I wish the powers that be at Jacomo Paris had given their Art Collection perfumes real names instead of numbers. They already got the artwork by international artists to establish the perfumes' identity (the one for #08 was created by Swedish illustrator Daniel Egnéus), so why not a name?
Jacomo Art Collection #08 has strong Indian roots, evident not just in the artwork but first and foremost in the fact it smells like a really good cup of chai. I know some of you are thinking now about the (in)famous Kenzo Jungle L'Elephant and maybe having a DO.NOT.WANT moment (I happen to like L'Elephant despite mumbled protests from a certain husband). However, Jacomo Art Collection #08 is a very different jungle animal. It's lighter and kinder throughout the perfume's wear, and the main difference is that Jacomo is first and foremost a black tea scent while the elephant is stewed in milk and cream from the very beginning.
Jacomo Art Collection #08 has a hint of soft smoke but it wafts from afar. The part that develops on the skin is slightly spicy black tea, a little zing of ginger that deepens and darkens into a rich brown color but maintain its sheerness. There's that exotic spice box with a jeweled inlay, but it's never too heavy, dusty or suffocating. Despite the honeyed spiced drink notes that Uncle Serge would have cooked and woven into an ancient city on its markets and back alleys, Jacomo #08 maintains a certain lightness. It's utterly wearable even now, in the heat of East Coast summer temperatures and humidity.
Jacomo Art Collection #08 has a soft and sheer ambery dry-down that stays very close to the skin and catches you by surprise when you stick your nose deep into your shirt (always graceful, that's me). It might be my one and only gripe with this perfume. The longevity is abut average (4-6 hours, depending on my determination in spraying), but you really need to search for what's left on your skin after the first couple of hours. It's there and every once in a while I get a light chai whiff, but I could have used a lot more.
Jacomo Art Collection #08 is as unisex as they get. It's not too sweet, not too dry or spicy. Anyone who likes tea scents and especially the style of L'Artisan's Tea For Two or Lutens' 5 O'Clock Au Gingemmbre has a good chance of enjoying #8. It's a little gem.
Notes (via The Perfumed Court):
top notes of cardamom, ginger and Masala black tea; middle notes of freesia, milky accord and dried fruits; and base notes of cinnamon, honey and amber.
Jacomo Art Collection #08 ($69, 1.7 oz) is available from Henri Bendel in NYC and bigelowchemists.com. I was sent a bottle by the company's PR.
Photo: Maharani Sita Devi with the Diamond necklace featuring the Star of the South a Brazilian diamond from milanesegal.blogspot.com.
Art for Jacomo #08 by Daniel Egnéus.