Fantômas and The Nose

Fantômas is one of the first French comics (the first was published in 1911), whose main character is the elusive criminal Fantômas. He received many film adaptations, perhaps the best known in our country is the trilogy from the 1960s with Jean Marais in the lead role and Louis de Funès in the role of Commissioner Paul Juve.

What does this have to do with perfumes? Perfumer and conceptual artist Alessandro Gualtieri, working under the stage name The Nose, chose this character as a model for his latest perfume called Fantomas. The composition is – as usual – secret, otherwise, it could not be in this case, the bottle has a smooth metal cap and the scent in it has a mysterious light gray color. The smell as such is interesting. I recognize mainly smoky tones, a little wood, and greenery, some also smell honeydew melon or other fruit in it (it somehow moved to Baraonda perfume for me). It is pleasant, slightly mysterious, and definitely works for me for layering, with the more opposite scent, the better.

And to make it even more interesting, The Nose announced also a competition, which will takes place soon. With the scent, a set consisting of a dummy flask and “police” tapes to mark the crime scene came to the shops, and individual shops could create installations from them and put them on Instagram under the #fantomaschallenge hashtag by the end of the year.

At the beginning of the next year, pictures will be evaluated by The Nose himself, and I am already curious about the winner. But until then, you can shorten the wait for lockdown midnight by at least looking at various creations. I’m curious about your tips for the winner!

In Bratislava, you can try it in Le Parfum Le Chic perfumery.

(originally published on 31.12.2020)

Menditorossa Athanor

According to one of Bratislava’s legends, a seemingly upright burgher lived in a house in the center of the city, who, however, secretly dealt with alchemy. He was so obsessed with the idea of making gold that the devil himself took advantage of it and offered him this secret (under foreseeable conditions), but on the condition that he would not use that gold too much so that it would not be suspicious.

(DerAlchemist by Joseph Leopold Ratinckx)

But appetite comes with eating and the burgher used gold more and more, until it became suspicious of others where he took it. And one evening, after the day when he broke the agreement in a truly large-scale manner, the devil came again to his house and both disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

That smoke could smell maybe like the new Athanor perfume, which is the latest addition to the Talitormans collection from the Menditorossa brand.

Athanor – originally in Arabic al-tannoor – is the name of an alchemical furnace. And the whole scent is carried in the spirit of fire and alchemy. There is sulfur in the head (I fortunately don’t smell it here), in the heart there is a special substance of Fumencens, which is obtained by distilling frankincense.

The perfume smells really interesting, something like incense smoke, but purified from any bituminous or spicy tones. It does not resemble “church” incense or “oriental”, nor is it a campfire odor, just a pure smoky scent. A little bit of aiyr iris may help the impression, but Fumencens clearly plays a major role.

The bottle is, as usual with this brand, once again beautiful, not only with a beautiful lid, which is a bronze statuette itself, but also inside the bottle is a small piece of metal, which is imitation of a nugget of gold, which alchemists dreamed to produce.

And another small alchemical miracle is the fact, that while it is still a pre-order only on the Menditorossa website, it is already available for purchase in Bratislava’s perfumery Le Parfum Le Chic.

The nose of the perfume is Luca Maffei and the bottle design was created by Stefania Squeglia, the fragrance is available in a concentration of Extrait de Parfum (35% of fragrant ingredients).

Fragrance Notes:

Head: sulphur, blackcurrant, saffron

Heart: iris, cypriol, Fumencens

Base: Cashmeran, Gaiac wood, Java vetiver, Black amber

Niche perfumeries in Bratislava

Ľ.Fulla – Bratislava in Winter, source of image:

When something unpleasant is happening, it is quite a nice escape to remember better times. So I decided to write how I see the advent of niche perfumes in my hometown.

My journey to the niche was gradual, but all the more permanent. I loved good scents since I was a kid, I got my first perfume, I could have been 9 years old. I always had about a dozen scents in my closet, it didn’t seem strange to me, because in the family it was a habit of using fragrances….

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To Step Out of the Shadow

Dusita Paris

Pissara Umavijani

It is difficult to be a child of someone who achieved a lot. The bar for you is set very high and you don’t know it. Because what you grow up in becomes a standard for you. On the one hand, you have the advantage of a stimulating environment, but on the other hand, any success you make, however appreciated by your loved ones, if you compare it to the set bar, it looks insignificant. 

Parents might try hard, they can even give you the name Pissara (freedom), but you will always have the tendency to compare your results to their achievements.

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J. F. Schwarzlose or Didactic Chronicle of the ….. Schwarzlose dynasty

It is fascinating that, at the times when there was a high demand for musical instruments, even a small town like Pressburg (now Bratislava) had two piano factories, in 1856 Herr Joachim Friedrich Schwarzlose, a piano maker and the father of eleven, thought about his possibilities to feed them and give them something to start with, and decided to trade piano production for perfume production. Well, not only perfume, at the beginning he opened a pharmacy, where he produced cosmetics and perfumes only as a part of the merchendise. Who knows whether it was really much more profitable business in itself, or whether there was simply too much competition in Berlin’s pianos?

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Risen from the ashes

Well, so the history of Pompeii – or at least their dramatic end – is probably known to everyone, ergo I decided not to burden the kind reader with that (you do not have to send flowers and chocolates to thank me, but you can).

In any case, the consequence of the tragic end is fascinating. Perhaps nowhere else have so many details and everyday ways of the life of the Roman Empire been preserved, as in the ruins carefully excavated from under the volcanic ashes.

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