposing any budget limit. They are given the space to work, experiment and are encouraged to push their creative boundaries. This is what has given Masque a flattering reputation among the niche industry, and come 2019, we have some of the world renowned perfumers’ expressing their interest in collaborations”, says Alessandro.
Masque ~ The Opera of Life
Masque fragrances are presented to the consumer as ‘Acts’ from an opera. It comprises of a prologue with four acts and scenes. And each act has its own theme and the fragrances are befitting to the stature of these acts.
A collection of experiences, discoveries, places, and journeys.
Interior monologues, emotions, deep thoughts and inner reflections…lights and shadows of humans.
Sentimental relationships…romance and love…affections and betrayals.
Dreams. The world of the most bizarre, improbable and fascinating reveries.
Masque Milano ~ Tango
Amber, jasmine sambac, Turkish rose, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, tonka bean, benzoin, sandalwood, guaiac wood, cedar and melilotus.
Design & Aesthetics
In 2016, the creative directors of Masque Milano took the call to redesign their fragrance bottles. The duo approached Bormioli Luigi (one of the most popular brands in Italy) and collaborated with their team of experts to develop what they call, their signature design.
Interestingly, you now have the option of purchasing either a 35 ml bottle, or one of their newly launched 100 ml gold accentuated bottles. These are launched exclusively for the Middle Eastern market.
At Masque Milano, meticulous attention is given to all design elements including the matte-black stoppers, the intricate graphical decorations embossed on each bottle with the name of the perfume and perfumer inscribed on the metallic plaque.
The Olfactive Experience
We are at Act III Scene IV. Tango opens on my skin with a liqueur-like spiced rose in its top note, but as the time goes on, the elegant and fragrant jasmine wraps around your senses like petals dancing in the breeze of the night. As the music swells up in volume and the partners gaze at each other, the spice notes in Tango begin to forgo its inhibition.
Gently and as improvised, the earthy floral tones amalgamate with the thick, deep and resinous amber. Consequently, they meet midway. The melodious entanglement of notes that makes Tango so unique is orchestrated at center stage. The rose and (smokey) patchouli paired with the pulsating spiciness of cumin and cardamom, draws in with the dark, sultry yet resinous amber. The scent just seems to get richer, smokier and boozier with time. To me, the ethereal combination, nuances and symphony of notes makes this a timeless masterpiece. A powerhouse from Masque Milano and an olfactive treasure, especially if you’re into amber scents.
With Tango, there’s no looking back. Longevity is nine hours with moderate sillage. At the base, there’s this powdery, dark, resinous amber with little emphasis on the florals. Overall, Masque Milano fragrances have a certain character to it. Very classy, highly sophisticated and truly artisan. In fact, Tango could be worth investigating if you’re seeking a classy amber fragrance. On that note, I would also recommend L’Attesa, Russian Tea and Time Square from their collection.
Tango by Cécile Zarokian for Masque Milano is available in EdP concentration, in both 35 ml and 100 ml spray bottles at selected boutiques in the United Arab Emirates. The luxury 100 ml bottle is priced at AED 1,418. For more fragrance reviews, click here.