Moresque is an Italian luxury fragrance line that looks to the past for inspiration, with a focus on the historical overlaps between European and Arab cultures. Moresque’s White Collection was launched in 2015 and captures a mood of elegance and refinement in its compositions, which are created by perfumer Andrea (Thero) Casotti in dialogue with Moresque’s founder, Cindy Guillemant. Here are three of those perfumes, sparked by sensory and emotional impressions of sweet delicacies, beautiful women, and a royal poet.
Diadema’s name refers to diadems, the jeweled headbands worn exclusively by monarchs and other sovereign rulers. A diadem signifies absolute authority, but this fragrance isn’t cold or haughty: instead, it’s a lush gourmand that brings a smile to its wearer’s face. If you’re looking for a sophisticated cherry perfume, a gourmand that balances sweetness with depth, Diadem is a must-try. It opens with a boozy, slightly bitter cherry note that turns sweeter as the fragrance evolves, meeting up with an almond-y heart of ylang ylang. Lastly, Diadem’s base of benzoin and vanilla suggests caramel, that burned-sugar treat whose name possibly derives from the Arabic phrase kurat al milh or “ball of sweet salt.” Mingled here with seasonal summer fruits and tropical flowers, this caramel note makes Diadem a rich, sparkling temptation of a fragrance.
For Moreta, Moresque turns to the Iberian peninsula, with a term that’s a Spanish endearment for a strikingly beautiful woman. Its composition is appropriately centered around the concept of orange trees in bloom—a seasonal sight and smell that have given Spain’s Costa del Azahar, or “orange blossom coast,” its name. Moreta’s bouquet of fresh orange flowers, topped with mouth-watering citrus zest, is a flirtatious evocation of warm late-spring evenings and effervescent cocktails. Yet Moreta also has an earthier side, thanks to its long-lasting background of white musk and cedar. Fans of Kilian’s gourmand-floral Love, Don’t Be Shy will also want to spend time with Moreta, getting to know its mix of brightness and sweetness. Orange blossoms possess a nectar that lures bees into their petals; this perfume attracts admirers in a similar way, drawing them closer to its luscious core.
Moresque takes a literary approach to this perfume, which the brand describes as “an olfactory allegory to the princess and poet Tamima, wife of the Almoravid sultan Ali ibn Yusuf of Morocco.” Tamima pays homage to Morocco’s terrain by suggesting local flora such as eucalyptus, sage, sun-warmed oranges, and the tree resin that’s transformed into aromatic frankincense. This is a sharp, lively fragrance signaling confidence and accomplishment. It feels very contemporary, thanks both to its oud note (everything old is new again!) and its use of cashmeran, resulting in a woody-musky amber with glints of citrus. The Almoravid dynasty marked a fruitful period in Moroccan literature. As a nod to a female voice in the poetry of that era, Tamima is a refined and persuasive verse, packaged in the elegant form of Moresque’s White Collection bottle.
More Moresque musings to come!