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Leucò - Bee beautiful - April 24, 2015 New Fragrance Listing

Image - David Suzuki website - Busy bee on white flower by jacdean

I’ve been thinking a lot about bees lately, about how important they are to life on this planet. Without bees, it wouldn’t take long before we all vanished.

According to environmental scientist Dr. David Suzuki on his website, “If bees disappeared, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to grow much of what we eat. Bees pollinate crops ranging from apples to zucchini. Blueberries and almonds are almost entirely dependent on them. Some experts say they're responsible for one of every three bites of food we eat. The economic value of pollination services from honeybees alone is estimated at $14 billion in the U.S. and hundreds of millions in Canada.”

But bees are dying around the world as a result of colony collapse, which has been going on at an alarming rate for the past few years – in our province of Ontario it was 58% over the winter of 2013 reported CBC news. There’s no secret as to why – the two major reasons are destruction of habitat, and the increasing use of neonicotinoid pesticides and fungicides. The European union has a 3–year ban on these chemicals, as have other parts of the world but North America has been slow to react. The province of Ontario where I live has proposed new rules for the 2015 planting season which aims to reduce the use of neonicotinoids by 80%. Will the proposed rules become reality? I don’t know, which is why I’ve been thinking a lot about bees lately….

Maria Candida Gentile has been thinking about bees, too. Maria Candida Gentile studied in Grasse, France under the master perfumer Carol Andre, and she is the first Italian woman in thirty years to receive the title Maître Parfumeur from the Perfume Institute in Grasse, France. Her fragrances are created with a very high percentage of natural essential oils, so being an independent, natural perfumer with extraordinary talent, it follows that she would understand the importance of bees.

Her 2014 collection of three scents is called “Il volo del calabrone – The Flight of the Bumblebee”, and all three scents feature the beeswax and honey note. In each fragrance, the honeycomb used is from a different country, where the bees pollinate and feed on native flora: Kitrea is Italy, Synconium is Spain, and Leucò is France. French bees must spend their short lives exclusively inside white flowers because Leucò is a beautiful union of white florals and honey.

Image - MCG website - "Il volo del calabrone" collection

Tuberose is a note that needs careful handling, otherwise it can be over-powering, but in the hands of Signora Gentile, it becomes sheer and luminous. Opening with an airy accord of honeyed beeswax and labdanum (incense), Leucò. feels light and slightly powdery. It warms up and sweetens in a few minutes with a discreet lily note, more like green-tinged lily buds just opening, which adds an unexpected floral freshness.

About ten minutes later the tuberose note appears and opens slowly until it projects a soft shimmery lush indolic sweetness, perfectly balanced by the animalic golden note of the honey and the powdery beeswax. The combination of these three notes is mesmerizing and its narcotic effect continues through the heart of Leucò right through to the final wafts. In the long dry-down through the base the fragrance becomes warmer, deeper and burnt-sugar smoky from benzoin and incense, spicy from black pepper, but still lush from the honeyed white floral. This is one gorgeous tuberose!

There is pure magic in bees, in all the bounty and beauty that flows from their busyness. Maria Candida Gentile has captured that magic and that beauty in a bottle named Leucò.

Leucò is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.


Read about other Maria Candida Gentile fragrances which we have listed in our Decant Store - Exultat, Barry Lyndon, Sideris.