Skip to main content

Messages – Sending out an SOS – October 5, 2012 New Fragrance Listing


Photo - Fragrantica, Messages by Mariella Burani

My son, at about age 5 or 6, was crazy about music  – crazy about Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics, Michael Jackson and Sting. Especially Sting. We learned all the lyrics and every nuance of Message in a Bottle, his favourite tune. When Sting came to Toronto for a concert we made our little music-lover delirious with joy by buying THREE tickets! To really ratchet up the excitement, a friend who knew Sting took him backstage during intermission, and he MET Sting! He could hardly speak from happiness when he came back to his seat for the last half of the show – his feet sure weren’t touching the floor - and thirty years later when I mention it to him, he gets a huge grin, starts humming Message in a Bottle, and we both laugh and relive the day he met his music hero.

I’d forgotten about Messages, a 2001 fragrance by Mariella Burani, (an Italian designer with a worldwide brand manufacturing clothing, accessories, as well as fragrances for women and men), until one of our readers requested it. She wrote that we probably had never heard of it, and likely didn’t own it, but…….we do. I’d bought it on impulse just because it was called Messages, and it was in a beautiful bottle. Choices, sometimes, do not spring from thought, but are made by feelings, and when I saw the frosted glass bottle in the store, I heard a little voice singing “Message in a Bottle” so I bought it. It made me feel good.

And by the same serendipitous chance, so does this perfume. I knew from the first sniff that I loved it. The bottle looks as if the frag should be a white floral, but there are no sharp aldehydes, thank god, just juicy green and red peppers mixed with spices, coriander, cardamom, and a hint of licorice. A gorgeous start from this unusual mix of vegetal and spicy notes, which is made even more interesting by the addition of earthy iris and then soft, musty heliotrope. The scent, which has not been at all sweet, now becomes smooth and powdery, and, with the addition of vanilla, starts to sweeten slightly into the heart.

Sandalwood, along with musk, a hint of cocoa from tonka, and herbal patchouli, completes the perfume magic, making Messages creamy and warm in the dry-down, bringing it to the edge of gourmand but in the end settling it firmly as a soft floral with woody base. The iris/vanilla accord wafts in and out, the green pepper appears now and then, keeping Messages on message as unusual and different.

This is a truly well-made frag which, when launched in 2001, was out of the mainstream, and way ahead of its time. It’s really hard to find in North America, but it is definitely a bona fide niche scent by 2012 standards, and one that I think can easily be worn by men, too.  Of course, as with all frags weird and wonderful, it’s been discontinued, so we have as much chance of seeing it on store shelves again as we have of finding a message in a bottle.

Wait a minute, isn’t this where I started?...I’m getting confused….this is about Messages perfume in a bottle... and I’ve decided I’m sending out an SOS to Mariella Burani:

Please make this gorgeous juice, pour it into its beautiful bottles, and ship Messages around the world so perfumistas everywhere can love it.

I hope she gets my message.

I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle
Sending out an SOS
Message in a bottle – by Sting

Today, we’re adding Messages to our decant listing. Decants are $5.00.

A big “thank you” to L.Z. in Paris, France.  I hope she enjoys her decant of Messages, our gift for requesting this lovely fragrance during “We Take Requests” month.