Blog post by Gwen

Bahiana – fresh and woody and summery

A very good friend of mine married a woman from Bahia, Brazil. I confess that before I knew her, I knew very little about Brazil, but now that we are fast friends, I’ve learned a lot about Brazilian culture and life in Bahia. For example, Bahia is Brazil’s epicentre of Afro-Brazilian culture; it’s where capoeira and samba were born and has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. I’ve even perfected the caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail and picked up a little Portuguese: “Você deseja uma bebida?” along the way.

And in the spirit of friendship, I gave my Brazilian friend a bottle of Bahiana from the French niche line Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.

Launched in 2005 to celebrate The Year of Brazil in France, the Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier website says that Bahiana is “A colorful and animated journey inspired by the Brazilian way of life and the lush nature of the country; an invitation to an evening of festivities by Copacabana beaches.” I think my friend liked it before she even wore it because she knew it would smell like home.

Bahiana opens with a note of fresh, sweet orange and zesty lime. There’s a hint of sweetness here as if the lime was in a glass of caipirinha so that the opening smells tropical. As it settles, a heart of exotic woods takes centre stage. Guaiac wood and Brazilian rosewood open up. The woods are light, not heavy or weighty.  Guaiac wood or palo santo, is a tree native to Brazil’s Mato Grosso state. Its aspects of pine, mint and lemon play perfectly off the fragrant rose-like scent of the rosewood. Elemi is here too, fresh and balsamy; it adds another dimension of wood to the heart. Tagete (marigold) comes on the heels of the woods, giving a green-leaf brightness to them. Amber at the base gives it a sweetness that echoes the sweetness at the top, while musk is sensuous and smooth as a samba. When a fresh, aquatic, note of coconut water shows up, that’s when hips start swaying.

There is no drama in Bahiana – no harshness, cloying sweetness or loud florals. The drydown is smooth, subtly tropical and quietly elegant. Perfumer Jeanne-Marie Faugier has created a perfect carefree summer scent. Smelling Bahiana on my skin puts me on a secluded beach, sipping caipirinhas and listening to “The Girl from Ipanema.” Care to join me?

Check out Bahiana in our Shop.