I've mentioned Aristoqrati by Moresque as one of my top perfume picks this spring, and true to that it's the perfume I've been wearing the most over the last couple of months. In another life I might have picked it as my signature scent for the time being, but it's been twenty eight years since I've been loyal to one perfume for longer than six hours. The point is that the blend of spice and geranium is very very enticing.
Moresque (I keep typing Mauresque, as in Serge's Cuir) is a line that follows the Middle Eastern style. I remember liking the Black and the White collections well enough, though none kept my attention span (oud, rose, jasmine--- the usual) until I reached Aristoqrati (from Moresque's Art collection that features even more elaborately decorated bottles). It grabbed me immediately because the nutmeg bursts forcefully from behind the fresh and slightly classic men's cologne opening notes. The astringency of geranium leaves and stems was familiar and nostalgic for me. As a kid I used to crush a leaf and rub it between my fingers, savoring both the smell and the rough yet velvety surface. I still do it sometimes.
Geranium is often used as a companion to rose notes. Its various facets can be herbal, green, even slightly fruity (think of apple geranium in iced tea). It brings out the peppery side of carnations, and adds a bright sunny feel to heavier blends. This is exactly what happens in Aristoqrati, a perfume that otherwise is an intoxicating nutmeg and patchouli mix that conjures a certain oriental mystery. There's the earthiness of freshly-watered soil of the geranium bed in the inner courtyard, the scent of herbs from the kitchen garden, ancient stone corridors providing shade and coolness in the Mediterranean summer afternoon, and again lots and lots of spices, especially if one decides to go overboard and spray herself silly. It happens. And you cannot wash it off for a while.
A friend asked me back in February, after I've mentioned here that Aristoqrati was my Valentine's Day date night scent whether I didn't feel it was a bit of an odd or masculine pick for the occasion. Obviously, that person was not aware that given the choice I'd wear Nasomatto Duro over Diorissimo anytime. Still, no, I don't think Aristoqrati is gender-specific. If you're a fan of spicy orientals and a generous garnish of nutmeg you're more likely to enjoy this perfume. If you can't wait to put in your geraniums for summer, give it a try. And word to the wise, one or two spritzes will take you throughout the day (and night).
Moresque- Aristoqrati ($375, 1.7oz eau de parfum) is available from OsswaldNYC.com.
Image: Gigi Hadid for Vogue Arabia, Photographed by Inez and Vinoodh, March 2017.