The unfettered creativity of the estemeed Maison Garbriella Chieffo is truly a phenomena to experience. I can recall the first time I viewed one of her perfumes on a Facebook newsfeed and was drawn in by the beauty of her flacons, a very simplistic but elegant glass rectangular shape followed by what appears to be a granite stone like top. They were so striking in appearance it reminded me of modern Minimalist or Urban interior design. Instantly, by viewing the bottles the rush to procure a sample of her collection concluded with a purchase of her marvelous but intriguing sea scent titled; Acquasala. The theme of Acquasala was to present the mood and the intimate connection of the sea that we all are so familiar and in tune with. To this day, I still declare Acquasala as an all time classic sea scent. I have sniffed a multitude of seafaring scents past and present loaded with a bevy of bergamot, ozonic notes, aldehydes and ambergris but Acquasala is uniquely positioned as its own animal so to speak. It is worth examining.
Enough of Acquasala for now as the focus turns in the direction of her latest creation; Maisìa, a mesmeric fig scent…figuratively speaking! Maisìa is in introspective scent in that it comes with poem filled with allegory to symbolize the inner strength and beauty of a woman (The Sacred Feminine principle and Creatrix) that was once persucuted by Matriarchal society. The poem details her stance on being steadfast in maintaining her virtues and receives corporal punishment. In her last minutes she musters the incredible strength to address hate with divine love. What in incredible poem.
Maisìa begins with an incredible blast of pure ‘figness‘. It is the fig and greenness of the fig leaf that dominate from the beginning accompanied by a wonderful dryness in the background consisting of woody notes, resin and ash. Maisìa is more of a modern fig scent compared to some others that I have sampled but remember this is a Gabriella Chieffo fig scent as it presents itself definitively and then takes an appreciated turn for the better. Maisìa uses a curtain of citrus along with Narcissus to form a wonderful fresh smell if you will. Lemon and bergamot to be exact followed by the addicting potency of narcissus which I adore immensely. Somehow, Narcissus was matched perfectly with the other notes as the Maisìa continually evolves into wholesome goodness! There is musk involved but it makes the Narcissus seem creamier than what it is while maintaining it’s sweet floral green and herbaceous smell.
I did mention dryness which is attributed to broom notes, sandalwood, guiacwood and ash, yes ash. The straw broom smells exactly that with a little more polarity of the guaicwood over the sandalwood. By this time the former ingredients form a halo around the dryness making it smell like the creamiest lemon angel food cake with fig garnish! Maisìa is really something to pursue at this point with the synergy of ingredients.
The last ingredient which I find exciting is the inclusion of Black Amber. As most of us know by now Black Amber is extremely potent and with a conservative dose it can automatically change the whole whole composition. Not so in Maisìa. There is just enough to prevent a possible distraction. To prove this, I have some Black Amber attar oil from Morocco. It is not as intense as other versions. This version is more honey and brown sugar with moderate earthiness. I put it up against the black amber in Maisìa and voila. It is almost the same in Maisìa but the Black amber is just wonderful as a base mixing in with the fig and citrus. It brings the perfume to another dimension as it is undescribable. Once again, like Acquasala, Maisìa is elegant, potent, but more luxurious. Everything is placed to perfection, as this is a job well done…Bravo!
Gabriella’s unique brief for Maisia:
Drops of blood and sweat are beading on my forehead now that the moment has arrived.
A drop of wisdom that became a sin.
Drops of love, those you left on my body disposed of in abandonment.
I close my eyes so as not to see their faces, distorted by the savage pleasure found in the ritual of atonement.
Maisìa! They shout as I pass, for using an ancient spell and summoning love.
Bewitched hearts, they say.
Yet my tear drops only fall for one heart, while the pyre blazes and my fury flares up.
Only to one heart, I gave my soul, yes, damned, but damned by love.
Spit on me, laugh at me, brand me with fire like an innocent animal and tear my whore clothes.
Maisìa! They shout to exorcise the demonic power of my beauty.
Deceived, I do not know any potions or spells to soothe my pain, nor any to pierce the darkness inside you.
And while my strength abandons me and the flames envelop me I dedicate a cursed thought to all of you and to him, in the crowd, a breath of love.
Photo Credits: Retreatsbyronbay.com, Gabriellachieffo.com