It was an emergency. A few weeks ago, I was decanting the last of my Jean Patou Colony Extrait into an atomizer, and the atomizer toppled. I managed to save most of it, and I mopped up the rest with my forearms, but the writing was on the wall. Before long, my beloved Colony, a pineapple chypre as goofy and glamorous as Carole Lombard jumping on the bed in My Man Godfrey and as gentle as goose down in a breeze, would be a memory. (Sob.)
I was lamenting this to Tracy at Fumerie, and she asked if I’d ever tried Bruno Fazzolari Unsettled. The Nevada Museum of Art commissioned Fazzolari to create Unsettled — the fragrance, plus a uranium glass bottle shaped like an atomic bomb’s mushroom cloud — for a 2018 exhibition on Western art. Unsettled’s notes include bergamot, black tea, clary sage, pineapple, New Caledonian sandalwood, labdanum, vanilla, and “ocean breezes.”
Fazzolari’s website says, “the fragrance takes its inspiration from the history of the sandalwood and tea trade in the South Pacific, as well as from a pineapple themed perfume called ‘Colony,’ launched by the house of Jean Patou in 1938.” Hmm. Promising, even with the off-putting mention of “ocean breezes.”
Unsettled, in a few words: warm sandalwood and sparkly, tart citrus sandwich dry, cool pineapple. As for “ocean breezes,” Unsettled is no Hawaiian Punch — or Hawaiian Tropics suntan lotion, for that matter — but something in the combination reminds me of torn fig leaves.
Mention “pineapple” to most people, and they think of canned chunks of fruit in syrup. That’s not what Unsettled (or Colony, for that matter) is at all. It’s not about Cool Whip and ambrosia salad, either. Pineapple is wonderfully resinous, yet herbal, with a fruity scent that doesn’t read as food. The next time you're in the grocery store's produce aisle, pick one up and smell it. L’Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz shows how well pineapple plays with vetiver, and Unsettled is proof that sandalwood and pineapple are an effective combo, too.
Unsettled hums along quietly on my skin all day, even after handwashings. Initially, the bergamot, pineapple, and sandalwood keep a nice balance. After a few hours, the fragrance burns down to an angular sandalwood. Unsettled’s character is firmer and more modern than Colony’s vaporous, mossy, ylang-hued scent, and I’m not sure it’s a good substitute for the hole Colony leaves in my perfume wardrobe, but I like it just the same.
Bruno Fazzolari Unsettled Eau de Parfum is $110 for 30 ml. For information on where to buy it, see Bruno Fazzolari under Perfume Houses.