Mare Nostrum Aura Maris* (let’s translate as “Mediterranean sea breeze”) is the latest fragrance from Italian niche line Lorenzo Villoresi. Marine fragrances are not a favorite of mine; they are often abrasive, Calone-rich banalities (and just because a niche perfume house produced this one, I didn’t expect to like it).
Mare Nostrum begins with intense bergamot and mandarin aromas (the mandarin is especially realistic, a fruity, oily-peel scent). Next up are floral notes mixing with the citrus; jasmine comes first, then there’s a nice indolic narcissus note (both floral notes are on the sheer side). This may be the first time I’ve noticed that narcissus has a “water” aspect, more “pond” than “ocean”, but still conjuring a wet place. Mare Nostrum’s base notes are see-thru; to the residual citrus and flowers, a super-dry driftwood note and talcy musk are added (I don’t detect patchouli).
Dabbed on, Mare Nostrum produces a sweet, citrus-floral summer cologne aroma; its character changes dramatically when sprayed on full force — then, its notes combine to produce a marine accord that will be familiar to “oceanic”-fragrance lovers. However, Mare Nostrum is not a one-dimensional or harsh marine perfume, but a pleasantly hazy/foggy sea scent; dabbed or sprayed I enjoy it. Mare Nostrum is subtle; you’ll smell it for hours but it doesn’t have much sillage (which is a good thing in hot weather, when I think you’d be most likely to reach for it).
Lorenzo Villoresi Mare Nostrum Aura Maris is available in in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette ($90/$130). For buying information, see the listing for Lorenzo Villoresi under Perfume Houses.
Note: top image [altered] via Wikimedia Commons.
*Mare Nostrum Aura Maris features fragrance notes of green citrus, bergamot, mandarin, narcissus, patchouli, jasmine, amber, musk and woods.