Dancing on the Streets of Rio – L’Artisan Parfumeur Batucada Perfume Review

Rio Carnival

“Refreshing as a cocktail, sexy as a Brazilian dance.” [1]

I was quite late to the L’Artisan Parfumeur party. I remember trying three of their most popular scents (Tea For Two, Patchouli Patch and Voleur de Roses) way back when I first started getting into the world of perfume. I didn’t enjoy them at all and the line wasn’t too easy to find in the UK, so in my ignorance I ignored the line for quite a while. What a mistake that was.

Since the opening of their Covent Garden store I have had the opportunity to revisit the L’Artisan Parfumeur line and this time with much more encouraging results. I now own and love two (Traversée du Bosphore and Vanille Absolument) and I could quite happily add a few more (Al Oudh, Dzing! and L’Eau d’Ambree Extreme) to my collection. Now that I have made friends with the line, a new release is always exciting news and I very much looked forward to trying Batucada.

Batucada is the latest addition to L’Artisan Parfumeur’s ‘Les Voyages Exotiques’ line and “is a celebration of contemporary Brazil in a vibrant, joyful and sensual perfume, inspired by the effervescence and rhythm of Rio – Batucada is the name of a percussive style of samba music” [2]. Created by two perfumers; Karine Vinchon in Grasse and Elisabeth Maier in São Paolo, Batacuda is designed to be a vivacious, sparkling cocktail evocative of the spirit of the streets of Latin America.

L'Artisan Batucada

The Notes

Top: Lime, Green Mint, and Cahaçha Accord
Heart: Tahitian Tiare Flower, Ylang-Ylang and Sea-Breeze Notes
Base: Spices, Woody Notes, Amber and Coconut [3]

How Does it Smell?

Batacuda opens as lively as the Rio de Janeiro carnival and the style of samba from which it takes it’s name. It sparkles with a trio of fresh green notes; apple, lime and mint. The fresh notes rest on the sweet syrupy note of Brazil’s most popular beverage; Cahaça. The overall affect is that of a sweet, refreshing cocktail evocative of fun nights on the streets of Brazil.

As Batucada develops the sugar syrup note of the Cahaça becomes more caramelised and the fresher notes develop a more sour tone, and that’s when it all starts to fall apart. The rest of the fragrance fails to live up to the promise of the top notes. If the opening is the Rio carnival then what follows can only be described as a sedate afternoon by the pool.

A pairing of white flowers and ‘sea breeze’ form the core of Batucada. The white flowers listed in the heart are incredibly soft and feel more musky than floral, which is nice but not overly interesting. The addition of salty ‘sea breeze’, which is not without it’s merits, fails to add any really interest to the composition, instead it just adds a small contrast to the sweetness of the fruit, mint and florals.

The promise of a dry down including spices, woody notes, amber and coconut fails to come to fruition. Instead, Batucada simply dries down to a generic musk with hints of sweet florals and fruit.

Batucada is a fun cocktail fragrance that does what it says on the tin, it may not be the most interesting perfume within L’Artisan Parfumeurs arsenal, but as you would expect from the brand, it is good quality. The main problem for me is that I can think of plenty of better cocktail fragrances that are out there; I much prefer the zesty lime and white rum of Creed’s (yes Creed’s) Virgin Island Water and the ice cold Mojito of Guerlain Homme, both of which are excellently crafted olfactory cocktails.

Batucada fails to keep the momentum of the carnival going much beyond the top notes. Yes it’s perfectly nice, but perhaps that’s the problem – it’s just ‘nice’, and nice isn’t enough. I’m sure it would be perfect for summer if you’re looking for a lively citrus, but there are many other citrus fragrances that I would recommend over Batucada. It does succeed in one area though; it is by far the most disappointing of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Les Voyages Exotiques.


Batucada is available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Toilette. Prices range from £55-£78.


This review is based on a sample of Batucada from my own collection.

[1] & [2] artiansparfumeur.com
[3] osmoz.com

Image 1 mojitoloco.com
Image 2 artisanparfumeur.com