Fragrance Reviews Clocks, Butterflies and Goblets: Reviews of Dali Haute Parfums by Alberto Morillas

Clocks, Butterflies and Goblets: Reviews of Dali Haute Parfums by Alberto Morillas

03/09/17 13:22:38 (6 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Dali Haute Parfumerie

As a long time fan of the Dali line of fragrances, it was with great enthusiasm that I read Juliett's 2016 article announcing the Haute Parfumerie collection, "Five new fragrances [that] continue the story of the great surrealist, inspired by his jewelry line and made by Alberto Morillas, creator of the first Dali perfume which was dedicated to the artist's wife, Gala."

Though the bottles are indeed eye-catching, as so many from Dali are, I was more interested in the aromas. "Will they be mainstream compositions akin to the regular fragrance line or unusual, cerebral, artistic aromas?" I wondered. After all, Morillas has created some of the most iconic fragrances of the past decades; just take a look at our recent Best in Show article dedicated to his work. 

Here I offer my impressions of Morillas' five creations along with images of the original creations and artwork that inspired the fragrances. But let's begin with a video that offers an overview of the collection.

Dali Jewelry

“Among the five senses, smell is unquestionably the one
that best gives the idea of immortality.”

Salvador Dali

 

Regard Scintillant de Mille Beautes

Dali Eye of Time

Inspiration: Dali's 1949 brooch/watch "The Eye of Time" was a gift to his wife Gala Dali. The jewel is encrusted with diamonds and a ruby ​​cabochon, and a Swiss timepiece sits in the middle of the eye.

Notes: Turkish rose, mandarin, American ambrette, cedar, musk

Summary: Regard Scintillant de Mille Beautes is a grand, opulent rose - clean, sweet, full-bodied and tangy. Quite a straightforward and simple composition, RSMB's rose is supported by a quiet oriental accord of woody amber that never takes over and plays only a minor role. The composition is neither overtly bright or fresh (e.g. YSL Baby Doll or AG Rose Pompon) nor is it an earthy or oriental rose (e.g. L'Artisan Voleur des Roses or Aramis Calligraphy Rose). Easily unisex, RSMB is a pleasure to wear albeit a bit simplistic.

 

Voyage Onirique du Papillon de Vie

Dali Chalice of Life

Inspiration: Dali's 1965 creation "Chalice of Life" was inspired by the Spanish chalice of St. Teresa of Avila and symbolizes rebirth and transformation of the soul. The golden sculpture was decorated with butterflies, hence the name "Dream Voyage of the Butterfly of Life" and this is echoed in the design of the cap.

Notes: Indian tuberose, lily, orange flower, cedar, white musk, neroli

Summary: Voyage Onirique du Papillon de Vie is a beautiful white floral bouquet of soft, airy tuberose; sweet orange blossom; and earthy, creamy lily. A fluffy white musk supports the bouquet while the cedar remains undetectable. The aroma is not too dissimilar from Mugler's Alien; imagine the jasmine replaced by other white florals and you get the picture. And although tuberose is often considered deep, heady and rich, here it is pale and gentle. VOP is clearly a modern floral musk that while not breaking any new ground in the genre, elicited immediate compliments from those around me.

 

Calice de la Séduction Éternelle

Dali Tristan and isolde

Inspiration: "Tristan and Isolde", Wagner's opera and Dali's favorite, is the inspiration for a brooch made of gold, diamonds and ruby. Also painted as a full stage scrim for a ballet, the  juxtaposition of male and female profiles form the symbolic "chalice of eternal love" from which the lover's unwittingly drink such that they are unable to stay away from each other leading to the story's tragic ending.

Notes: Jasmine, ylang-ylang, cedar, rose, orange, Haitian vetiver, labdanum, amber, vanilla, Indonesian patchouli

Summary: One of the more complex aromas, Calice de la Séduction Éternelle is a classic oriental in the style of Habanita and Shalimar but with an emphasis on an almost minty patchouli. Combined with earthy vetiver, sweet labdanum and vanilla, in CSE the patchouli is smooth yet bewitching. The florals and citrus are supporting players that grace the richer basenotes. This one had me coming back for more (as in "my nose was glued to my wrist") but I'd wager one would have to be a patchouli lover to really enjoy this. I like the aroma but would have enjoyed it more if Morillas would have pushed the warm basenotes even further.

 

Mélodie du Cygne de la Main

The Leda Atomica

Inspiration: Dali's "Leaf veined hand" (1949) was inspired by the myth of the seduction of Leda by Zeus (in the form of a swan). This was a concept he also painted in 1949 entitled The Leda Atomica (featuring his wife Gala as Leda), above, hence the incorporation of a swan into the bottle's jeweled, leaf-veined cap.

Notes: Bergamot, violet, iris, orange flower, sandalwood, praline, vanilla

Summary: Mélodie du Cygne de la Main is a familiar, candy-sweet gourmand focused on praline and orange blossom with accents of violet and vanilla. An airy bergamot dances at the edges of the composition while an earthy, almost cedar-like sandalwood note grounds the sweetness. This is my least favorite of the five. Despite my love for gourmands, I feel MCM is lacking something while that woody basenote is just a touch sweaty for my liking.

 

Fluidité du Temps Imaginaire

Dali Persistence of Memory

Inspiration: Perhaps one of the most iconic images associated with Dali is his melting clock, or "The Persistence of Memory" (1931).  In 1949, Dali created a brooch version made of gold, encrusted with diamonds and decorated with drops of black enamel.

Notes: Jasmine, bergamot, tuberose, saffron, bourbon vanilla, sandalwood

Summary: Easily my favorite of the five because of its approachability, Fluidité du Temps Imaginaire makes glorious use of heady jasmine combined with sweet, almost aquatic bergamot. Tuberose appears once again, and once again it is airy and bright. Though vanilla and sandalwood are listed they merely serve to anchor the aroma as basenotes and never really come to center stage. Saffron plays a fascinating perceptible role, however, as it mingles with the florals to create a unique effect. With an image as iconic as the melting clock, I had initially imagined this would be something rather avant garde. Surprisingly, FTI wears as a salty, breezy floral-aquatic.

 
Dali
 
Overall, I am enjoying my samples of the fragrances but considering the groundbreaking work that forms the body of Dali's creative, surrealist expression, and the creativity that went into the bottles, I had been hoping for something, well, a bit more surreal. However, all five of the fragrances are easy on the nose and a pleasure to wear.
 
Many of these original jewels can be viewed at the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres while the fragrances are sold in 100ml bottles at the price of ~$500 USD at fine art galleries and specialist fragrance boutiques worldwide. For more info on the perfumes, please visit dalihauteparfumerie.com.
 
 

 

Image of the author

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen is also a regular contributor to BeautyAlmanac.com and works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting:  www.MarlenHarrison.com.

 



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missan
missan

So they were pretty boring then.

Mar
11
2017
jacobbonilla
jacobbonilla

This guy was a freak! In the worst sense. Satanist. No rules, no morals. Would never support anything to do with his name. Resist! Lol, stupid...... Nothing against Alberto.

Mar
10
2017
kapted
kapted

I have the samples and am pretty much in line with Marlen's reviews. They held a lot of promise, but all are very safe, pretty scents. Nothing ground breaking or challenging as the bottles might suggest. I'd expect such scents to be in line with Jean-Paul Gaultier's image, or a small niche producer wanting to make a polite entrance.

Mar
10
2017
mamehaviolette
mamehaviolette

I am absolutely intrigued by these scents and I am eager to try them (I am sure or at least I hope so Schnitzler will have sell them). It's so amazing how niche and minimalistic, but at the same time precious and decorative these bottles look, they are really gorgeous and a piece of art on their own.

Mar
09
2017
siririschmoos
siririschmoos

Great stuff!

Mar
09
2017
ysatis
ysatis

Adore these bottles, Wish I were smelling the juices. But it's ephemeral (not selling around me). At least my eyes' thirst satisfied.

Mar
09
2017

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