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Caligna - It wooed me… - August 11, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Like most perfume aficionados, one of my favourite things to do is to hunt for ‘deals’ on fragrances I love. Like most of you, I have my methods, my ways and my haunts. Here’s one of my best tips: go to the L’Artisan website, look at the upper right hand corner and you’ll see various flags for the countries where L’Artisan has stores. Click on the one that applies to you. I live in Canada, so I click on the American flag. Then, click on the ‘Collections’ tab and down the left hand side and a tab called ‘Last Chance to Buy’ appears. Click on it and you will find fragrances that are on sale. Today, there aren’t any frags listed there. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Go back to the upper right of the page and change flags to, oh, let’s say, Euro countries, et voilà, Fleur de Liane is appears, on sale, like really on sale, a couple of more clicks and a bottle can be yours - or mine.

I check this site, and others often, and when I do I tend to be pretty single minded about it - I just want to get to the deal and all the other bumpf about new candles, new fragrance diffusers, new collections, will just slow me down, so I ignore it until one day when I don’t. Candles and fragrance diffusers aren’t really my thing, but a new collection, called the Grasse Collection, containing a new fragence called Caligna? Well, that’s worth taking the time to learn about.

The Grasse Collection was inspired by the Provençal town of Grasse. Ah, Provence, that province in southeastern France, that extends from the lower Rhône River on the west to the Italian border on the east, and to the Mediterranean Sea on the south. The first Roman province settled beyond the Alps, Provence has a distinct cultural and linguistic identity as well as unique climate that forces its indigenous plants to concentrate their oils as protection against the heat. And, Grasse, sheltered from the sea, situated in the hills, is perfectly located for the flower farming industry making it the centre of the perfume industry.

Provence has inspired some of my fave frags, like Garrigue and Une Rose au Bord de la Mer, but L’Artisan has gone full Provence with Caligna. The name translates as ‘to court’ in Provençal dialect, the nose is the wildly talented Firmenich perfumer Dora Baghriche-Arnaud (she also the nose for Still Life), who grew up in Nice and the ingredients are some of the most unique to the region.
Caligna opens with aromatic, herbaceous clary sage, the iconic herb of Provence, along with a note of creamy, lush, fig. There’s rose here too, and it softens the clary sage, so that it doesn’t dominate the fig. Mandarin orange leaves add a gentle sweet, greenness to the opening. As it blooms, there is the smell of jasmine – introduced to Provence in the by the Moors in the 16th century – sweet, but jammy and not at all indolic. This isn’t jasmine, but a jasmine marmalade accord created by Baghriche-Arnaud from a dessert she had in the south of France. A touch of violet adds an earthy, powdery dimension. I love the way the rose, jasmine and violet are in perfect harmony, brightened by the citrus in the marmalade. The base is warm and musky from ambrox; woody and piney from lentisk – a native plant of the maquis - smoked pine needles and oak chips from wine casks, which give it a balminess. The drydown green, fresh and luminous – perfect for warm weather, gorgeous in cooler weather.

Caligna is an enticing skin scent that draws people to it then courts, woos, and conquers them.

So many fragrances focus on the lavender, myrtle, jasmine, rose, orange blossom and mimosa that grow in Provence – and I enjoy many of those beauties, but the idea of using lesser known plants that grow in the region along with new notes like jasmine marmalade and oak chips, created by a rising star perfumer with childhood olfactory memories of the place really appealed to me.

Once I tried Caligna, the idea of wearing it appealed to me even more.
Caligna is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.