This is the gloaming, the twilight, rendered in perfume form.
Lavandin, violet, lemon, anise, liquorice, straw, coumarin, incense, vetiver, tonka bean.
Very few perfumes come along that smell of magic, which make the hairs rise on the back your neck, and smell otherworldly and strange. And yet Liquo by Angela Ciampagna is one of them. Wear it and be transported.
Picture, if you will, a small village surrounded by lush countryside at the end of a long summer. A timeless place that could be 500 years ago, or just yesterday. Grasses sway gently in the zephyrs of the evening as the sky deepens and turns to blue velvet. Swallows first, and then bats, zip overhead catching insects on the wing as you stand watching on a hill overlooking the hamlet, the mountains at your back. Warmth rises from the sun baked earth so that even once the sky is dark, the temperature remains sultry and enveloping. A calmness descends as the village falls silent, people taking to their beds with the covers thrown off and windows open, as twilight slips in between their houses.
Liquo is the scent of the falling night, of the hours from dusk until dawn. It opens with the glorious – and unusual – scent of sweet liquorice: warm, woody, sharply sweet. It smells like the fragrant leaves and stems of anise crushed underfoot on a warm summer’s evening. The sort of scent which thrums with a low vibration and which you can almost sense in your chest as you inhale. It smells like the robes of Astraeus, god of the dusk. It settles with a soothing calmness about a tired body and promises rest and relaxation. This is night as a balm, a tonic, nothing to be feared.
Once Liquo has settled and opened on skin, a sweet hay tone joins the mix. This starts off a little damper and then dries as the scent goes on. It’s sweet, calming, herbal, and chimes beautifully with the warm earthiness of the liquorice. It’s the scent of the cut grasses in the fields around the village as they dry to hay, releasing their delicate aromas as they do. It is the smell of something familiar, melancholy and yet profound all at once.
There’s something else here too, something which was at first overlooked, a coolness, a stoney freshness, like water running over pebbles in a tiny stream that tumbles down the mountainside behind the cluster of wooden houses and farmsteads. This coolness balances the hay-like sweetness beautifully and the two very much feel like they were made for one another.
The village lays quiet beneath us now. You’ve lost track of how long you have stood, keeping your silent vigil. The whiff of a gone-out-fire rises to meet you as the stars go out. Slowly, dawn begins to colour the horizon, turning the sky from black to the deepest purple and then through shades of blue. Astraeus slowly sweeps his cloak away from the village so his wife, Eos, Goddess of the Dawn can take her place there instead.
The herbal, warm, sweet grassy notes make up the majority of the base of Liquo, shot through with the liquorice and anise for the duration of the scent’s wear. The dried grasses accord is one of the best renderings of hay we’ve ever smelled; it’s not too sweet, but still has the warmth of summer on it; utterly beautiful work. As the liquorice recedes, the fragrance becomes moreish and compelling. A trace of incense, smoky, languid, is discernible from time to time, like a fire that has died in the hearth overnight.
Liquo is a soothing and healing scent which will make you feel like you’ve experienced something magical. It’s beautifully blended, subtle and fascinating. There is something Byronic, and slightly melancholy about Liquo, but it’s the sort of sadness which should be embraced rather than fought against. This is the calmness that comes at the end of a day of physical exertion, the soothing that comes from a night spent out under the stars, the melancholy that life cannot always be this way.
The other stuff
The longevity of Liquo is good, lasting well into the afternoon from an early morning application – so around 6-9 hours of wear. The scent projects moderately well, to just under handshake distance or thereabouts.
In terms of the gender of this scent, we could see it being worn by anyone, however if pressed would say that perhaps it sits ever so slightly more towards the masculine end of the spectrum.
The presentation of the scents in Angela Ciampagna’s range is beautiful. The 100ml bottles are capped with a gorgeous, ornate rosario wheel lid.
The more of Angela Ciampagna’s work we have the opportunity to experience, the more impressed we become. This is wonderful, impassioned work which evokes emotion abundantly, as if it is an easy thing to do. If you connect with their work you will fall in love, as we have done.
Angela Ciampagna are a small, family run enterprise, situated in central Italy (although shortly to relocate to Tenerife). They make small batch, numbered scents which have a focus on quality and craftsmanship.
You can also buy Liquo from the Angela Ciampagna web boutique.
We were very kindly given a sample of Liquo by Angela Ciampagna whilst attending Esxence 2019. We thank them for their generosity.