When I received a sample of La Tosca I was quite elated by this new editon from Xerjoff because it is a genre of fragrance that I was searching for a long time. It also made a possitive impression on people around which is always nice as a bonus. But as I payed more attention to its details suddenly I had a strong déja-vu feeling because La Tosca, despite having an unarguably captivating appearance, is not a completely new, original stuff. This opera had already been performed before in a heavier, lower key note at the Sospiro theatre. The scent I am thinking about might be regarded as the bolder forerunner of La Tosca and is called Opera. Same nose, same brand owner. The thing is I never, never ever could wear Opera at the concentration that it has. Majestic, full of sweet-salty contrasts, too bold, Opera is a predator disguised in a long black velvet gown. Everything seems strange and enveloped in danger when I smell it. Those all sorts of fruits, tropical flowers and amber gris evoke for me the smell and almost the taste of a dessert called halva, you know it? It is very dense, nutty and sweet, made of tahini and sugar. This tahini flavor I get mostly from Opera. Strange. But La Tosca…well, La Tosca has the same DNA but she`s easier at heart, fresher somehow and she smiles. And that`s enough for me not only to feel comfortable with it for a test run, but to reach for it again and again. I need it. I developed a passion for it.
Inspired as well by opera, the raised heavy curtains and all the fascination of spectacle, I think Opera did influenced in a certain way the development of La Tosca. If I imagine them as two divas on stage then Opera must be the contralto singer because of the very rich, low, grave and dense way it performs, while La Tosca on the other hand interprets the same aria hitting higher notes as a perfect soprano. Her act has a touch of nonchalance in addition letting spontaneous emotions coming out, she`s more human, vivid and playful and these subtle differences between the two are creating the spark for me and I would definitely buy another ticket to see La Tosca again. In other words yes, I would pay for a bottle of this.
The synopsis of La Tosca in three acts.
In the first part the scent surprises with an unusual succulent bitter-sweet concoction of citruses of many kind (the official pyramid gives us lemon and green mandarine) and an aromatic green undertone coming from eucalyptus.This is not the conventional opening with happy shiny top notes that quickly uplifts the spirit fading then away in an instant to let space for the real story, no, here we have drama right from the start and the eucalyptus stays.
The scent moves towards a floral direction when underneath that green tincture of citrus peels and eucalyptus a sinful essence of rose starts slowly to unfold. It must be red as Floria Tosca`s velvet costume.This rose is so dominant and rich that over time I feel it possesses everything around, spreading its soft natural smell, rounding and enveloping all the bitter-sweet elements in an infinite tenderness. But there`s also a diffuse transient metallic effect I get in this middle phase, possibly coming from violet leaves that injects the scent with a great leafy aquatic smell refreshing the dense composition like a cold shower. Those kind of small interventions which are coming from tiny notes infuse the scent with that youthful touch I had previously told you about, making La Tosca seem vivid, blushed and surprising. The scent surely knows how to entertain.
La Tosca keeps almost everything intact from its past phases, therefore when it reaches the dry down it still smells of a long, tall, bitter sweet rose with a few dewy drops on its massive petals placed in an hesperidic garden. But now some new elements appear and for me these could be regarded as the key elements of this scent, namely a dusty shade of patchouli and bit of ambergis. I`m not getting the amber as it is officially said, but a salted organic ambergris same as in Opera. In my opinion their bases are very much alike. Still, in La Tosca everything results in a lighter, more vibrant mixture of contrasts. And I haven`t told you yet how intense and persistent this scent is. Sometimes I only smell it from the sample approaching the vial to my nose and the scent remains in my nostrils for hours. And on skin it stays even after a shower.
Part bitter, part rosy, cheerful when in green robes of leaves, a bit melancholic when covered in dangerously earthy shades, this is my fascinating La Tosca.
Nose: Chris Maurice
Release year: 2015
Official notes: lemon, green tangerine, eucalyptus, Bulgarian rose, green violet, patchouli, musk, amber, vanilla from Madagascar