Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Lostmarc'h: Atao

Atao means Always in the Breton language, the name is apt because this scent is the most classic in the line and would always be timeless. Sometimes though it is the most classic style that can be the most contemporary and this scent is certainly in no way boring. Quite the opposite, I find it engaging, stimulating and moreish- and although it's intended to be masculine I see no reason the right woman couldn't wear this very well.

Still Lostmarc'h themselves call Atao a traditional cologne for men so it must be put in the Pour Homme file at least. It's official notes are: 'Orange, bergamot, lemon, mandarin, with a woody and slightly spicy after scent' and they describe it as 'citrus fresh' with 'hints of rosemary'. Rather than hints of rosemary I would say large fistfuls of it- and for citrus fresh I would say cleansing, sorbet like cooling lemon. There is a slight smokiness to the herbal dry down but the scent stay quite true to the scent you first spritz.

I find rosemary deeply relaxing and calming- to be it is as sleep inducing as lavender but with an added calming effect not unlike rose. I could almost use this scent as a rather expensive mood enhancing spray for myself.

I have found all the Lostmarc'h scents very interesting; from the fragrances themselves to the Breton history and language, even the bottles and packaging appeal to me. It is the sort of line it's a pleasure to discover and you want not to become too widely available because some of the pleasure in it is seeking it out.

I don't think tourist boards usually think of using fragrance as a reason to holiday, except perhaps in Grasse, but this collection of scents has also inspired a wish in me to visit more of northern France and perhaps be more interested in the shared French and English history. These are the kind of scents I would love to find someone producing on one of our coastal shores, with the same attention to detail and mixture of respect for the past and relevance for today.

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