Morning in Tipasa 7.2, image courtesy of Pierre Guillaume Paris
Sun glittering off the lazy waves of the Mediterranean off the Northern coast of Algeria. Just beyond are the Roman ruins of Tipasa, standing defiant to time like weathered centurions, refusing to crumble into the sea that stretches beyond. Trees bent and bowed by thousands of winds bob and rustle in quiet laughter. Beneath their gnarled arms, people doze in the shade, drunk from too much sunlight and Mascaran wine. Further along, where the rocks clutch the shoreline, golden bodies, draped like blankets, lie indolently, drinking the blazing light through every pore. As the heat reaches its perfect zenith, the sea-spray on warm skin tantalizes; the undulating rhythm of the waves beckons like a siren and there is no reason to resist. You dive. Coming to the surface, in that perfect moment of cool saltwater and beating heat in union, the breeze sends a zephyr of citrus and pine, a message from Tipasa sent, as a millennium ago, today.
Tipasa, image courtesy of Pierre Guillaume Paris
Pierre Guillaume Paris Morning in Tipasa7.2 is one of three new hesperidic perfumes from Pierre Guillaume that summon torpid days near the water’s edge. It is joined by SolSekia, a musky skin scent with hints of the seashore and a waft of citrus, and a reboot of 2014’s splendid Grand Siecle Intense, one of my favourite lemon-green scents, with the vetiver amped up considerably. They bring some much-needed summer to an audience weary of its unforgiving past year of winter. Pierre Guillaume Paris Morning in Tipasa 7.2 is perhaps the easiest of the three in the collection to enjoy in sticky, languid weather. Inspired by Camus’ Wedding in Tipasa, a favourite essay of Guillaume’s, Morning in Tipasa 7.2 embodies Camus’ descriptions of the Roman ruins of Tipasa and their environs with notes of native Algerian plants– bergamot trees, wild lemongrass, peppermint, pine, and jujube tree. It gradually shifts from its starting point of Mediterranean coastline, with wild aromas of grasses, mint and citrus fruit, to the smell of skin clinging to water and mineral, and then to the creamy sweetness of an afternoon cocktail like one of those elegant, vintage summer concoctions on silver chargers brought by formal waiters: a refreshing mint and pine fizz that turns warm and sensual with undercurrents of the apple-sweet fragrance of jujube honey.
Pierre Guillaume, photo courtesy of Pierre Guillaume Paris
The opening is a wild burst of dried lemongrass and sparkly bergamot. The citrusy aspects of the lemongrass are surprisingly lowkey, taking a backseat to the grass’ more balsamic characteristics. It is at first sniff woody, herbaceous in the way tarragon is, with a sweet but aromatic edge. A little later, I get lemongrass’ distinctive citronella fragrance. By that time, the bergamot has asserted its dominance and its astringent bite acts neatly as a bridge to the mildly turpenic pine that moves in quietly. The sharpness of the conifer and fruit in is muted, allowing the fragrance to give gradual room to the slow-motion drip of honey and, more prominently, the quince-like perfume of jujube honey, which adds a waft of baked apple.
Artwork courtesy of Pierre Guillaume Paris
Morning in Tipasa best moments, however, are in its dry-down, which make your skin smell like you’ve just dried off in the sun after a dip in the sea in a photorealistic way. There’s that hint of sweat and salt, traces of milky suntan cream hugging damp flesh, and a distinct wet mineral note that reminds me of Guillaume’s Limanakia (2016). The bergamot hangs in the background like tree fruit smelled from a distance, and the mint keeps everything just this side of chill. Morning in Tipasa 7.2 is not a complicated fragrance; there’s no mental cacophony to work through to enjoy it; just an easygoing amalgam of simple, evocatively summery pleasures – just what I crave in a hot weather perfume. “Tipasa” means a place of stopover, and Pierre Guillaume’s olfactory snapshot of the southern Mediterranean invites you to join it at the water’s edge, relax, and linger awhile.
Notes: Wild lemongrass, peppermint, Mediterranean pine, bergamot, jujube tree honey.
Disclaimer: Bottle of Morning in Tipasa 7.2 generously given me by Pierre Guillaume Paris. My opinions, as always, are my own.
Lauryn Beer, Senior Editor
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