Lampblack by Bruno Fazzolari (2013)

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A woody-leathery-citrus symphony with a ton of class. The wood here is dry, dark and rubbery, quite close to leather (hence my definition above), with a mellow smoky vetiver note and a “woodier” vein than usual, made drier and darker by cypriol (I guess). On the polar opposite, bright and astringent citric notes; in the middle, something peppery – I see black pepper listed but it seemed also a bit reddish to me - and bitter leafy notes. That’s it. It may sound ordinary, but it’s not, mostly because of its sort of really peculiar “angular” texture. The feel here is really sharp: the citrus notes are much bitter, the woods are particularly dark, sour and rubbery; but they’re all so precisely, elegantly juxtaposed that the whole thing smells perfectly sophisticated, classy, understated, solid and harmonic. It’s like a white and black constructivist piece of design – bold shapes and sharp angles, which can look messy and out of proportion until you find the perfect angles to juxtapose them. And here’s harmony, flawless beauty and class. Lampblack works similarly, in a way: a few contrasting notes, dark corners and light beams, all really “bold” in their own way, put together with elegance and sharp precision. The drydown is respectively more bitter on the green-citric side, and more roasted-rubbery and drier on the base line, which makes the woody vetiver notes smell even more close to leather. Perfect class, great evolution. Personally I find the drydown a tad too bitter-astringent and kind of “sweaty” after a while, but other than that, Lampblack is more than remarkable and surely worthy a try.


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