milano: 1 post

5 Perfumes from Masque Milano : Reviews

Elisa reviews 5 fragrances from Masque Milano.

The word masque, with its auto-glamorous French ending, has two associations for me. On the one hand I think of masquerade balls, those opulent Carnival season events dating back to the 15th century, and that beautiful scene in the 1997 film Wings of the Dove, where Helena Bonham Carter runs through the dark streets of Venice dressed as a toreador. On the other, I think of plague masks—not as celebratory, to be sure, but they do have some connection to perfume. At the time, people believed that disease was spread through miasma, or the literal stink of death in the air. It made sense to them that if they blocked the smell, they would be protected from the disease. So they stuffed the long beak of the plague mask with aromatic materials—herbs, spices, incense and resins, ambergris, rose petals.

Masque, a small niche line based in Milan, currently has nine fragrances created by eight different noses (given, supposedly, no budget limits) and organized around the idea of an opera (Act I, Act II, and Act III). That may sound a bit pretentious, and I don’t understand it myself—what does Times Square have to do with Montecristo or a mandala? This would be a bizarre opera. But I think you’ll see that this house is not without a sense of humor, and most importantly, the perfumes smell fantastic.

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