Passion Brésil is the latest fragrance by Esteban in the Le Bain collection geared towards the pleasures of scented bathing rituals. It has top notes of bergamot and yellow fruits. Heart notes are coffee blossom, violet, and rose. Base notes are soft woods and musk.
The perfume starts with a pronounced fruity accord on an amberey base with some initial nuances of fermented alcohol and nail polish. As the scent progresses it becomes more green and flowery. So far, the nose is not especially stimulated by the recognition of a rather standard fruity-floral concoction. There is a just a hint of something less pretty that is a little rough hewn and raw, which smells more intriguing and promising. The jus deepens, feels a bit more complex with warm resinous and woody accents......
The perfume centers on the showcasing of the coffee blossom. This imparts a slightly unusual feel to the fragrance and makes it more memorable than the fruity-floral notes that surround it promised to do. The living coffee flower is said to smell to some extent like orange blossom and this can be felt vividly enough in the drydown, which reminds me in particular of a discontinued scent by Penhaligon's called Orange Blossom that offered a darker rendition of the orange flower. What the aroma does bring to mind are, besides the floral note, accents of green unripe fruits, which would make sense in this context. The coffee blossom in its natural state gives way to green fruits that then ripen further and turn red. Given the fact that coffee blossom is not a seasonal growth but rather blossoms after each rain, this creates an environment where the flowers will cohabit with fruits at different stages of ripeness as found on the same plant.
People who are familiar with the Esteban line of eaux de toilette will recognize vanilla accents borrowed from Secrète Afrique and amberey ones from Sensuelle Russie. The new motif is the added layer of a slightly crude green and aqueous floral note. The scent does not have much projection and longevity is very average. If you are attracted by the mentioning of a rose and violet accord in the heart, I would stress that it brings out the green and peppery aspects of violets and the fruity side of certain roses. Overall, Passion Brésil feels a bit raspy and makes me think of a log of green wood wetted by the rain and of unripe green fruits with some very faint nuances of coffee, all this rounded off by mainstream fruity floral notes. It is not an unpleasant fragrance, but it is also at times too much of a borderline non-descript fruity-floral (as opposed to a great fruity-floral fragrance like Creed Spring Flower for example; I have nothing in principle against fruity florals when they are well done), save for this slightly unusual raw green woodsy accord.
A 100 ml bottle retails for 30 Euros.
Photo of coffee flowers by Illy.