Watermelons, Italian Skies and a Real Modern Chypre – Ruth Mastenbroek Amorosa Perfume Review

Italian Alps
Amorosa – Inspired by the mountains and clear turquoise skies of Italy

What exactly is the point of watermelon? It has always seemed to me to be the the most pointless of fruits because it smells and tastes of practically nothing. I’d go as far as saying that it is the worst fruit, along with grapefruit, which is also horrid due to its mouth-screwingly bitter taste. It is my impassioned hatred for watermelon that made Amorosa, the latest fragrance from Ruth Mastenbroek, such a surprise.

Ruth Mastenbroek is a British perfumer, and former President of the British Society of Perfumers, who has created perfumes for a number of niche lines, including Jo Malone, before deciding to go it alone and start her own brand. So far her line consists of two fragrances; RM Eau de Parfum and Amorosa.  Ruth’s philosophy is “to create fragrances that are unique, luxurious and distinctive” [1], and if Amorosa is anything to go by, that is exactly what she does.

Amorosa is inspired by Italy, “its mountains, its clear turquoise skies” [2] and is described as “the seductive scent of a woman in love with life.” [3] It is a fascinating modern chypre that is a unique take on the genre. Not only does it showcase a beautiful watermelon note it does so in an interesting and new way. In an industry where “new” can be an alien concept, this is something absolutely worth celebrating.

Amorosa – A truly modern Chypre

The Notes

Top: Galbanum, Violet Leaf and Watermelon
Heart: Tuberose, Jasmine, Tiare and Ylang Ylang
Base: Vetiver, Patchouli and Amber

How Does it Smell?

Amorosa’s initial blast presents you with a gigantic, effervescent watermelon that is unlike any watermelon you will have ever tried. The sheer fizziness of the note is really something to behold and accents of bitter galbanum really contrast the sweetness and add texture & depth. It’s enough to make you smile, and it certainly made me rethink my hatred for the note/fruit.

It’s the contrast between the sweet, freshness of the watermelon and the richer green notes that makes for such an interesting sniff, and as time goes on it is clear that Amorosa has many a trick up its sleeve. I am of course talking about Amorosa’s beautiful white floral heart.

Oh yeah, that’s right after the watermelon surprise Ruth Mastenbroek has managed to slip in a heart of white flowers, and its a gorgeous one at that, where each flower melds together to create a beautiful floral accord. The white floral accord feel lush and creamy yet sheer at the same time, as if the flowers are being seen through a translucent piece of silk. No single flower stands out, but on occasions strobe-light-like flashes of tuberose flicker clearly in front of you.

A truly mossy base follows the white floral heart and it’s reassuring to see that Amorosa is a real chypre, seeing as so many “modern chypres” fail to follow through to the dry down. A nice, dirty patchouli note mixed with the strong rooty-ness of vetiver provide a strong, earthy base upon which the lighter, more effervescent notes lie, reduced but still apparent and sparking their odours gladly off into that turquoise Italian sky.

A good chypre is hard to find nowadays but Ruth Mastenbroek has masterfully created a modern twist on the genre that respects the traditions of the genre but also goes a long way to conquer new ground. The innovative use of unconventional ingredients such as watermelon and tuberose are what make Amorosa so interesting and firmly place Ruth Mastenbroek as a talent to watch.


Amorosa is exclusive to Les Senteurs and is available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum. Prices range from £60-£80.


Sample, notes,  [1], [2] and Image 2 via Les Senteurs. Image 1 bellavitae.com [3] ruthmastenbroek.com.