Astrophil & Stella IN EXTREMIS

Image of Astrophil and Stella IN EXTREMIS by Karl.

“All works, no matter what or by whom painted, are nothing but bagatelles and childish trifles… unless they are made and painted from life, and there can be nothing… better than to follow nature.” –Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.

Astrophil & Stella IN EXTREMIS is a new release unveiled at Esxence in Milan. Conceived in Salsomaggiore by Meo Fusciuni, and has been the most anticipated fragrance for me to try so far this year. Imagine both my excitement and honour when I found out from Michelyn Camen (Editor-In-Chief) that I would be given the opportunity to review IN EXTREMIS.

The union of Caravaggio and Meo Fusciuni’s creativity blended in perfume form set my mind ablaze as I could not think of a more suitable subject for Meo Fusciuni’s mastery of combining natural ingredients in a natural and realistic way.

Meo Fusicuni Astrophil & Stella

Image of Meo Fusciuni by by Simone Angarano courtesy of the perfumer.

“In the midst of darkness that dances with light, a fragrance captures the essence of a genius who challenged his Time, turning contrasts and passions into eternal masterpieces. Astrophil and Stella IN EXTREMIS is dedicated to Caravaggio, observer of humanity, imperfect Master. A tribute to his art, a journey that delves into the depths of expression. For those who live passionately, embracing contrast as a source of inspiration. Our love for Caravaggio pays homage to his revolutionary art, his restless spirit, and his ability to transform the canvas into a mirror of the soul. A genius that transcends time, an artist who has left an indelible mark on the hearts of those, like us, who find continual inspiration in his work. This perfume is an invitation to travel beyond the boundaries of the known, to explore the depths of the human spirit, to live every moment with fierce passion.” –Note from the brand’s website.

Astrophil and Stella In Extremis by Meo Fusciuni

Image courtesy of the brand.

I begin by stating that Astrophil and Stella IN EXTREMIS is created with such thought that picking out individual notes proved completely futile. I am usually adept in this regard but not with this scent. Instead it brought introspection, comfort yet also disruption. It is also the most challenging perfume I have experienced to explain in simple terms. Like its subject’s works Astrophil & Stella IN EXTREMIS is a contrast of rawness and refinement.

Meo Fusciuni is able to convey a daring scent but one which also provides calm. The naturalistic details a presented realistically and unconventionally creating a perfume that is completely authentic. One can imagine him deep at work matching raw natural ingredients in the solitude of his olfactory studio. His subject Caravaggio was known for his controversial manner which earned him a reputation as a rebel. His personal life was marked with incidents and brawls forcing him to flee his home in Rome and seek exile for the remainder of his life. These troubled times can be searched for within the accords of Astrophil & Stella IN EXTREMIS. There is an underlying malevolence and danger to the depth of the scent. It creates mystery and intensity.

The fragrance it at once fresh yet smoky crisp but smooth just like the stark contrasts Caravaggio is known for in his unique style of light and dark, known as chiaroscuro. This ability to capture emotional intensity of his subjects is reflected in Meo Fusciuni’s creation. The darkness comes from what I can imagine is a leather accord and the utilisation of deep woods, oudh and musk. This is contrasted with green notes, florals, and incense which gives the perfume a lift.

Perfumes such as IN EXTREMIS are not commonplace. It is an incredible scent to wear. Its rawness and beauty intertwined reflects a perfumer in harmony with his artistry. I will go as far as to state that this could well play out to become Meo Fusciuni’s Magnus Opus. To me it is the absolute best perfume he has released.

Caravaggio Inspired Astophil and Stella In Extremis

AI created image of Caravaggio courtesy of the brand.

Hail, Caravaggio, expert of the brush,

Whose chiaroscuro technique does rush,

Through time and space, with shadows deep,

In every stroke, your secrets keep.

 Thy canvas, a stage for human plight,

Where light and darkness fiercely fight,

In tenebrism’s embrace, truth revealed,

In scenes of passion, pain unconcealed.

 And unto thee, Meo Fusciuni, we bow,

Artisan of fragrance, we do avow,

Thy scents, a symphony for the olfactory sense,

In aromatic verses, their beauty immense.

 In blending styles, a wondrous feat,

Where visual and olfactory senses meet,

Caravaggio’s canvas, Fusciuni’s scent,

In harmony, their essence is lent.

 Ode to thee, Caravaggio and Fusciuni,

In art and fragrance, a union of beauty,

May your legacies forever endure,

In the hearts and minds of those who adore.-   original poem by Karl Topham

Notes: Galbanum, Angelica, Lentisk, Blue Chamomile, Birch, Osmanthus, Magnolia, Incense, Musk, Vetiver, Leather Oud, Ambergris, Patchouli, Guaiac Wood, Oakmoss.

Disclaimer: Bottle of Astrophil & Stella IN EXTREMIS kindly supplied by the brand. Opinions are my own.

Karl Topham, Senior Editor and UK Brand Ambassador

Astrophil & Stella IN EXTREMIS

Thanks to the largesse of Astrophil & Stella we have a 50 ml bottle of IN EXTREMIS for one registered reader (UK, USA & EU). To be eligible, please leave a comment describing what strikes you about Astrophil & Stella IN EXTREMIS based on Karl’s review, whether you have a favourite fragrance created by Astrophil & Stella or Meo Fusciuni and where you live. Draw closes 3/30/2024.

Follow us on Instagram @cafleurebonofficial @astrophilstellaperfume @karl.topham @meofusciuni_parfums

Please read Michelyn Camen’s report of Esxence 2024 featuring Astrophil & Stella and Meo Fusciuni here.

Enjoy Karl’s review of Astrophil and Stella Nabati and Madame M here

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