I make no excuses for being a dyed-in-the-wool fan of Robert Piguet perfumes. This little perfume house has been lovingly built with a close eye on its original heritage and inspiration. A fact that perfumer, Aurelian Guichard, is only too aware of and has taken as his cue, adding to the development of the brand with a roster of new fragrances that manages both to entice and charm as much as Fracas did in its heyday.
Of course, there’s always going to be favourites. I wasn’t so keen on the Pacific collection (aimed naturally at a pacific region audience en particulaire) which had Blossom, Chai and Jeunesse in its make-up. But, then again, I do applaud a brand that is willing to adapt and to make niche fragrances for specific regions – it’s an added bonus if one succeeds globally. Win win in anyone’s books.
So the release of Alameda seemed to sneak in. The Piguet website doesn’t say whether it’s part of the Classic or Nouvelle collection of fragrances. I expect it’s the latter. It’s a soft feminine beauty from first spray, and, more than that, a grower with wear that dries down beautifully.
Guichard has taken his olfactive inspiration from the Alhambra in Granada aiming to capture the scents of the park surrounding the palace which are filled with wild flowers and roses, planted by the Moors. The smell is redolent of the exoticism of the East with a good doze of Spanish sensuality thrown in. Alameda conveys the heat of the dry Spanish sun with the ancient feel of the Berber Islamic dynasty and the Moorish approach to symmetrical architecture. And yet remains undeniably of the Piguet fine fragrance stable. It’s quite a feat to accomplish.
There’s an overriding tinge of rose and amber but it’s the dryness of the superior Oris root that makes this beauty ring true. A dry, musky deep centre and base with a hint of bright bergamot to stop the whole scent from being too deep. This is powdered rose perfection and canned (sticky) heat in one. Even the patchouli is superiorly sophisticated. Alameda has the sensuality of mantillas and flamenco with the cool honest truth and beauty of fortress stone merged with the mystique of the ancient Muslin dynasty who ruled the Alhambra.
Alameda’s grown up subtlety is one to seek out if you like your perfumes feminine, alluring and full of mystique. A classic in the making.
Robert Piguet’s Alameda is available in Harvey Nichols, Liberty and Selfridges priced £135 for 100ml EDP.