Thursday 31 May 2018

INDIA by Marina Barcenilla Parfums

When Marina Barcenilla won Best New Independent Fragrance for India in the 2016 Fragrance Foundation Awards it set in motion a complete rebranding of her company, gained her industry recognition, and also a loyal following of perfume fans that were fascinated by her approach to scent. The Perfume Garden, which she had launched in 2011, was renamed Marina Barcenilla Parfums and at the time she said, “while the name has changed the ethos remains the same, to create the finest fragrances using what nature has to offer.” Two years on I think it’s time to revisit India and see exactly why it became an award winner.

Marina Barcenilla has always loved working with naturals and she made the decision early on that the products that were released by her company would always be 100% natural. She has always been very clear though that this was a creative decision and not based on any “synthetic versus natural” debate, and as a freelance perfumer she uses both when she’s working for another company. The reason I mention this is because when I smelled India I reviewed it as I would any other fragrance. I wanted to be impressed by the scent, not the story, and I definitely was.

India doesn’t behave like a regular perfume. It doesn’t open brightly, settle onto a floral heart and then reveal its base ingredients. India hits you square between the eyes and instantly captivates you as you journey out of, what can only be described as, a smellscape. Marina wanted to create an interpretation of India, and that is why it doesn’t follow the usual structure. As soon as you spray the scent you are welcomed by the most beautiful blend of frankincense oils and it’s this aroma that continues even when it eventually starts to fade on the skin.

The accompanying ingredients for India seem to blossom from that initial frankincense to reveal the actual fragrance. A stunning jasmine and rose is softened with the perfect balance of tuberose and ambrette, which here gives them an almost powdery and whiskyed quality, but the citrus and orange blossom combination also adds a vibrancy to the florals. An aromatic touch is provided by coriander and cardamom, which gives a wonderfully fresh spice link into the frankincense, but the real mystery of this fragrance is revealed as it warms on your skin.

One of the “notes” that is listed for India is the “amber accord” and this is truly what turns this fragrance into a sultry plaything. As Marina only uses natural ingredients, the “amber accord” here is made up of a huge dose of labdanum and traditional resins. It’s this overdose of labdanum that gives India its sensual heat and which makes it irresistible for anyone who is looking for a fragrance with the lasting power of his or her favourite vintage. If you haven’t already tried India then I would advise you to visit Marina’s website and discover for yourself why this was voted Best New Independent Fragrance.

To learn more about Marina Barcenilla visit where you can also purchase India priced at £130 for 30ml

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