Palindrome III by Santi Burgas

Rather than a battle between the dark, animalic notes and sweeter, lighter floral ones, this scent is more a playful romp than it is all-out war. It’s a light, delicate scent, perfect for springtime wear.

Listed notes

Mandarin, black olive, osmanthus flowers, osmanthus absolutes, labdanum, poplar buds, Jamaican rum absolute, Bulgarian rose, patchouli, artemesia and davana.

The brand

Santi Burgas are a Spanish perfume house that have been making scents since 2008. Their founder, Santiago Burgas began his career in fashion, before making the switch to perfumery a decade ago. The house is inspired by the animal kingdom, particularly insects, and especially ants which form their logo.

The brand pride themselves on production being as local and sustainable as possible, with their range being manufactured in Barcelona.

Santi Burgas has several lines including the Palindrome collection which is made up of three scents, and is inspired by ‘darkness morphing into light’.

Top notes

The start of Palindrome III is really pretty. It’s a delicate opener that almost needs coaxing out of it’s den, rather than screaming its arrival in your face. The beginning is sweet, delicate and bud-like, a rose bud perhaps after a very gentle spring shower but now being warmed by the sunshine. There’s a sense of promise and optimism here which is particularly easy to enjoy. Indeed, it very much reminded us of those first few days of sunshine in Spring; that feeling of positive change but before all the flowers become big, brash and blowsy.

There’s a delicate rose here, but also a slightly green, watery note lower down in the top of the scent. It reminded us very much of iris or iris root, powdery and a little bit damp-smelling. Like you’ve just pulled a plant up by its watery roots and the scent of that is punctuating the early morning air. It’s quite faint though, just held at enough of a level to intrigue without it becoming dominant. And indeed this is very much the tone of the start of Palindrome III; there’s quite a few things going on in there but they are beautifully balanced so nothing really dominates. At the same time, the notes are separate enough to retain distinctiveness and the perfume is clear and un-confused.

Heart notes

Once the scent has matured a little, a fruity nuance comes through. To us it smelled like a very gentle raspberry note. Like a raspberry daiquiri perhaps, sipped on a sunny riverbank. There’s a bit of energy about the note and when we were testing it we wrote ‘raspberry spritzer’. Despite not even being sure if that drink exists, that’s the sort of thing the perfume evokes: it’s refreshing, light, summery and almost thirst quenching. Slightly more fruity than floral, at least at first, but wavering between the two camps adeptly.

There is movement in the heart of the scent, and the perfume does seem to travel from light, summery and powdery one moment, to being slightly more leathery and creamier the next. It isn’t a 180 degree switch that we are talking about here, instead it’s more like clouds scudding across a sunny sky, temporarily changing the quality of the light before moving on again. When we tested it we found ourselves sniffing and thinking ‘creamy’ one moment, before going back and thinking ‘powdery’ the next; ‘floral’ one minute, then ‘leathery’ a second later.

On a blotter, the rum and olive notes are more discernible in the heart of the scent, but we found that when the perfume was applied to skin, these weren’t quite as easy to make out. Black olive is really intriguing note in what is essentially a light fruity floral perfume, however, it adds a really interesting depth to some of the floral nuances without being really chewy as a note itself. It’s very much like the way that if you add olives to a tomato sauce they really enhance the flavour; that’s what it does here only it’s smell instead of taste. It’s a richness that it imparts that really bolsters the scent overall.

Base notes

The movement between powdery and creamy continues in the base, and here we really got the osmanthus notes coming out most strongly, still handled delicately though, but in a simpler way. This osmanthus, for us, sits somewhere between fruity and floral but in the base of the scent it tended a little more towards the floral side. It’s powdery and smells a little like old-fashioned face powder somehow. It has a fragility about it, a fleeting airiness, but can actually be quite gutsy.

Despite not outwardly appearing as multi-faceted as the top and heart, the base is really delicious. It has a delightful purity about it, rich but delicate, that we really enjoyed. It’s uplifting, with a sparkling cleanliness about it and would be our recommendation for people who say they like ‘fresh’ perfumes and who think that they couldn’t possibly love a more floral one, this scent manages to combine the two qualities nicely. Our only complaint was that it didn’t last as loudly for as long as we wanted it to, because it really was the kind of base that you want to smell all day.

The other stuff

The sillage – or projection – of this scent was fairly quiet. People needed to get to handshake distance or closer to tell that we were wearing it when we tested it. The longevity was moderate – it lasted until around lunchtime before it faded significantly, the final whiffs of it on the skin lasted longer but it was hard to make out. That said, given it’s delicacy, we weren’t particularly surprised by that.

We would place this scent on the more stereotypically feminine side of the gender spectrum, but as always, you should wear whatever you like, whatever gender you identify as, and regardless of what we suggest.

Palindrome III is the perfect scent to wear this springtime. Its happy, uplifting vibes will really perk you up until the sun gets properly going. If you liked this scent, you may also like Marlowe by Jardins d’Ecrivains or Incognito by Rouge Bunny Rouge as there are facets of it which reminded of both those scents.

The presentation of Santi Burgas perfumes are really pretty too. A pleasingly cylindrical black bottle in this case, with a heavy black cap. Palindrome III looks more masculine than it perhaps smells though.

Buy it

Palindrome III is available from Santi Burgas’ online web store. It is priced at €180 for 100ml of EdP. According to their site, Santi Burgas do free worldwide shipping, and they do also sell discovery sample kits of their lines.

We received a sample of this scent from the Santi Burgas stand at the Esxence trade fair, 2018.

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