The legend of Carthusia began in 1380 when the Carthusian monastery of Saint Giacomo welcomed Queen Giovanni D’Angio with an arrangement of flowers from the island of Capri. An alchemist was later called to decipher the scent emanating from the vase’s water. The scent went on to become the first perfume of Capri. In 1948 the prior of the monastery discovered the old formulas and with the permission of the Pope, worked with a chemist and created a small fragrance laboratory. Today, Carthusia’s perfumes are great examples of Italian perfumery. Designed by Laura Tonatto in 2000, Ligea La Sirena is an oriental scent of Mediterranean fruit and resins. It is named after the legendary sirens or mermaids that tried in vain to charm the hero Ulysses.
Ligea begins with classic Mediterranean top notes of lemon, orange and a strong dose of mandarin. The floral note is described as white rose. It is stripped of its natural spice and rosey character in favour of a fruitier flower. Opopanax is the main ingredient in the formula and is accompanied by other precious woods, patchouli and benzoin. This amber base adds warmth to what could otherwise be a cold and sterile accord of patchouli and opopanax.
Ligea is a mysterious scent that oriental fragrance fans will enjoy discovering. While it may work well on women with generous application it works its wonders on men when used in small doses to create a subtle silage. Its simple structure makes it a versatile fragrance suiting a wide male audience. Just be sure you like cloves!
Perfumer: Laura Tonatto
Bottle designer: Silvio Ruocco (Carthusia)
Release date: 2000
Typology (via Fragrances of the World): Soft Oriental