Launched in 2005 to celebrate The Year of Brazil in France, the Maître 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.” Oh, it so is….
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 tropical beach, sipping caipirinhas and listening to “The Girl from Ipanema.” Care to join me?
Notes: orange, caipirinha lime, guaiac wood, Brazilian rosewood, elemi, tagete, amber, musk, coconut