Handled With Kid Gloves: Roxana Illuminated Perfume Impromptu
I have been an admirer of Roxana Villa’s natural perfumes since I first tried them, and it has been a real pleasure to observe her talent grow over time. Just when you think she has used every trick in her magical repertoire, she gives us yet another original and compelling fragrance. This time around, she presents an all-natural, all-botanical leather scent. I can almost see the eyebrows being raised, but yes, this really works!
Impromptu is so named because it came into being as the result of chance after the perfumer started experimenting with the same materials that she used to create her popular Chaparral. She ended up with a woodier version of that, which she then began to augment with resins and leather-like herbal notes as well as her own natural leather accord. The end product is a sweetly aromatic and slightly smoky perfume that opens with a typical woody/astringent character before everything moves into place as it begins to warm on the skin. The leather emerges slowly from the mélange of notes that includes woods, spices, geranium, rose, tarragon, basil, clary sage and mimosa, and after about thirty minutes (on my skin), it becomes the central theme and lingers for hours as a warmly balsamic, honeyed “glove leather.” Dare I say that this is a very sexy fragrance, and one that will work equally well for either gender although it is being presented as a feminine scent.
For those who like traditional and mainstream leather perfumes, Impromptu does not smell photo-realistic like the inside of a new car, nor does it have that smoky birch tar feel of more rugged leathers. However, if the kind of leather fragrance you like is the understated apricot suede of Serge Lutens Daim Blond or the refined “inside a ladies’ purse” character of the original 1984 Trussardi for women or some of the more restrained vintage chypres, you may well appreciate this beautiful alternative that purrs softly like a pampered Persian cat. Its longevity is truly impressive, ten hours or more, which is really good for any perfume but almost unheard of for one that does not have any synthetic or animal-derived ingredients at all.
Impromptu is available at the Roxana Illuminated Perfume Etsy shop as either part of a sample set or on its own.
Disclaimer: My sample of Impromptu was given to me for testing by Roxana Villa.
Image credit: Painting by Greg Spalenka, courtesy of Roxana Villa