For those – like me – who are used to flitting across the world on a regular basis, these current times are difficult. The last flight I took was almost a year ago, unheard of for someone who works in the travel industry. But ‘difficulty’ is all relative and I realise that my lifestyle was charmed. after all, travel is somewhat of a luxury not a necessity and, so, maybe our current ‘grounding’ will serve to remind us of that in years to come. In the past year, the world of travel, escapism and finding inspiration in new destinations has sadly become a far-distant memory, and there are no guarantees as to when we can safely take off again. But when we do, boy, will we appreciate the world again.
Helping me, while I sit it out, is new, luxury artisan brand – Aqua dos Açores – a perfumery label founded in and inspired by the Azorean Islands, a Portuguese archipelago, located in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean.
While I am revelling in memories of my own trips of the past, and planning for those dream journeys to come in the future (the Azores being one of them), I have kept my hopes alive with a daily spritz of its evocative Flores Eau de Parfum, (from £75 at spacetoshow.com).
This gorgeous floral-aquatic fragrance has been having a wonderful transportive effect, taking me off to sandy beaches cooled by salt-laced breezes. The perfume is inspired by the Azores’ natural beauty – and one spritz will instantly whisk you off to tranquil volcanic lakes, a landscape infused with the scent of wet grass, buds of pittosporum and orange blossom, laced with the delicate ocean breeze in the spring. It’s utterly gorgeous.
When you wear it, you’ll first get a hit of its light oceanic top notes with tarragon, this then quickly develops to the heart of the fragrance – gardenia, pittosporum, orange blossom, which is will make you want to touch your wrist to your nose over and over again. After a while, white musk and Kahili ginger give a depth and sensual base to the blend. It’s like nothing you’ve smelled before.
The Aqua dos Açores perfume house is one which aims to offer an olfactory travel diary of the place where it was born – a sensorial tale of one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. On offer are two fragrances – Flores and Azul, which is a marine-woody scent – and there are also two home scents, Branco and Tinto, available as diffusers, and which reference the company’s roots as a winery.
Aqua dos Açores also fuses a passion for nature with a sustainable ethos to set it apart. The fragrances contain a high concentration of natural raw materials and essential oils sourced from plants growing in the archipelago. In addition, part of its USP is that it also combines the old and the new of perfumery know-how – fusing the ancient tradition of artisan perfumery with the technical innovations, in both research and development – bringing the best of both worlds.
Calling on the Azores’ sustainable spirit – it is considered one of the most sustainable tourist destinations in Europe – the fragrances are produced responsibly, protecting the environment and are paraben, silicone, and petroleum free, as well as being vegan and cruelty-free. Its packaging is made from recyclable glass and biodegradable and recyclable packaging, FSC certified from sustainable sources. So each product not only smells good but feels good, too.
Look closely and you’ll see that the logo of Aqua dos Açores is the Wind Rose, an ancient navigation instrument. “It is a flower of many petals, synthesis of past and present, indicating both a landing place and many different directions,” explains the Italian founder Cinzia Caiazzo.
The brand was launched in 2018, after Cinzia relocated to the Azores with her husband. The scents may be inspired by the ocean – all have oceanic notes – but the brand actually has its roots in wine. Cinzia and her husband founded a vineyard – Adega do Vulcão (the Volcano’s Cellar) – offering small production of wines “with a defined personality”. The adega was born on the Island of Faial, near the dos Capelinhos Volcano, which was formed in 1957, following an eruption at sea, a mile from the coast. The sand and ashes expelled from the volcano for over a year submerged the surrounding land, creating an unparalleled terroir and resulting in the unique, boutique wines.
What’s more, the precious grape seed oil absolute, from the brand’s unique adega, then formed the basis of the creation of the home fragrances, with the scents then following. “Both businesses express love for extreme nature and its own relationship with man,” says Cinzia. I am feeling the love.
Available from: spacetoshow.com/collections/fragrances
*This review is based on press samples