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Tango – I’ll be dancing forever - December 19, 2014


Image - Wikipedia - Tango show in Buenos Aires, Oct. 2, 2005 by Jenny Mealing

I’m usually the first one up in the morning. I love that stolen time before the day shifts into drive mode, that half hour before daylight arrives when the dark is fading and it’s quiet outside. I start the coffee brewing, sit down with my iPad and breeze through Huffington Post for a quick update on the world. It keeps me in the loop news-wise and I always find something to think about, or learn something I don’t know.

For instance…did you know that Wednesday was the Pope’s 78th birthday? He appeared in St. Peter’s Square for cake and cards from children, and there were also hundreds who helped him celebrate with a tango flash-mob…  “dozens of couples danced the tango, the Argentine pope's favorite. The pope quipped: "It looks like a two-by-four!" — a reference to tango.

Who knew Pope Francis loves the tango, but why wouldn’t he? The tango is part of any Argentinian’s cultural heritage, a dance originating in the European immigrant areas of Buenos Aires in the late 1890’s, especially among the Italians. Dramatic, sinuous, sensuous, the tango is the dance born in steamy smoky boozy bodegas, a dance of partners pressed in a close embrace moving through intricate footwork, lifts, kicks, drops, and dips, punctuated by Latin rhythms and melodic voices, building to a passionate crescendo.

I love the tango, too, which is why I made certain I got my hands on a sample of Masque Milano Tango as soon as it was available online. Described as “a warm and sensual perfume – Intense crescendo – Amber nectar” it’s turned out to be a fragrance I’ve fallen deeply in love with.

Masque Milano is an Italian niche line that was launched in 2013, part of Masque Milano Cosmetics which was started in 2010 by two friends, Allesandro and Riccardo. Their website tells me that their intention is to make perfumes with a soul, perfumes to wear like a second skin, each one created by a different nose to represent a different act and scene in their imaginary opera. Tango, the story of Act lll, Scent IV, is their fourth fragrance and was created by Cécile Zarokian, a young perfumer who has created exceptional scents in her short career, scents such as Epic Woman for Amouage, Nuit Andalouse for MDCI Perfumes, Mon Nom est Rouge for Majda Bekkali, Private Label for Jovoy. 

Her brief for Tango was to create an Oriental amber which, like the dance, would start with restrained passion and slowly build to a passionate crescendo:

Act lll, Scene lV

“A mid-summer night, the bower in full bloom, large wooden table, a liquor – and music

 “Whispers all around you, the party is merry. The soft music in the background gets gradually louder. A crescendo. A glass, another glass. Ron y miel. Inebriating, amber nectar. Inebriating as the smell of the blooming jasmine, carried along by the warm summer gusts. A crescendo. You meet her gaze – she whispers a couple of words. You spot it – it is Lunfardo. Your forehead drenched with sweat. Salt melts in the sugar of the liquor. The shuffling Gotan rhythm makes you brave, the night and the tango are on your side. A crescendo. Deafening summons. The air gets even hotter. You are aware it will hurt you. Yet you can’t resist. You stand up and head towards the dance floor… her face lights up with a smile that brightens the night… That is all you long for, now.”

Tango opens hot and sexy, bitter and peppery, with hints of sweat and dried tobacco laid over sweet spiced amber. It’s a bold passionate deep accord, tinged with citrus from bergamot, sweetening with boozy honeyed notes as it dries down. The floral notes develop, jasmine and rose, which temper the heat slightly and Tango begins to open up, becoming softer, more rounded and feminine. But into the heart the subtle jasmine indoles begin their siren call, the rose becomes luscious, and as darker notes of patchouli, vanilla and tonka bean emerge from the shadows, the Tango crescendo starts to build.

The opening and heart of Tango are intoxicating, complex, dense, dangerous, totally captivating, and the dry-down into the base unveils another scene, a warm very sensual amber accord which stays to the end of the dance. Twisting and dipping with exotic woody notes - smoky benzoin, sweet sandalwood, aromatic cedarwood – stepping and sliding with leather and musk, and wafts of dark vanilla and licorice, Tango continues to tell its passionate story.  The far dry-down stays for hours close to the skin, still sweet, delicious, and faintly animalic, still seductive.

Tango is a big scent, a smooth rich sensuous heady mix that tells a story from beginning to end - the time, the place, the heat, the movement, the passion of the tango. Superbly conceived and constructed from quality ingredients, Tango is the tango. I think I’ll Tango right through Christmas and New Year’s and into 2015 and maybe forever because I’m in love with this perfume.

Tango is listed in our Decant Store. 1 ml. decants are $9.00.