Thursday 16 June 2016


Many reviewers describe fragrance as a "time machine" which can take you on a journey into your past, but that is always dependent on your having a link to the fragrance in the first place. What if a perfume came along which catapulted you back to the eighties without ever having smelled it before? I'm not going to lie, I was a little scared of this beast initially because the late eighties and early nineties were not known for subtlety. However that is exactly the joy of this powerhouse, which is back after a twenty four year absence. Pick up your VHS, reach for your Dynasty shoulder pads, and let me reintroduce you to Milano Cento.

When Milano Cento originally launched back in 1989 it was the brainchild of two men, Dean Tatum and Matthew Bright. They had a very successful interior design business but decided that they wanted to create their own brand. Now, Matt and Dino, as they were known in the industry, wanted to release a fragrance that was "inspired by the classic sophistication of all things Italian", and it was aimed at those who wanted something a bit "different". You'll see later that this still holds true today. Extensive marketing secured positions in Selfridges, Harrods and John Lewis but the original company just couldn't keep up with the ongoing demands of marketing and supply.

In 1992 the story ended. A whirlwind three years of trading was resigned to history and unfortunately another worthy, yet undercapitalised, venture was wound up. Jump forward to 2015 and Valissa Tatum, Dean's wife, had the idea to get a bottle of Milano Cento remade as a fiftieth birthday present for her husband. After contacting the original perfumer she quickly realised that it was slightly more complicated than she had first thought, but a seed was sown. Could Milano Cento reemerge after a gap of twenty four years?

Matthew Bright unfortunately died in 2009 and so Dean, Valissa and their son Jasper are now steering the brand. Whilst remaining faithful to the original they have modernised the bottle, made careful formula changes to bring it in line with current regulations, but have given the production process back to the original company. With an official launch date of July 2016 and distribution initially reserved for specialist stockists I literally tore open the box when my preview bottle arrived.

Before we even begin I want you to think Kouros, remember Aramis, even a touch of Brut 33. We're not talking about watered down vintage here but rather an explosion of period strength and unashamed masculinity. It's as subtle as a brick, as delicate as concrete, but my god it is exciting! Tired of white musk, iris and "watery notes"? This one is for you. An aromatic eruption is what first greets you along with screams of citrus and attention grabbing spiked lavender. It's this initial blend that teases you for a while before it goes full throttle to reveal an earthy woody base. It's all in here, patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver, sandalwood, but it's the muted amber tones that really excite me. Milano Cento is, in a single word, sexy. I would suggest that you make sure that you're one of the first to get hold of this because I think that 2016 will definitely be its year.

The initial release will include a 50ml and 100ml EDT along with a 150ml Body Wash. It will be available from Roullier White or for details of other stockists you can visit the website at [Sample provided by Milano Cento]

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