When I first tried my sample of Monserrat from the Fragrant Portfolio discovery kit by FZOTIC that I bought, which was almost 2 months ago, I thought, “This smells like what could happen if Atelier Cologne Pacific Lime and Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus had a love child.” It’s the generous aura of pink grapefruit and constant sheen of osmanthus, a winning combination that feels summery and orange hued.
From the description on the box:
MONSERRAT The soft colors of fresco painting. Notes: pink grapefruit, green leaves, osmanthus flower, apricot, green tea, carrot seed, jasmine. Occasions: late spring; early summer; warm evenings; aperitif; sun-dappled shade.
Not sure why it didn’t include mention of the “fantasy note ‘wet plaster'” as called out elsewhere, which I could really smell on my wrist once I started sniffing for it. The note isn’t strong and is more than offset by the pleasant fruity, springtime-green aromas that dominate. Its presence is mischievous, however—enough to put a smile on my face.
Yesterday, we went to a beach just to walk on the sand, figuring (and it turned out to be the case) that few enough people would be there that we could all keep our distance from each other. Some were playing catch, others were drawing in the sand, and some were flying kites. It was windy and quite cold, so we left after a quick stroll. (This was before seeing the news about the gatherings at Bondi Beach in Australia resulting in more infections…)
For this little outing, I wore Monserrat again—this time just on my neck and clothing but not on my wrist, so didn’t perceive the wet plaster note at all. I’d totally forgotten about it. Apparently, green is an important tone in this perfume, but to me it’s all pinkish orange–colored, with the grapefruit smelling sweet—not bitter at all—and the apricot and green tea notes associated with osmanthus in my mind.
According to the description on Fragrantica, “Carrot seed lends an apricot aspect, while light jasmine adds floral qualities to the whole.” Carrot seed! I have a tiny vial of carrot seed essential oil, which I had bought for the sole reason that when I was learning about different perfumers early last year, I listened to an interview with Christophe Laudamiel where he mentioned that carrot seed could be interesting. To me, it smells more like (besides carrot) sawdust or some kind of light wood after a good sanding, and I don’t really know what to do with it… in any case, I’m struggling to get apricot from it, but such is the magic of mixing ingredients and letting them react with each other!
The sunny cheerfulness of Monserrat is amplified by the greenhouse effect of the sun shining through the windows of a car, where one could pretend, just for a little while, that it’s really not so chilly, and that things are not really so abnormal right now.