The Amsterdam-based fragrance house Orto Parisi was started by Nasomatto founder Alessandro Gualtieri; Orto Parisi currently offers five perfumes and today I'm reviewing two. If you want the Orto Parisi backstory/bio and MANIFESTO, etc., visit the company website. (I was a bit bored by the Orto Parisi narrative, so didn't want to rehash it here, but the site's opening film of a monkey riding a goat — accompanied by a Wagner soundtrack — amused me).
Viride is a sweet, herbal (fougèresque) fragrance that smells like a well-dressed, conservative grandfather (maybe a retired judge?) My imagined Viride-wearing grandfather goes to the barber every week for a trim and scalp massage, a straight-razor shave and some gossip, and he has no qualms about being lathered, powdered and slathered with scented creams, talcs, aftershaves and hair tonics. Viride does not smell wild as the ad copy implies: "grasses, herbs and woods of the original tribes from Yemen"; it smells domesticated and Euro-retro in character.
Viride's greens-herbs are accented with a vanillic note, to create, at first, a pleasant, sour-sweet sensation; this accord gives way to green-tinged, sweet woods in the base, and vanilla-mint candy in the extreme dry down. Viride smells nice, but not $195 nice. Viride is not distinctive and it's too old-school for my tastes (I can't say I enjoyed my barbershop days as a child since I was NOT allowed to choose my own hairstyle).
Boccanera goes on smelling like rich/thick, chocolate syrup (at least 70% cocoa) with a light coconut undertow; it's gourmand, but not too sweet. For a few minutes, the aroma of Boccanera made me visualize/"scentualize" what crispy slices of red bell pepper dipped in dark, liquid chocolate would smell and taste like. Boccanera's base notes arrive quickly: a mild musky-medicinal chocolate scent with a hint of sweetness followed by an artificial-smelling, off-putting wood accord (let's call it curdled amber). I can appreciate Boccanera's novel chocolate usage, but the perfume smells like a "novelty" fragrance you should be able to buy cheaply, laugh about/remark upon, and then forget.
Many fragrance bloggers and commenters have noted a resemblance between Boccanera and Nasomatto Black Afgano; I can smell a slight similarity but, to me, Black Afgano is a much more accomplished perfume than Boccanera (which seems unfinished).
Viride and Boccanera have decent sillage and good lasting power and could be worn by men and women, but they skew masculine to me. (Admission regarding Viride: I don't really like barbershop-type scents on men, let alone on women...they make me want to check the wearer for facial stubble!)
Verdict: I'm not thrilled with either of these perfumes, and judging the Orto Parisi line (unfairly, I know) by them alone, I much prefer the Nasomatto fragrances. If you've tried other Orto Parisi perfumes and feel there's a must-sniff in the bunch, do comment.
Orto Parisi Viride and Boccanera are available in 50 ml Parfum for $195.