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Entre Naranjos – Musings on Orange – May 10, 2013 New Fragrance Listing


Photo - - Entre Naranjos "inkwell" bottle

I’ve just watched the trailer for the upcoming HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra!  - take a couple of minutes and watch it here – which stars Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his young lover, Scott Thorson. Based on Thorson's 1983 book about his life with the immensely talented superstar, it features Debbie Reynolds as Liberace’s controlling mother, Rob Lowe as his perennially-stoned plastic surgeon, and Dan Ackroyd as his loyal manager. I remember watching Liberace on TV when he was in his prime, and given the line-up of stars, all of which are superb actors, I think this movie will be fascinating.

The sets are detailed reproductions of Liberace’s houses, as are the Las Vegas show costumes. Talk about lavish and over-the-top luxury, the man lived like a king - King Ludwig, actually. Liberace believed he was the reincarnation of King Ludwig ll of Bavaria, and he obsessively tried to recreate that eccentric monarch’s 19th C. lifestyle down to the last detail. The visual richness Liberace created in his homes, his addiction to the colour, sparkle, and shine he found in crystals, diamonds, mirrors, furs, silk satins, brocades, and of course, his signature silver and gold candelabras, get me to wondering about the perfumes he wore, because his hedonism would surely have embraced olfactory luxury as well.

I can imagine the famous star wafting classic parfums, Orientals like Shalimar or L’Heure Bleue, chypres like Vent Vert, heady florals like Chanel No.5 and Joy – robust classic scents, distinctive, complex, opulent, with stunning sillage. Expensive perfumes with a famous history, instantly recognizable, and BIG star quality. Just like him.

Photo - Wikipedia - Liberace 1983 - by Alan Light

I can’t imagine Liberace wearing, for example, Entre Naranjos (Among the Orange Trees) by Ramón Monegal. Created by this master perfumer who launched his remarkable luxury brand in 2012, this fresh scent would have a hard job embellishing the flamboyant image of a Las Vegas superstar. For me, though, Entre Naranjos is a perfect match. 

A citrus with white floral and aromatic green accords, Entre Naranjos is zesty and sheer, and features notes of tunisian orange blossom, bitter orange, petit grain, neroli, amber and Indonesian patchouli leaf. From the first moments of its cologne-like opening, right through to the aromatic dry-down, Entre Naranjos is really all about orange. I see orange, as well as smell it, and taste it , but this orange is an elixir, not a candy.

The first notes are pure bitter orange, green, zesty, and sparkling, the orange tree with leaves and bark – the mandarin orange and petitgrain notes - then fresh orange blossoms, which give a hint of citrus sweetness but no heavy white-floral creaminess. This feels so fresh and light, like sipping Perrier with bitter orange extract!

Into the heart, woody notes emerge, a result of the vegetal herbal nuance of green patchouli leaves mixing with the bitter orange accord, and in the dry-down amber becomes a warm resinous powdery layer which pulls it all together. 

Although it seems fairly simple at first, I’m thrilled to discover a subtle complexity as Entre Naranjos dries down. The scent develops a surprisingly romantic elegance, slightly sweet but tart and almost peppery to my nose, with a warm earthy undertone. And the best part is the bitter orange note, which starts out so pure and real, and is still there at the end. It’s quiet and warm, but definitely there.  

Entre Naranjos reminds me of one of my favourite hot-weather citrus scents, Lime Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone. It has the same tantalizing herbal-aromatic waft that feels dry and cool in steamy summer weather. It’s quality is obvious – Monegal prides himself on using the purest materials he can source – and it feels luxurious to me. It connects with me, and it will likely connect with you, too, if you like orange notes in your daily spritz, and even if you think you don't.

Photo - Wikipedia - Liberace portrait by Alan Warren, 1974

When Liberace took off his make-up, left his flamboyant persona at the stage door, and once again became just Walter Liberace, maybe Entre Naranjos would have suited that man just fine. He definitely understood and demanded quality and luxury. Whether he liked bitter oranges, I can only guess.

Entre Naranjos is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.