Blog post by Gwen

Mandarina Corsica – sweet and tart and sophisticated

I discovered Mandarina Corsica, the old-fashioned way - shopping in a store. After I smelled it on my skin, I could not walk out of the store without buying it.

As part of L’Artisan’s “Les Paysages” collection, inspired by French landscapes, Mandarina Corsica pays homage to Corsica, the French-owned island in the Mediterranean. According to the press release for Mandarina Corsica, nose Quentin Bisch ‘was marked by the sensation of tasting a candied tangerine in Corsica. He was immediately struck by the contrast of textures and flavours on the tongue: at first, a hard sweet caramel shell, which, once broken, revealed all the contrasting facets of a “confit” tangerine, bitter-sweet, zesty yet soft like marmalade.’

Corsica is renowned for its clementines, a cross between mandarin and orange tree flowers, and Mandarina Corsica has mandarin front and centre in every stage. It opens with a nose-tingling note of mandarin, floral and fresh; it’s flanked by tart, bitter, orange. This is the smell of mandarin oranges, the tender sweet flesh and the bitter pith and peel. Within seconds, the fruits are caramelized with a note of brown sugar. The smell of sticky marmalade dominates the heart, and when Tonka bean displays its chocolate facet, I get the smell of chocolate-covered orange peel is irresistible. The notes list Georgywood, a scent molecule created by Givaudan; it contributes a clean woodiness that supports the mandarin beautifully. Mandarin dominates the base as well, where it is joined by immortelle.  Immortelle, which thrives in the Corsican scrubland, is the perfect complement to the mandarin; after all, things that grow together go together. It smells like maple syrup and keeps the candied orange vibe present down to the drydown. But it also adds warmth and greenness, bringing depth and dimension to the fragrance by rounding out the candied mandarin. Ambroxan, which smells skin-salty, gives me a sense of place – close my eyes, and I’m by the sea.

The drydown is refined and sophisticated, as the citrus sweetness settles into a tender, warm skin scent that smells of sweet summer nights.

The L’Artisan website says that Mandarina Corsica ‘…evokes beautiful reminiscences of the Corsican landscape, particularly the early summer where the nights are heavy with warmth. San Giuliano, south of Bastia, an iconic ‘balcony’ village, many of which are scattered along the ridges of the landscape. There is a scent of citrus in the wind… this is where the fields of tangerine trees, which cool the hot, dry air, can be found.’

In Mandarina Corsica, Quentin Bisch captured the spirit of a time and place in a beautiful fragrance. What a wonderful scent to experience.

Check out Mandarina Corsica in our Shop.