If you’re fond of walks on Mediterranean beaches at sunset, the scent of oranges wafting from the groves nearby, the leatheriness of the butter-soft new sandals you bought at the market earlier that day, then you are going to love this one.
Bergamot, grapefruit, bitter orange, petitgrain, jasmine, pink pepper, vetiver, leather, white musks.
Some perfumes come along which are impossible to review in an imaginative way. They might be beautiful, they might inspire lust or devotion, they might be utterly full-bottle worthy, but they are so wedded to the here and now that it’s hard to imagine where else they might take you. Tesoro by D:Sol is not one of those scents. Instead this is a fragrance that sweeps us to the opposite end of the spectrum and it’s almost impossible to not review it with the imagination turned on full blast and the flights of fancy dialed up to 11. Let’s dive in headfirst and see where we end up…
Spray this perfume and, like the Mediterranean heart of the D:Sol brand, you are transported to somewhere warm and relaxing. It’s an almost instantaneous exhalation of relief, caressing sunlight, muscles unwinding. Imagine we’ve landed on an island during the Renaissance. A merchant leads his horse along the beach in the evening sunshine. He’s dressed in fine fabrics with golden thread and a feather in his hat. He’s removed his gloves, but his hands are stained orange from the juice of the oranges he has been inspecting, rubbing the rinds between his finger tips to assess their quality and fragrance. It is the orange that takes centre stage at first in Tesoro, but this is a glow of citrus rather than the punch you might be expecting after reading the notes. The orange feels alive, fluid, liquid between his fingers and the sunset mirrors that feeling, turning everything around him to liquid gold. The sunlight catches the gold on the merchant’s tunic, the beading on his clothing, even the buckles on the horse he leads, flecking everything with little flames of sunlight which is mirrored in the pink pepper speckling the perfume’s composition.
As he walks, our merchant turns his thoughts to his wife, waiting at home for him in their splendid villa; hard won after years of graft, trade, effort. His imagination catches a hint of the jasmine that she wears, musky, fleshy and he yearns for the moment when his business is concluded and he can return to her arms. The jasmine is warm, somehow corporeal and it thickens the overall composition giving it body and presence rather than an overly floral tone.
Our merchant pulls buttery-soft leather gloves from his pack. A present from his wife before he left. The leather is new, soft, yielding and the smell of the skin mingles with the citrus staining his hands. These two elements feel like they were meant to be together. They intoxicate him as he sinks into the bed of his memories and imagination entwined.
The citrus lingers for most of the perfume, becoming ghostly like our merchant’s imagination as he rests on the warm sands, watching the waves draw closer. The light has darkened, the sky become velvety, but there are wisps of ethereal mist clinging to the sands around him. The perfume itself mellows into the comforting tendrils of white musks and they are somehow soporific and cosy: fresh sheets, clean hair. The memory of the leather and the orange linger, but they fade as the fragrance itself lifts away and evaporates. Our merchant sinks into slumber, the work of the day, of the orange harvest, falls from his shoulders and he sleeps to dream of his love.
Tesoro is a perfume which has the capacity to take us somewhere new. It does an excellent job of evoking somewhere back in the annals of History, but it does so in an unobtrusive and natural way. The fragrance shows us rather than tells us how to feel about it and what it is conjuring, and it’s hard to not be won over any scent which does that skilfully.
The other stuff
Tesoro isn’t loud or in your face. The citrus isn’t what you might expect if you read the notes alone, but it glows beautifully whilst retaining personality. This isn’t the sort of scent you buy if you want to fill a room, but it projects to somewhere between hugging distance and perhaps handshake distance if you have recently applied it.
The longevity is moderate, about four hours following application, and this adds to the dreamy, fleeting feel that the fragrance has throughout.
Tesoro is definitely one to try on skin as on a blotter the leathery notes are more pronounced and some of the nuances don’t develop quite as much. The warmth of skin really seems to allow it to shine though so we would advise wearing before purchase if you can, to get a fuller sense of its beauty.
The perfumer for this fragrance was Marie Urban Le Febvre.
D:Sol are a fragrance brand based on the imagined island of their founder, Dennis K Werner. They fuse Mallorca with Berlin, which might feel like odd bedfellows, but somehow works. There is the air of holidays and wandering about in nature permeating these scents without them becoming cliches or falling into those easy traps of referencing things we would immediately expect (and which have all been done many times before).
All the fragrances are really detailed, none of them are imposing or overly grandiose, but each one seems to whisper something quite unique. These are fragrances which feel like stories being told just for you. They feel like they are translated rather than manufactured.
The D:Sol scents launched at the end of 2020 – our hats off to anyone brave enough to bring something new to market amidst the turmoil and upheaval of the pandemic.
The D:Sol fragrances are proudly cruelty free.
You can read more about the brand on their website.
Tesoro is available from the D:Sol web boutique where it is priced at €160 for 75ml (at the time of writing that is about £138).
We were kindly supplied with a sample set by the brand, and we thank them for their kindness.