I’ve never bought a full bottle of a Lorenzo Villoresi perfume (though I do have a love-hate relationship with decant-worthy Alamut, a fragrance that sometimes caresses, then turns on you and begins to constrict and suffocate like a python). I certainly don’t think the Villoresi perfumes are bad, just not my “style.”*
Now comes Lorenzo Villoresi Theseus, an “enriched” citrus perfume. I never give up on a line and I often revisit a perfumer’s or company’s fragrance offerings years after thinking “I don’t like these!”; tastes change. Is Theseus, at long last, a Villoresi perfume I can appreciate fully?
Theseus has fragrance notes of bergamot, green accord, black pepper, nutmeg, clary sage, iris, jasmine, patchouli, vetiver, cistus/leather, agarwood, tonka bean, amber and musk (so far — so good; I like all those notes). Theseus starts off “tart-sweet” with bergamot, sugared citrus peel, and a touch of vanilla/tonka. The opening “green notes” remind me more of lavender leaf than clary sage. Theseus’ middle and base notes are an enjoyable blur, with scented ‘glimpses’ of nutmeg, iris, talc-y woods and musk, and a strong leather note.
I would classify Theseus as a dressy, retro citrus fragrance in the style of Chanel Pour Monsieur (Eau de Toilette version) and Guerlain Jicky (also, Eau de Toilette strength); we’re not dealing with a “new” perfume formula here, but at least Theseus’ “references” are top notch and executed with excellent materials. Theseus may not be the most original Villoresi perfume, but it’s my favorite (at least until I re-try the other perfumes which I haven’t smelled in over seven years).
Theseus is a unisex perfume with mild strength and sillage; it will need to be reapplied at least once during the day if you want to keep it “active.” Theseus Eau de Toilette is €100/70 for 100/50 ml. For buying information, see the listing for Lorenzo Villoresi under Perfume Houses.
Note: top image [cropped] via Wikimedia Commons.
* (Look at the Villoresi reviews on this site to read different – positive – takes on the line.)