Welcome to Fragrance Friday, where each week we’ll be keeping you abreast of the newest and most iconic releases in the dynamic world of men’s fragrances. Born out of the desire to showcase one of the most overlooked, yet versatile, elements of any discerning man’s style this weekly column will help you finesse your own signature scent.
The creamy leathery woods of P.Frapin & Cie Checkmate was our showcase fragrance for 2 weeks ago, with the iconic Cognac distillery offering what is easily one of their finest and most masculine scents to date. This week we leave behind the leather and wood for something much more fruit-forward, with the slightly gourmand and very pleasant Memo Paris Corfu.
If you’ve been following Fragrance Friday closely, you’d know we have already looked at Memo Paris Sicilian Leather, the latest addition to the French masion’s adventurous Cuirs Nomades collection. Corfu is a sharp turn in the other direction, still holding onto that penchant for painting vivid, poetic travel memories onto the trust olfactory bulb but steering the ship towards the Greek island from which this fragrance takes its name.
Corfu is home to the famous Channel of Love, officially known as Canal d’Amour, as well as abundant rocky cliffs and wild landscapes teeming with lush vegetation and produce. Memo Paris is clearly dipping into the soils here, harvesting a number of notes for the bloated bill from bergamot and grapefruit, to rose oil, musky blackcurrant, and show-stealing rhubarb. There are plenty of layers flowing through the life of Memo Paris Corfu, and whomever the nose behind it is did a tremendous job threading them all together to create an overall picture that’s versatile, powerful, and still silky soft and accessible.
While I couldn’t find any information about the perfumer who put together this fascinating scent, it’s clear Memo Paris have done well to hold onto their signatures while still pushing for something new and beautifully connected to the Greek island of Corfu.
On the opening you’ll almost immediately get rhubarb making its presence known, skewing slightly strawberry but avoiding the stickiness and sticking around well into the musky dry-down. Rhubarb is joined by a very light and gentle lemon, grapefruit, mandarin orange, cassis, blackcurrant, basil, orange, and bergamot. That’s a lot of citruses right there, nicely balancing those fruity and vegetal notes.
Grapefruit is a really interesting note here. It’s not as sparkling and slightly tart as the grapefruit of CoSTUME NATIONAL HOMME Parfum, although it may just play better as a smaller detail amongst such as crowded recipe.
While rhubarb is clearly the star here, the sensual, muskiness of blackcurrant, aromatic basil, and light spice of bergamot really hit this out of the park and keep things really interesting well into the floral heart that’s nicely contrasted with airy rose oil, geranium, raspberry, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, peach, jatamansi, clove, and orris.
Yeah, I know. That’s a lot of ingredients that wrap your head around, and usually, a composition like this was could off feeling bloated and slightly offensive. It’s a testament to Memo Paris as a brand that they could still practice restraint despite the recipe, constantly elevating what this fragrance could be well into the 10+ hours of longevity you can expect.
The dry-down reveals a weighty lean towards the more mature scents of musk, moss, patchouli, Cashmere wood, sandalwood, cedar, ambrette, amber, and even some tonka bean. Having the light vanilla notes there to balance against those creamier woody notes really drives this Eau de Parfum home.
Perhaps Memo Paris didn’t just want to take us to the island of Corfu with this, but wanted us to imagine we were farmers really digging into the island’s luscious soil and pulling out whatever produce we could find.
The brand really does have an uncanny ability at taking you on a journey with their perfumes, and Memo Paris Corfu really is no exception. It’s truly fascinating in the way it keeps evolving throughout the day while holding onto a really strong projection and decent sillage that could position this as a year-round fragrance. Although I’d prefer wearing this in the summer months or at least warmer days, rather than in the winter.
If you’re looking for a fragrance that can perform well pretty much any day of the year and really take your signature scent to the next level, you’d be a fool to overlook what Memo Paris has done here. Part of the brand’s Graines Vagabondes collection, this Floral Woody Musk fragrance is enticing from the get-go and really doesn’t let up throughout the entirety of its sophisticated and very complex life.
Top Notes: Rhubarb, lemon, grapefruit, mandarin orange, cassis, blackcurrant, basil, orange, bergamot.
Middle Notes: Rose oil, geranium, raspberry, lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, peach, jatamansi, clove, orris.
Base Notes: Musk, moss, patchouli, cashmere wood, sandalwood, cedar, ambrette, tonka bean, amber.
Memo Paris Corfu is now available in Australia at $399 for a 75ml bottle.