Because one cannot wear Cadavre Exquis every day in a 90-degree weather.
It's a good time to remember that Bruno Fazzolari has a special gift for handling floral notes. Jimmy and Monserrat were among Fazzolari's original five perfumes from 2013. They were somewhat overshadowed by the superstars Lampblack and Au Dela, but I've recently dug out ever last sample I had around and spent some quality time with these two beauties, gaining new appreciation for the compositions and evocative atmosphere they create.
Jimmy was actually love from the very first sniff. A cool floral with a generous dose of violets and heliotrope that immediately paint a green and pale purple picture, tinged with rosy geranium. I don't know if it's a cultural conditioning for everyone who grew up admiring and loving L'Heure Bleue and Apres l'Ondee to associate these notes and their colors with sweet and sentimental melancholia. all I can say is that Jimmy for me is the scent of late spring, when you're acutely aware that all this beauty is fleeting and soon this very landscape, the very flowers you see and touch will be no more.
Jimmy was inspired by the poetry of James Schuyler (1923-1991), who obviously meant a lot to Bruno Fazzolari. I think we can find a hint of this poem in Jimmy:
"Another day, and still the sun shines down, warmingTulips into bloom, a redder red than blood. The dandelionsCringe before them. In the evening there will be time enoughTo drive from here to there, study the vegetable patch, admireThe rosy violets. Life in action, life in repose, life inContemplation, which is hard to tell from day dreaming, on a dayWhen the sky woolgathers clouds and sets their semblance on aGlassy ocean. "
From James Schuyler, “Hymn to Life”, published in 1993
Monserrat is summer. It was named after a paint color, and I had to do some digging to find exactly what it looked like. I was surprised, actually. In my mind and because of the juicy fruity-floral nature of Monserrat the perfume, I expected the color to be more lively and vibrant. Instead, it's this toasted warm shade:
" I was thinking of worn and repainted urban walls and the matte surfaces of Italian fresco painting".
Oh, Italy. That makes perfect sense when I think of Rome, Florence, and even much smaller towns I've visited. Italy for me is forever a mix of colors and flavors, the incomparable light as it falls on old city buildings as well as on farmlands, the richness of flavors, and the way art surrounds you wherever you go. That's a lot of expectations to lay at the feet of a bright and cheerful perfume, but Monserrat handles it with aplomb, completely confident in the softness of its apricot note, energized with a bright and sunny citrus and resting on a not all that clean and wholesome musk (only slightly naughty, and perfectly hospitable for daytime wear anywhere).
Jimmy and Monserrat by Bruno Fazzolari ($110, 30ml eau de parfum) are available from Twisted Lily, Luckyscent, Tigerlily Perfumery, and directly from brunofazzolari.com. The samples for this review were sent by the perfumer, for consideration and as a gift with my various purchases.
Top photo: a Franciscan monestary in Sorrento Italy, April 2014 (from my personal archive).