Luci Ed Ombre means "light and shadow", as in the chiaroscuro technique of using strong contrasts between light and dark to create a certain ambiance. Luci Ed Ombre by Masque Milano attempts to juxtapose radiant tuberose and jasmine with dark and cold elements from incense to patchouli. It's an intriguing idea and not a composition you smell every day, but for reasons varying from the sharp top notes to skin chemistry, I've been having a hard time warming up to Luci Ed Ombre.
The perfume opens cheerfully with ginger and beachy coconut notes that read very sharp on my skin. The jasmine is part indolic and part green, adding to the piercing impression I get, despite its obvious depth and quality. I feel more comfortable with Luci Ed Ombre when the tuberose joins and sweetens the deal. The fragrance begins to shimmer and rise into the air in a very attractive way. But the introduction of the forest floor surprisingly takes away from the charm of this Masque Milano perfume. Somehow the shrill jasmine comes back, competes with the incense and oakmoss and reduces them to a very dank yet slightly spicy floral. I find myself caught between the jagged edges of the contrasts at play here, and feel as off-balance as the scent surrounding me, even when the late dry-down becomes sweeter and softer.
Skin chemistry and personal taste are everything. While I can live the rest of my life happily without wearing this particular Masque Milano perfume ever again, lovers of bright white florals may enjoy Luci Ed Ombre. Longevity is decent and the sillage is reasonably polite for a tuberose/jasmine fragrance, especially if you dab and not spray.
Notes: Incense, Ginger, Tuberose, Jasmine, Moss, Cedarwood, Patchouli.
Masque Milano- Luci Ed Ombre ($215, 100ml eau de parfum) is available from Twisted Lily and Luckyscent.
Photo: Tuberose by Linda Morrow, 2011