Hide and seek (I_Ristretto by Maison Tahité)

I’ve tried to memorize the coffee styles before, but had to look this one up. A ristretto is a “short shot” of espresso with less volume of water but higher concentration of coffee, as it is ground more finely. I would have expected I_Ristretto from my purchased Coffee Sample Kit by Maison Tahité – Officine Creative Profumi to be strong and bitter.

Al contrario, amici miei. Not so, my friends.

Maison Tahité Coffee Sample Kit

I_Ristretto opened with a familiar coffee note accompanied by a powdery carrot note, which signaled the intention of orris. Within moments, I was pleasantly surprised and amused to realize that it reminded me of my own creation from last year, Einmal Ist Keinmal, which had been my attempt at orris and chocolate. Creamy, slightly unctuous… and fleeting!

I_Ristretto felt like a non-perfume to me because I could hardly smell it after a few minutes. I kept spraying it to pick up more notes—pepper, musk, a gentle wood…

Looking it up, the brand states that perfumer Paul Guerlain “has chosen a short formula, as a ristretto”; notes include:

  • Top: Coffee Absolute Arabica, Pink Pepper CO2 (LMR)
  • Heart: Iris Concrete (LMR), Violet Accord
  • Base: Patchouli Oil Indonésie, Cashmeran

This explains a lot, including why I_Ristretto reminded me of my own experimental blend and why I couldn’t smell it for long. For the first, I credit orris (in my case, the synthetic base Orris Givco) and Cashmeran. I am starting to be able to recognize this woody, musky, gauzy aromachemical from perfumes such as Donna Karan Cashmere Mist. For the second, I believe it is the ionones in the violet accord saturating my olfactory receptors and rendering me temporarily anosmic to most of the perfume. Beta-ionone, to be precise—not alpha-ionone.

Otherwise, I_Ristretto is more of a cozy musk cocoon than a pick-me-up, even with the light shadow of coffee aroma… it might be the anti-coffee perfume and soothe me to sleep instead!

J’voudrais voir le monde à l’envers (I’d like to see the world upside down)
J’aim’rais mieux être un oiseau (I’d rather be a bird)
Dodo l’enfant do (Sleep, child, sleep)

—”S.O.S. d’un Terrien en Détresse” written by Michel Berger and Luc Plamondon

5 thoughts on “Hide and seek (I_Ristretto by Maison Tahité)

  1. Funny that it reminded you of your own composition. This one sounds like something I may enjoy. Paul Guerlain looks like an upcoming perfumer to watch from that famous family. I see he did another one for this brand’s cacao collection. He is also credited with the new neroli scent for Maison Crivelli.


    1. I suspect my experience may be atypical for not being able to smell it well. Will be curious if you find that you do enjoy it.
      New neroli from Maison Crivelli? Will have to try! Though not generally a fan of neroli, I admire the house’s creativity and contrast in most of their perfumes.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s