Review: Batucada by Artisan Parfumeur

The autumn release from Artisan Parfumeur evokes the idea of Brazil, samba and the beach.

BatucadaThe latest eau de toilette from niche perfume house Artisan Parfumeur is called Batucada (which is a kind of samba).

Artisan Parfumeur was the first niche fragrance house I ever became aware of, thanks to its Thé et pain d’epice room fragrance, which I later bought as the Tea for Two perfume (for my money the room fragrance has a slight edge). I loved its evocative scent of the tobacco shop where I used to buy my dad’s ready-rubbed, and I wore it every winter day for at least a decade.

Batucada could hardly be more different. A unisex fragrance meant to evoke the spirit of Brazil with its salsa, carnival and beaches, it’s a highly summery fragrance. The top notes are lime, cachaca (green sugar cane rum) and green mint, designed to recall the Brazilian national drink the Caïparinha; the heart notes are tiare flower and ylang ylang, meant to bring to mind the prevailing smell of Brazilian suncream; and the base note is coconut, the juice of which is drunk along the beaches in Brazil.

On first spraying the perfume, you’re hit instantly by the citrussy top notes, which are something like a good eau de cologne or Occitane’s Verveine but quickly change to a more limey note. After a while, these give way to a green and less easily defined fragrance that reminded me, for one, of melons. After a couple of hours, the fruity heart of the perfrume settles into something creamier – rather  ice-cream like in tone.

The fragrance has moderate sillage – I could certainly track it about six feet behind the DH, but it didn’t overwhelm – and it stays put longer than you might expect for an eau de toilette. He felt it brought to mind summer parties, and is definitely something he would enjoy wearing in the warmer months, but I think it would also, in all likelihood, be fine to wear to a dinner party, as the edible scents of lime, coconut and cachaca could scarcely offend the other guests – in fact, it might even induce an appetite.

This is a cheerful and happy perfume – as I caught whiffs of it off the DH during the day, it felt like the smell of warm skin after a hot day at the beach, perhaps due to the benzoin, vanilla and musk notes – and I would be interested to try it in a room fragrance if Artisan ever bring one out. The only thing that strikes me as a little odd is the October release date, as it seems to me very much a summer fragrance, but in this, I assume Artisan is targeting the Brazilian market.

Batucada costs 95 euros for 100ml or 70 euros for 50ml from perfumeries and high-end department stores.

Update, November 2011: Batucada has been met with total approbation by the men in my testers’ households, and by the various chaps I’ve sprayed in on, from chefs to accountants. My friend M blagged a decant as she loves the coconut lime scent and my friend L (an Eau Sauvage man) had so many decants, I ended up giving him most of the bottle. 

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