ALTAIA Any Day Now Eau de Parfum as seen on Fragrantica.com...
and available online at Beauty Frontier
Any Day Now by ALTAIA - Plus Some Insights From Sebastian Alvarez Murena
Any Day Now by ALTAIA
"Nothing but a miracle could have produced a love story a hundred and fifty years in the making, and this proves that no matter what we think as we make our way through life, love is always just 'round the corner, ready to woo us away. All we have to do is keep our hearts open, and love will be caressing like the petals of a rose, deep as the roots of an oak." -Brand website.
This fragrance is a study in chiaroscuro where the bright side is provided by a high-spirited and passionate rose that contrasts with the darkness surrounding it. Nothing new, in theory, you might think; we've seen this before. The neo-gothic rose drenched in dark oud, all muddy and murky at the base from patchouli oils and bitten by flames of hot ambers, is a recurring template in all perfumery sectors with few, barely there, twists. It's as if all the combinations of this chypre type have already been tried, right? It requires an extensive imagination to avoid redundancy when working with these elements. Still, some houses, like Altaia, move away from the regular pattern of dark and murky combinations to break new ground, depicting a new, exciting biography for their rose through a well-thought-out dosage of each note surrounding the flower.
Any Day Now skips any ephemeral preliminary tones, diving directly into the charms of a kaleidoscopically rich rose, a rose with a hint of sweet spice and a fascinating, untroubled, and effortless charisma.
Towards the base, the texture becomes silky, and a deep, ripe sweetness, like rose nectar, takes shape. It's precisely because of this that it appears beautifully candid to me, as I lose myself in my own thoughts while observing how it develops on my skin. The strength of this fragrance comes from its certainty of not having to be intrusive through a massive sillage. This is the type of lightness that I seek, especially when it comes to roses, combined with control and clarity, which seems so rare to encounter. Because usually when the oud joins the rose, things get too bold and heavy, yet here the peculiar, funky barnyard dimension of oud is absent, and only the quietest musky animalic shades, soft as kitten paws, are prevalent. In fact, lacking its raw authenticity, the oud only paints a diffused ombré effect on the delicate petals, creating depth and volume, while the touch of patchouli registers to complement the formula by subtly anchoring the scent in a fertile forest ground, like spreading a black velvet voluptuousness at the feet of the beloved, majestic rose. Therefore, the darkest elements are present but feel hushed, conspiring from underneath to create the best environment for this rose to bloom and shine in all its glory.
I had the opportunity to ask Sebastian Alvarez Murena (one of the founders of the Eau d'Italie and ALTAIA lines) a few questions about his brands and would like to share with you his answers:
Could you please tell us how it all started for you?
Eau d'Italie was born over twenty years ago for the 50th anniversary of Hotel Le Sirenuse. We decided to make a fragrance that would encapsulate the sensations of being on the terrace of the hotel, and we did so by working around a note of terracotta heated by the sun, the terracotta of the tiles and vases on the terrace. ALTAIA was born later on when Marina and I discovered the extraordinary connection between our families well before we met in Positano in 2001. In the mid-nineteen century, my great-great-great grandfather, General Bartolomé Mitre, became Argentina's first president. He passed a decree allowing foreigners to invest in Argentina, and there entered the scene a remarkable man called James Morrison, Marina's great-great-great-grandfather, who, from humble origins at the age of 32, had amassed one of the greatest fortunes in the United Kingdom. His family went to Argentina and built the railways, acting on the decree my ancestor had issued.
And so we came up with the ALTAIA brand name, which stands for 'A Long Time Ago In Argentina.'
What role did perfume play in your life before you founded your brands?
We've always been perfume lovers and enjoy both personal and home fragrances.
How would you define the style of your perfumes?
Contemporary, elegant, balanced (or at least we hope so!)
How do you source your ingredients?
We don't; the suppliers we work with do.
What is your favorite raw material?
We have no particular favorite raw materials. Rather, I would say that each fragrance calls for some specific raw materials to tell its story.
What inspires you?
For the Eau d'Italie fragrances, well, Italy! And in particular, Positano and Le Sirenuse, which are a world on their own. Whereas for ALTAIA, both England and Argentina are sources of inspiration, as well as memories of our families.
Are there particular people you have in mind when you think of a new fragrance or a place or moment in time?
People, no, not really. Whereas places and moments, yes, as explained above on how Eau d'Italie and ALTAIA were born.
What are the challenges you face when working on new creations?
The challenge is to make fragrances that not only please us but also the audience we are playing for, so to speak.
How do you explain the success of your brands?
I guess we have happily managed to speak to an audience that appreciates what we do.
Often brands collaborate closely with perfumers giving them specific briefs and suggestions with abstract ideas like emotions, nuances, and olfactive terms. Yet, there are cases when they give carte blanche, which allows the creator total liberty. Can you please describe to us what your approach is in the creative process?
It changes from case to case, but I would say we are more of the first type.
I know it is impossible not to be biased about your Altaia and Eau d'Italie collections, but what fragrances do you like and wear the most from these two lines?
Both Marina and I have a special affection for the signature Eau d'Italie fragrance, as well as Acqua Decima and Jardin du Poète. We also wear Wonder of You and Yu Son from ALTAIA. That said, we most often wear the fragrances we are working on.
What are your projects for the future? Are you working on a new composition right now?
Yes, of course! We are working on a new fragrance for Eau d'Italie and one for ALTAIA, but it's still a work in progress.
Photo by David Castillo (@espacioveintiuno)