Contrary to several perfumes that I bought for their bottles, my Masque Milano fragrances were purchased for how they smell, but the bottles won me over after the fact.
The first was Ray-Flection, about which I’ve raved in the past. I had ordered it online decisively after trying it from a sample vial, and although I’d seen pictures of the bottle, I hadn’t experienced its full marvel. It was a very pleasant surprise when I first saw the cylindrical box with the subtle spot-varnished illustration behind the gold text, part of which lists the head, heart, and base notes. The perfumer’s name is prominent on the box as well as the bottle, which I commend.
The raised lettering on the glass is a nice touch. What impressed me the most was the shiny metal plate at the top of the bottle, presenting—again in raised lettering—the name of the perfume and that of the perfumer. I had not seen this detail in photos for the brand. I am partial to metal objects, so YMMV; I also liked the pewter-colored nozzle.
I won’t comment on the hive-shaped rubber cap, but I know it’s gotten mixed reviews.
The next happy surprise was when I first pressed the nozzle: the spray goes on forever! Well, about from my shoulder down to my hip. Extremely satisfying to do a sweep rather than a series of spritz-spritz-spritzes.
A good-and-bad tendency of mine is to try to keep shiny new objects clean and “untarnished” for as long as possible (I just recently removed the plastic covering from the touchpad of a laptop I have had for over 10 years…). So I was showing off my Ray-Flection bottle to my other half, holding it only by the base of the box because I didn’t want any fingerprints on it yet, turning it to show all angles including that brilliant metal top, and…
…of course the bottle fell out of the box and onto the engineered-hardwood floor. Loudly. Cringing, I picked it up and looked it over quickly—it didn’t seem to have any damage, so I was relieved, although the sight of millions of bubbles swirling through the liquid hurt a bit: perfume should never be agitated like that!
However, some days later, I noticed that there was a little chip in the glass near the top edge. Now I can’t unsee it.
All that to explain what led me to buy a bottle of L’Attesa at this time. I probably would have anyway, but at another time. I sampled L’Attesa during very cold weather earlier this year and liked it but wasn’t sure about a slightly prickly effect (which I’ve experienced usually with bright white florals). Undina wisely suggested that I try it again in warmer weather, so I kept it in mind, although I’d used up my sample.
Iris perfumes had been on my mind lately as I didn’t have any in my collection (unless you count Chanel No 19, which is so multifaceted), and I’d tried several before. So I looked up L’Attesa some more, admired the Dali-esque clock face motif, read several reviews on Fragrantica, and then took the plunge and ordered a bottle.
The perfumer is Luca Maffei, whose work I have admired in Carthusia Terra Mia, possibly my favorite coffee fragrance so far.
My assessment of L’Attesa now isn’t too different, except that the prickle is gone in our current spring temperatures. The opening is full-on lipsticky and carroty iris, tempered with a mildly citrusy freshness (bergamot). The champagne accord is listed as a head note but I don’t perceive it, so I’m wondering if it contributes to this effect. The orris then becomes more woody and powdery, but this is a richer wood than from that facet of orris alone, which I believe is the Mysore sandalwood in action without being too recognizable. (While I enjoy the beauty of pure sandalwood essential oil, I have found that I don’t like it when it’s noticeable in perfumes.)
L’Attesa feels very put-together, like a well-fitting outfit with everything in its place. Neroli, while listed as a head note, appears to my nose only later in the development, when the fragrance turns into more of a creamy floral. I can’t distinguish the tuberose or ylang-ylang, and the overall feeling is of sparkly flowers made matte by the veil of orris. Again, I’m wondering if the sparkle is from the champagne accord. It reminds me a bit of hairspray, but not in any way that detracts from the richness of the perfume.
Approaching the base notes, I can’t perceive the oakmoss or leather accord separately, but they seem to keep the scent in balance between sharpness and density (and I realize those are not opposites). Throughout, L’Attesa exudes what I can describe only as a natural sweetness, in the mild way that edible roots possess.
L’Attesa is Act III, Scene I of the OPERA collection. The word translates from Italian as “wait,” “expectation,” “anticipation,” or “suspense” based on my search—I’d welcome any additional context from someone who knows Italian (as I don’t)! In any case, the perfume has fulfilled these things for me.