There's a fabulous modern chypre true to its name that should and will delight those of us who love the galbanum and flower chypres of yore, and it's been around since 2008. I can't even whine that no one has told me about Tarantella because both Elena of Perfume Shrine and March from the Posse did just that (links go to their reviews of Tarantella), but I guess I was too busy whining about the fall of chypres and didn't listen.
Tarantella was actually the first perfume Tommi Sooni released. I'm willing to bet that if back in 2008 Tommi Sooni had a wider distribution Tarantella would have made a much bigger splash and put this lovely Australian brand much closer to the center of our perfumed universe. Tarantella is really that fantastic, from its bright opening (citrus and light flowers in a burst of fizzy aldehydes) to its green and slightly bitter body-- there's no mistaking the galbanum and marigold notes (think of a brighter Niki de Saint Phalle). From that moment on, Tarantella asserts itself as spicy green and more than a little wicked chypre- it has that kick you only get from the real thing. It's one of the sexiest perfumes I've tried in the last few months-- the leather-oakmoss-patchouli base envelops the skin seductively, and it does so stealthily because the complex floral heart is like a mischievous smile that masks Tarantella's real intents.
I believe Tommi Sooni intended this fragrance to be a feminine one, but this shouldn't influence anyone's decision to at least try it. Men who wear Vent Vert or Cabochard will find a lot to love in Tarantella (though do take note that it's not quite that green as the former and not nearly as smoky as the latter). Tarantella is lighter and modern. It smells like a good chypre, not necessarily a vintage one, which is probably a good thing as we hope it'll be around for a long time. The sillage is moderate once the top notes settle down, and the lasting power is at least 8 hours, depending on how much you apply and where. I find that it remains detectable until nighttime when applied to my upper body and under clothes and gets amplified when its very warm, but it doesn't cling to the wrists or the back of my hand at all.
Notes: aldehydes, galbanum, orange blossom, French marigold, Sicilian mandarin, frangipani, muguet, jasmine, orris, Anatolian rose, bay laurel, clove, patchouli, amber, leather, moss, sandalwood, intense musk.
Tommi Sooni- Tarantella ($180, 50ml EDP) is available directly from tommisooni.com (they also sell generous size samples) and from Luckyscent where it's currently on sale for $95(!!!).
Ferdinand von Reznicek-Solo Dancer Performs the Tarantella
Tommi Sooni Tarantella promo image.