I chose to start the Esxence 2022 reviews of new launches and my discoveries with Uermi’s Solaro Collection because this is a beautiful example that a concept of the summer collection can be profound and emotionally engaging when presented with sensibility and sophistication.
The four perfumes are created by the perfumer Pierre-Constantin Guéros, and beautifully named: Il sole dentro (The Sun inside), L’Isola che non c’è (The Neverland island), Dove l’aqua è piú blu (Where the water is bluer) and Dillo alla luna (Say it to the Moon).
Each perfume in a complex, yet seemingly simple way, explores one Italian-inspired and Mediterranean-rooted olfactive symbol as an emotional pathway to the experience of the holiday we long for the most.
The compositions built around creamy cappuccino, ginger and peppery citruses, deep marine notes, and vetiver convey the spirit of the bright, vivacious Peter Pan-ish escapism and the utopistic longing for the lightness of being and the sunny state of mind.
While drinking the first-morning coffee that just has to make us reconnect with ourselves at the beginning of some grey, winter day, didn’t we all long for an emotional enjoyment of drinking a coffee differently: by the open window and slowly, with the sun already inside us?
In the middle of some busy day, haven’t we felt the need to escape to the imaginary island where the world won’t find us, where the sun always shines and the sea is bluer than the last one we saw on Instagram or the magazine, or just as blue as we recall from our time-retouched memories?
While multitasking and dealing with the whole composition of stresses rolling right our way, threatening to make the hell out of our hoping-to-be-ok-day, haven’t we wished just to dive under the vawes, into the quiet and resetting blue abys?
At the end of those days, haven’t we wished not just to pass out, but instead to stay awake and maybe say a private word or two to the moon, while gazing at the starry sky?
Il sole dentro, L’Isola che non c’è, Dove l’aqua è piú blu, Dillo alla luna in their own way convey a pure emotion and a symbolic ideal we follow when imagining or planning the next place for the real vacation, hoping that, as a distance in time grows, the new memory will become even prettier.
L’Isola che non c’è
(a canzone by Edoardo Bennato, 1980. )
Second star to the right,
this is the path
And then straight on til morning,
Then you’ll find the road yourself,
that leads to the Neverland island.
Maybe this seems strange,
But rationality got you carried away
And now you’re almost convinced that Neverland island cannot exist.
Maybe it’s just the island
That’s not there… that’s not there.
You may think:
what madness, this is a fairytale,
this is only a fantasy,
the wise, and the mature one knows
it cannot be real.
Maybe it’s just the island
That’s not there… that’s not there.
And it is not imagined
this is not even a play on words,
because if you believe,
then you’ll find the road yourself.
While talking to Mr. Guerros on Esxence 2022, he shared that the collection was also inspired by the mood expressed in this song.
I do believe that many will remember the anthology quote “Second star to the right, and then straight on till morning”, and correctly connect it to the line spoken by Peter Pan in the famous Disney cartoon, filmed in 1953.
The partial translation of the lyrics is my own.
Il SOLE DENTRO
The sun inside
Built around the creamy coffee accord, Il sole dentro is the warmest, and the spiciest perfume in the collection.
Well into the gourmand territory, the composition finely blends the three main aspects: the creamy-lactonic aspects of cappuccino and solar accord, spices, and woods, and not too sweet vanilla, which finely balances the heavier woody facets.
The creamy and mildly sweet cappuccino accord dominates the first phases of development. It is infused with the herbal-spicy blend of refreshing cardamom and dense and warm immortelle. While cardamom relaxes the opening from becoming too thick, immortelle’s sweet spiciness enhances the warmth of the coffee.
Never too sweet or heavy, the spiced-up, aromatic coffee lands on full-bodied woods. Il sole dentro gains polished, but firm structure and depth: the creaminess of the cappuccino is mirrored in the creaminess of sandalwood, while the dense warmth of immortelle blends into darker, suave nuances of polished, well-behaved oud, all together evoking the warmth coming from inside.
Further into the heart, oud-enforced woods seem buttered and glazed by a light touch of coconut, which, I believe, is a part of a solar accord.
At the very end of the development, Il sole dentro composition softly lands on the vanilla base, and becomes a pure bliss of rich softness, evoking the suave feeling of the skin nurtured by rich and mild body cream.
L’Isola che non c’è
The neverland island
The opening peppery-citrus accord, enhanced with ginger, feels mood-lifting and heart-warming like a chore of crickets on a hot day.
The mildly piercing and very bright opening smoothly creates an olfactive image of a place under the bright summer sun, where fresh, a bit moist greenness blends into light balsamic warmth.
Wearing L’Isola che non c’è was joyfully easy:
There is no emphasis on blending different layers, like in Il sole dentro, no accent on the progression, like in Dove l’acqua e piu blue, and no hypnotizing inner qualities, like in Dillo alla Luna – the composition of this brightly carefree and rounded perfume character says:
Hear the crickets singing “Summertime…and the leaving is easy!”. Everything is perfectly easy – just embrace the lightness of being!
DOVE L’AQUA è piú blu
Where the water is bluer
I am a part of a generation that experienced the peak of marine and aquatic fashion in the nineties, and survived it with a few scary memories and probably a double number of prejudices towards marine and aquatic perfumes in general.
I know that I am not the only one, too.
So, let me say that there is no such thing as “in general”, if we strive to be fair to the olfactive creations, and not to oversimplify.
Yes, the fashions repeat – I’ve smelled several marine concepts launched just in time for summer 2022 – but the trends are never fully the same: the motifs are being reinterpreted, and the pallets used are different, too.
Dove l’aqua è piú blu struck me as one of the most successful marines I smelled recently.
I especially like the clean-cut, straight-forward identity that Dove l’aqua è piú blu presents from the first whiff:
As the name says, the perfume clearly states what it is, and where it is heading, and then it just – dives in. And it dives really deep!
There’s no hesitation, no camouflage of any kind, and no shortcuts, too – this is a marine-er or the more blue marine!
Wille diving into the heart and to the bottom of the composition, the blue changes:
The playful dance of fresh and brazing citruses, evoking the dance of sun rays over the turquoise-blue surface, takes a turn to a calmer, deeper blue.
A moment of pure bliss happens somewhere in the middle, not too close to the surface, yet not scarry-deep, too:
There is a peaceful freshness that smells just like the sea that’s forgotten that it also, like us, exists between its high and low, the surface and the bottom.
That quiet, calm mineralic freshens – that’s what I am aiming to reach when I dive into the blue quietness, to physically and emotionally reset myself.
The heart of Dove l’aqua è piú blu has that blue: fresh, both brazing and enveloping, and soul-soothingly impersonal, as the sea is!
Going even deeper – the blue doesn’t become bluer, just darker: there is an salty patchouli-colored blue for the braver ones, or for those who enjoy diving even deeper until they feel their body pressed by the weight of the water.
That’s not quite me, but I did like how this base smelled after full-day wear: Dove l’aqua è piú blu smells like I had the experience of the blue soul of the sea, not like I came from a beach.
DILLO ALLA LUNA
Say it to the Moon
Dillo alla luna is created on an amazingly well-elaborated juxtaposition of the bright, earthy freshness of vetiver, and its shady, inky side.
On some level, which I still can’t quite pin-point, I do connect the atmosphere and the character of Dillo alla Luna with the mood in which one fully opens the soul to the night sky, knowing that the austere nature of the moon and stars will keep the secrets forever protected.
I very much enjoyed the experience of wearing Dillo nalla luna: while it provided a nicely structured aromatic and green-earthy refreshment in the summer heat, it was the whispering of the vetiver’s darker alter-ego that gave the whole other dimension to my experience:
It is really rare to feel this kind of profound duality in the perfume that performs as a functionally perfect light summer fragrance.
Just when the blend of energizing citruses and the aromatic Mediterranean ever-greens calmed down, I got the impression that each part of the drydown and base composition places me right in the center of its polarities:
Vetiver is fresh, light, and earthy, but not grounding-to-the-earth-eathy, as its colder, inky facets possess almost a hypnotic side that pulls away into the esoteric dimension of the night sky. Can’t fight the moonlight!
The woods and ambery elements in the base kinda do the opposite:
They do present a warm contrast to the cold inkiness, but only just enough to envelop and encourage me to surrender myself to the stars’ and Moon’s will: It is safe. Let it be. Now is the time to say it to the Moon.
As far as the nose can discern, the deep, yet very light and transparent inkiness glitter with bright and fresh facets of vetiver, citruses, and aromatics from the opening.
Transparent, deep, not quite bright and not quite dark, enveloping yet austere, Dillo alla luna is profoundly beautiful.
From N. 1 to N. 4, or from the first rays of morning sun in the hedonistic, self-indulging Il sole dentro to the contenplative and contrasting Dillo alla luna, Uermi and Mr. Guéros fully succeeded to make an exceptionally well-thought summer concept.
All four perfumes in Solaro Collection deliver the emotionally rich olfactive story that outgrows Italy, or any other Mediterranean dolce vita place, delivering the pure emotion and what we all wish to grasp the most – a carefree, sunny state of mind.