“Theseus sits within that genre of confident and comfortable masculine fragrances that feel like they could be worn with the most casual or the smartest of clothing.”
Lorenzo Villoresi, the fragrance house by the Italian perfumer of the same name, is a brand that I have to admit that I haven’t had a great deal of exposure to. My experience with the house extends to a quite disastrous encounter with their most popular fragrance – Teint de Neige, a baby powder mess that really isn’t me at all. But, I won’t let one bad experience taint my idea of a brand, and I have heard positive things about the rest of the line, so it is with great interest that I try their latest release – Theseus.
Theseus, which takes it’s name from Greek mythology (he was the dude that killed the Minotaur), is the latest addition to Lorenzo Villoresi’s ‘Fantasy Fragrances’, a collection consisting of fragrances which “recall exotic and dreaming worlds, atmospheres and landscapes.” Theseus is described as:
“A fresh, radiant, sunny fragrance, evocative of ancient adventures over strange countries and seas, in the search of mythological lands. An elegant fragrance, noble and timeless, deep and velvety, full of rare, intense and precious scents. Citrus fruits, herbs, spices and mysterious resins. The seductive aroma of ancient wood and flowers, overflowing with delicate fragrances.”
Top: Citrus Fruit, Fresh Green Notes, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Clary Sage and Nutmeg with hints of Flowers
Heart: Flowers (Iris and Jasmine), Hints of Precious Woods, Patchouli, Vetiver and Cistus
Base: Leather, Vetiver, Patchouli, Agarwood and Tonka Bean. Notes of Amber and Musk.
How Does it Smell?
Ahh, the ‘masculine woody citrus’, if any genre was furthest from my tastes then this would be it. That’s not to say I don’t like this type of fragrance, not at all, I am more than happy to smell it on my boyfriend (who is a big fan of the genre), but It’s not something I would ever pick out for myself. This is why Theseus has come as a big surprise for me, I really like it, and what’s more I really enjoy wearing it.
Theseus opens like an olfactory firework, with bright citrus colours, crackles of black pepper and loud bangs of zingy citrus. The mouthwatering and sunny citrus notes are quickly bolstered by the addition of dry woods, which form the main structure of the fragrance and hold strong right the way through to the dry down.
As Theseus develops it does become more subdued, but it isn’t a quiet fragrance in any sense of the word and it has a distinct presence and character. As time passes, the golden sun of the citrus become lower in Theseus’ sky allowing the woods (cedar and agar wood) to take centre stage, but the sun never really sets and the light of the citrus is cast, in varying hues throughout the development.
Vetiver plays an important part within Theseus and it’s use is reminiscent of Guerlain’s classic Vetiver, it is sour, rooty, earthy and has strong inflections of ginger and citrus. Theseus is less vetiver-centric than the Guerlain and the comparison ends with the addition of patchouli and green florals.
The base retains Theseus’ woody-citrus signature but softens it with leather and musk, both of which are used with a subtle hand. I have to admit that I don’t smell any of the tonka bean mentioned in the above list of notes, and I would say that it’s not missed, Theseus has a dry quality to it that, whilst complimented by the sparkling citrus, feels assured and well-balanced.
Theseus sits within that genre of confident and comfortable masculine fragrances that feel like they could be worn with the most casual or the smartest of clothing, all they need is a dash of masculine confidence to seal the deal. Whilst this genre of masculines may not be my cup of tea, Theseus goes a long way to convince me otherwise and despite the fact that I’m not entirely sure it would be something I would buy, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted. Try this if you are looking for a comfortable and versatile masculine fragrance.
Theseus is available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Toilette, prices range from €78-€90.
This review is based on a sample of Theseus from my own personal collection.
The title (“Under Slow and Solitary Suns”) is a lyric from the Patrick Wolf song ‘Theseus’ from the album ‘The Bachelor’.
All quotes, notes and images via lorenzovilloresi.it