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I've been circling around Ganymede, a men’s fragrance from Maison Marc-Antoine Barrois, since the time I read about its launch in 2019.

Ganymede was named for, and inspired by, the third of Jupiter's four moons that make up the Galilean moons. Wikipedia says that "Ganymede is composed of approximately equal amounts of silicate rock and water. It is a fully differentiated body with an iron-rich, liquid core, and an internal ocean that may contain more water than all of Earth's oceans combined." A fragrance based on a moon encouraged perfumer Quentin Bisch to imagine what the essence of this satellite might be.

Ganymede is one of those abstract fragrances that defies the typical pyramid structure, making it difficult to break down. Instead, it has a fluidity to it that has to be experienced.

On me, it opens with a note of sparkling, juicy mandarin that's joined by spicy, leathery saffron. Violet softens and refines the leather, making it more suede-like with its floral lightness and elegance. Leather nuanced osmanthus gives the juice a sensuality. The journey continues when immortelle appears. I'm familiar with the maple syrup/curry aspects of immortelle in fragrances, but in Ganymede it's the dried hay aspect that is highlighted to give the scent a salinity and minerality – like the smell of a sidewalk after it rains – that suggests the rock and water of a Jovian moon. This stage smells fabulous. At the base, Akigalawood, a perfume note created at Givaudan, is woody, spicy and floral and brings the entire fragrance together.

The drydown is textured, sophisticated and contemporary, with echoes of classic men's fragrances. I think it's fabulous.

Notes: mandarin, saffron, violet, osmanthus, Akigalawood and immortelle.

Type: EdP

Parfumeur: Quentin Bisch


Price: $5.00