Just a few weeks ago De Los Santos by Byredo arrived at Aus Liebe zum Duft and since then I’m already champing at the bit in anticipation of what I might expect here in terms of reviews. It is not so long ago, since Mumbai Noise, Mixed Emotions and Lil Fleur enchanted me (read more here – only in German), so today, it’s the turn of the fragrance with the sonorous Spanish name De Los Santos.
A Spanish name, then. De Los Santos means “of the saints” in English, alluding not only to Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead celebrated in Mexico, but also to All Saints’ Day, the Christian holiday honoring the saints. At the same time, the eau de parfum also pays homage to the culture of Spanish-speaking immigrants to the U.S., the unique style of Latinas, their beauty and nonchalance.
Created after a time of loss, De Los Santos is a fragrance designed to evoke memories, acknowledge transience and celebrate life. Paying homage to the traditions of South American “Día de los Muertos” and All Saints’ Day, it honors the helpful power of coming together in collective ceremonies and transforms fragrance into a new ritual of remembrance.
Ben Gorham often draws inspiration for his fragrance compositions from his own life, his experiences, his childhood. The source of inspiration for De Los Santos is said to be “a time of loss” that made Gorham think about how different cultures cope with and process goodbyes. While All Saints’ Day is more of a dignified, sacred celebration, a quiet holiday, Día de los Muertos is the complete opposite.
In a nutshell: Día de los Muertos
The Day of the Dead is a festive day, or rather, they are festive days, because the celebrations extend over several days. Cemeteries and graves are decorated just as elaborately and colorfully, as are streets and houses. Lushly decorated skeletons and skulls are classic decorative elements of Día de los Muertos, which not only decorate premises, tombs and faces, but also the food plate in the form of marzipan, sugar or chocolate and much more.
Tradition hsays that the dead pay a visit to their families on Día de los Muertos. The folk festival begins on the evening of October 31 and ends at midnight on November 2, when the dead slowly make their way back to the afterlife, where they remain until the coming year.
The farewell is duly celebrated at the graves in the cemeteries, with loud music, varied food, cheerful dancing and good humor. How variably the deceased are treated in different cultures and all the more understandable that Ben Gorham, who according to the press release himself seems to suffer from an unspecified loss, was fascinated by the divergent approach to the way of saying goodbye.
De Los Santos – From the Saints
The perfumer of De Los Santos I can not yet call you secured. Until now, Jérôme Epinette was mostly creatively working for Byredo, but that may have changed in the meantime. You never know! An inquiry is put in, so I hope to know more on that soon. But I have the fragrance notes available, namely clary sage, mirabelle, palo santo, labdanum (cistus), iris, ambroxan and musk.
Dance around the sage
De Los Santos begins with a surprisingly green-tart and herbaceous-woodsy sage note, with an inherent aromatic spiciness and a delicate sweetness. Palo Santo brings light-woody smoky accents to the creation, which is underpinned by soft-lovely mirabelle plum fruitiness. At the center of the fragrance, however, is still that cool, refreshing green of the clary sage, which eventually calms down very gradually.
The creamy nuances of the finest iris and cotton-soft ambroxan buffer the spicy-aromatic herbal facets and provide lightness and transparency. In the finish, De Los Santos reminds me of the tart water notes of green tea, before the eau de parfum fades very slowly.
If you like sage, you might love De Los Santos from the house of Byredo. An exciting opening of cool, fresh and green herbs, gradually joined by woody-smoky and creamy-musky facets. A summery, calm fragrance, devoid of major sweetness and lush floral bouquet, relying entirely on the relaxed, almost Asian-like serenity of green notes. With success! An unusual unisex creation, but still absolutely suitable for everyday life and office. An allrounder that suits any occasion and any age. 🙂