Photo: Mr Parfumista (c)
Umbra the vetiverinterpretation by Ramón Monegal starts like a green, clean vetiver with some deep almost citruslike notes. The citruslike is not the usual light, sparkling one, and I suspect the impression emerges from the combination of other notes. Peppery notes are also emerging as the topnotes evolves, but more as supporters and not as distinct as the ginger-peppery effect in Prada Infusion d'Vetiver. The opening ackord is the part of Umbra that reminds me most of other vetivers but soon Umbra finds its own path: Umbra gets sweeter then the common vetiverfragrance and almost resiny, balmy, floral as it developes. Probably the geranium contributes to the green floral feeling. The dry down is exciting and unusual, the vetiver doesn't stands out like in the most straightforward light, rooty green vetivers.The vetivernote is restrained of the sweet, powdery tonka been in the base and despite the tonka sweetness. there is an aura of green, refreshing, moist, woody sweetness in Umbra. In the base a beautiful mossy note, similar to the one in Mon Patchouly also emerges and is present during the rest of the extended dry down of Umbra.
In lightness and texture Umbra reminds me about Prada Infusion d'Vetiver and Mona di Orio Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver but both these fragrances are more of straight forward, contemporary representants of the classical rooty, grassy vetiver fragrance. The vetiver that comes to my mind with some similarities with Umbra later stages is Andy Tauers smooth and gentle Vetiver Dance but this is more a cosy vanillia-vetiver where Umbra is more of an elegant chypre. Both fragrances has also in comman that they follows their own interesting path in the world of vetiver. The general impression of Umbra can be summeraized as the picture and smell of the coolness of the mossy, forest floor under high pines a summerday.
Even if classified as unisex I precieve Umbra as the most feminine vetiver I have sniffed so far. Umbra is definitly a vetiver that I will be delighted to wear as I usually have some "problems" with the more sharp, rooty "manly" versions. Umbra appears to be so wellcrafted and well thought out compared to many other representatives of the genre which smells like variations of the same theme compared to Umbras individuality. Even if Umbra is somehow relaxing, it's engaging to follow what is going on and trying to figure out what's happening next, during the dry down of the fragrance.
Umbra is suitable both for office and for dressed-up casual, year around but wears very well in the summer. Heavy appliers beware: Strong in concentration as in the case of almost every RM fragrance, two - three spritzes lasts for long. Sillage is more than medium and longevity about 24h.
Notes: Vetiver, oakmoss, black pepper, geranium, fir, tonka bean