With The Mysterious Garden by Jean Poivre and Volata by Acca Kappa, we embark on an olfactory journey to France and Italy. The former takes us to a small island in the Mediterranean Sea, located just off the Côte d’Azur and only a few kilometers from Cannes. The second creation takes us to Italy and here brings us closer to Italian cycling.
Of course, there are already reviews of both brands here in the Duft-Tagebuch. I introduced you to the Jean Poivre collection exactly one year ago (read it here), shortly after the label was added to the Aus Liebe zum Duft range. Acca Kappa, on the other hand, is already an old hand in store and blog (you can find all the posts here) and while browsing the brand’s portfolio I came across a fragrance launched in 2013 called Giardino Segreto, which revolves around a secret garden. I love it, when between two fragrances or two brands a certain linkage arises, and you find commonalities and connections that link two at first glance completely independent things together. The Secret Garden by Acca Kappa and The Mysterious Garden by Jean Poivre … that’s an approximation, I’d like to say. 🙂
The Mysterious Garden – Jean Poivre
As already mentioned, Île Saint-Honorat is located off the French Mediterranean coast, a stone’s throw from Cannes. The island is a manageable size at just under a kilometer and a half long and a little over half a kilometer wide. Nevertheless, it is a popular tourist destination, because on it there is a monastery, which was founded in the 5th century. The monastic complex, its gardens and the landscape of the island attract vacationers from all over the world.
The brand Jean Poivre dedicates the fragrance The Mysterious Garden to the gardens of the monastery, in which, by the way, still live about thirty Cistercian monks, referring to an alleged visit of the original Jean Poivre to that very Île Saint-Honorat, which he is said to have recorded in his diary. The fragrance itself contains the ingredients gourmand notes, fruity notes, saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, rose, iris, cedar, sandalwood, vanilla, musk and tonka bean.
In the mysterious garden
A blend of indefinable fruits, a gourmand creaminess and leathery dark saffron opens The Mysterious Garden. The opening is intense and lush, surprising moreover, because if you had asked me, I would have guessed a much lighter and fruity-floral composition. But the eau de parfum does not take us to a snacking or ornamental garden, but rather to a mysterious – yes, the name suggests it, I know – a deep, primeval forest and natural.
The saffron is very dominant in this creation, carrying agarwood-like traits that are nuanced by gentle rose notes as it progresses. In the finish, The Mysterious Garden becomes warmer, woodier and gains powdery-lovely aspects, but overall remains rather dark and spicy.
The Mysterious Garden is a truly mysterious fragrance that Jean Poivre presents us here. Dark and spicy thanks to lush saffron, underpinned by subtle florals in the heart and finally becoming warm and woody in the base, the Eau de Parfum is not a sunny and cheerful garden dream, but rather a quiet, contemplative and perhaps a little melancholic fragrance that is particularly wearable on cooler days. I feel the creation is quite present, which is why I find him rather less suitable for the office and everyday life. Rather a fragrance for the evening or for going out. A test tip for saffron lovers and those who would like to be.
Volata – Acca Kappa
Volata means “flight” and what exactly this is supposed to have to do with the Giro d’Italia is not clear to me at first glance. Because the eau de parfum is dedicated to that very bike ride through Italy, a sporty creation, I suppose. This year’s Giro took place in May 2022 and was won by Australian Jai Hindley of Team Bora-Hansgrohe.
I admit, cycling is not a soft spot of mine by any means. The last time I watched the Tour de France was in the 1990s. However, the various doping scandals have put me off the sport altogether. I suspect, however, that the name Volata refers to the sprints at bicycle races, where the riders literally fly over the asphalt and past the spectators.
Luca Maffei designed this eau de parfum for the Italian niche fragrance brand Acca Kappa, using the ingredients bergamot, pink pepper, ginger, cardamom, iris, tonka bean, lavender, labdanum (cistus), angelica (angelica), patchouli, vetiver, cypress, vanilla and musk.
On the bike through Italy
Fresh and dynamic, Volata starts the fragrance thanks to sparkling bergamot, which is accompanied from the beginning by the lipstick nuances of iris. Pink pepper adds dry-hot accents that are underscored by the citrusy ginger. Lavender and angelica add tart and subtly herbaceous notes that make the fragrance more intense and profound.
The iris becomes creamier, more powdery as it progresses, revealing gently earthy facets that are gradually underpinned by a woody warmth and softly spicy musky notes, with which the creation finally rolls out quite comfortably.
After a thoroughly energetic, as Hesperides-heavy sprint start, Volata eventually becomes a leisurely cycling iris scent, cheered by spicy-herbaceous undertones. Beautifully composed by Luca Maffei, who translates Italian elegance in this creation modern and exceedingly timeless. A friend of iris and all its facets – from powdery, creamy to lipsticky and earthy – you should definitely be, but as long as that is given, nothing stands in the way of the beginning of a great love. An absolutely everyday life and office-appropriate fragrance that I would wear in any season and on any occasion. An all-rounder through and through! 🙂