Hidden deep within the brain, inside the temporal lobe, resides the amygdala. An almond-shaped piece of tissue, the amygdala plays an enormous responsibility to the human experience. It controls our emotions, our memory and our very survival – our flight or fight responses.
This cluster of neurons is the inspiration behind the latest fragrance from Italian perfumers Mendittorosa. The Napolitano brand has tapped into our sense of smell, our most primal of senses, to explore how all these elements that make us human are thread together through this small yet potent part of our brain. Simply put, Mendittorosa Amygdala is the ultimate thinking man’s perfume.
Finding its origins in the studies of the fragrance house’s founder, Stefania Squeglia who has a Masters Degree in Psychology, Amygdala is an aromatic evolution of the mind. Our conscious selves as captured by the freshness of flowers and floral notes while our deeper, or darker, impulses are represented by the richness of woods and spices.
To bring this study of our inner being to life, Squeglia worked with master perfumer Luca Maffei who, using our sense of smell, categorises life’s complex pluralities of pleasure and disgust; allure and repulsion and the points where they intersect. “I tried to create an amazing fragrance that can change our facial expressions,” explains Maffei.
A cross-pollination of nature’s most hedonistic creations – bitter green galbanum contrasts with the buttery smoothness of ylang and sensual jasmine while violet adds a cologne-like lightness. After this, deeper, primal notes that trigger the deepest responses from our subconscious begin to unfold. Animalic labdanum combines with the woody freshness of vetiver as mouth-watering cinnamon and coffee warm the initial brightness of the opening.
The result is both invigorating and intoxicating – a perfume that lifts and delves simultaneously. A concentrated extrait de parfum of 35 per cent delivers a powerful fragrance that is charming without ever overwhelming.
Encasing this contradiction is a bottle with a sculptural lid inspired by the very part of the brain that is its namesake. Sinuous nerves encase a crimson almond-shaped heart. A concealed core that encapsulates the secrets of our success as a species.