The Azores are having a moment. The Portuguese archipelago is not only a captivating travel destination; it’s also producing a slew of fine products. Its volcanic wines, for instance, are increasingly attracting international accolades; skincare brand Ignae – which draws on the island’s thermal waters, flora and fauna – has already been fêted in the pages of How To Spend It; and now the islands are home to a new scent brand.
Aqua dos Açores’ Florentine founder Cinzia Caiazzo fell in love with the islands while on holiday and with her husband decided to buy a house there in 2008. Later they bought a vineyard, carefully recovering native vines on the island of Faial, many of which had been submerged by the sand and ash expelled by the Capelinhos volcano. Grapes, and their precious grape seed oil, are the basis of two home fragrances (from €35): Branco, with top notes of white wine, lemon and rum; and Tinto, with red wine and cassis.
There are also two unisex scents (both €75 for 50ml EDP) developed by a young Italian nose. Drawing on essential oils from the islands’ plants, Flores is the scent of soft rain and wet grass, with orange blossom, Kahili ginger, tuberose, and bergamot in its delicate mix. In contrast, Azul is woody and masculine, a marine fragrance with a nod to black volcanic rocks and salt-drenched sailing ships. At its core is cryptomeria – the trademark Azores wood – alongside clary sage, bourbon geranium and bergamot.
Meanwhile on the mainland, Claus Porto has just launched a noteworthy new men’s scent. Musgo Real Black Edition is seriously seductive in appearance, its angular art deco-esque bottle handcrafted by the artisans of Vista Alegre, Portugal’s 200-year-old porcelain and crystal manufacturer. The scent itself is equally alluring, with a base of vetiver and cedar, patchouli and sweet tonka augmented with zesty top notes – juniper, lemon and bergamot.