Second Sunday Samples: FRASSAÏ

Do you know how many countries are there in the World? 195. I had to look up the exact number, I didn’t remember off the top of my head.

Without using Internet or consulting your records, brands from how many countries can you recall? I did that exercise and came up with 11. I know that I have more in my perfume database (I checked: as of today – 22), I just couldn’t think of them.

I did that counting just recently but even before that I was wondering what was the state of the perfume industry (or whether it even existed) in those countries, about which we do not usually hear in perfume news. Those thoughts were at least partially responsible for my interest when I read about the upcoming release of perfumes from the Argentinian brand FRASSAÏ: until then I hadn’t tried any perfumes from this country.

Since I was following their ad campaign that was building up interest for the upcoming launch, I caught the newsletter that offered to request free samples. I did.

FRASSAÏ debuted this November with, as it became customary, the collection of three perfumes.


Frassai Blondine


Two and Half Sea Stars

BLONDINE – Floral Musky Gourmand, created by Yann Vasnier, includes notes (according to the brand’s website): Green mandarin, Pear Leaves, Salted Butter Caramel, Tiger Lily, Ashok flower, Cocoa, Tonka beans, Castoreum, and Blond Musks. Perfume was inspired by the early last century’s French fairy tale.

Testing Blondine was a strange experience for me: I don’t think I got the same result twice, and I’m not sure what influenced my perception of this perfume. The very first time I had an immediate association with a couple of Parfumerie Generale’s woodsy gourmands, but the next time when I tried Blondine in parallel with those, the “gourmand” part completely escaped me and instead perfume came out very floral. On the next go-round Blondine had more wood with some non-gourmand sweetness.

Blondine is a nice scent for those who prefer their perfumes to stay close to skin. The more you try it, the more it grows on you but I’m not sure I would recognize it if smelled blind.


Frassai Tian Di


One and Half Sea Stars

TIAN DI – Woody Oriental, created by Olivier Gillotin, includes notes: Ginger, Galbanum, Star Anise, Olibanum, Peach Elixir, Red Chrysanthemum, Orris, Sandalwood, Chinese Incense and Tonkin Musk.

Tian Di’s story plays on elements of Chinese mythology (peach tree, a cosmic ladder that connects heaven and earth, which bears fruit once every 3000 years, the scent of which grants immortality).

I’m not objective with this perfume since I really dislike peach note in perfumes – and it is definitely present in perfume and not just in the list of notes.


Frassai Verano Porteno


Three and Half Sea Stars

VERANO PORTEÑO – Floral Chypre, created by Rodrigo Flores-Roux, includes notes: Calabrian Bergamot, Cardamom, Clementine essence, Sicilian Cedrat, Southern Magnolia, Imperial Jasmine, Alhelí Vetyver, Ambrette Seed and Argentine Maté.

Verano Porteño supposedly evokes summer streets of Buenos Aires filled with the aroma of blooming jasmine.

While testing Verano Porteño, I had a strong feeling that I knew that scent. After some investigation I pinpointed my scent memory – By Kilian Love & Tears. Smelling them side-by-side, even I can see some dissimilarities, and I’m sure that people whose nose is better “tuned” might find them even less similar but I know that smelling Verano Porteño and Love & Tears separately I would most likely confuse one for the other. I also want to share with you a curious coincidence: Kilian started as a perfume brand and ventured into scented jewelry; and FRASSAÏ did it the other way around.


Frassai Perfumes


All in all, in my opinion, this whole enterprise looks rather like jumping on the bandwagon of the growing perfume market than genuine love of perfumes. With stories all over the place and three hired guns French perfumers, I did not get an impression that the brand actually had anything new or interesting to say. There is nothing wrong with running business and earning money, and these perfumes are better than current average mainstream launches, so I would rather people wear these three (even the one with peach). This brand also does a good job providing customers with fair choices that would allow them to decide whether they like these perfumes: before committing to a full bottle (I can’t find the size on the site or on the cards sent with samples), you can buy very reasonably priced samples set, individual roller-ball small bottles or a set of all three.


Images: my own


23 thoughts on “Second Sunday Samples: FRASSAÏ

  1. I have never heard of Frassai before, even if you say that they were making scented jewellery for some time now, before going into perfumes.
    It’s also obvious to me that none of these 3 creations were particularly interesting to you, not to mention your comment on similarity to other perfumes.
    I guess this will be a pass for me.
    Thanks for the heads up anyway.


    • I haven’t heard about them before also but it’s not surprising: there are probably even more “jewelers” out there than perfumers :)
      I want to stress out that, unless their bottle is less than 50 ml (which I don’t think is the case), it’s a better price than By Kilian’s refill bottle – let alone those “full presentation” boxes. Once I’m done with my Love & Tears decant, if I want more, I still might go for Verano Porteño.


  2. Hehe, ‘jumping on the perfume bandwagon’, I like that term a lot. To me it seems we’re drowning in brands doing just that. And for all the countries you may count, I’m pretty sure most of the actual perfumes are made by one of the perfumers at Giveaudan, Symrise or the like…
    I do like peach and thought that one sounded most interesting of the three, actually 😊


    • I was wondering what makes a brand to be considered belonging to some country. Most perfumers belong to one of a few most perfume-literate countries: Frence, Italy, US, UK, maybe Spain. Most modern perfume brands do not try to follow any particular country heritage or traditions. So probably we have to settle for the official country of the brand’s residency.

      These are small samples in heavy opaque vials so I can’t see how much is left in them – or I’d send the peach one your way. But I’ll hold on to it until the next occasion to send something else comes – then at least it won’t feel silly to drop it into the package, even if it’s empty :)


  3. Very odd that the website doesn’t list the bottle size (or the rollerball size for that matter.). At $130 it doesn’t seem outrageous but not something I will seek out, as it doesn’t seem they have anything new to say.


    • I think it’s an oversight: they’ve just added those perfumes to the site, and I think somebody missed or didn’t think it was important. Those bottles look like 50 ml but they might be 100 ml as well.
      When I tested these I didn’t get a feeling that it was a rip-off: while not earth-shattering, these perfumes, at least in their initial formulation, before they decide to cheapen the formula for the next batch, were what you’d expect these days for this price.


    • I’m not a big fan of candles so I didn’t even look at them :) If I could see the jewelry in real life, I might be interested. But what I liked about their jewelry was that they were selling them without any perfumes.


  4. Interesting, I hadn’t heard of Frassai before! I have delved a little bit into Fueguia 1833, which is also a brand from Argentina! Other than that, I admit that my perfume experience is mainly with European or American brands.


    • I have many perfumes that I need to re-test (tried once or twice, thought of coming back to them – and never did) but with the new brands I’m not spoiled recently, mostly because of limited access to them. But I get slightly annoyed by the number of new brands and perfumes because now I can’t even properly covet something – so many different new things appear daily! :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Here you go: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Monaco, Oman, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, he Netherlands, Turkey, UK and US :)


  5. Your counting countries game is a good one. I am not sure I would remember the provenance of quite a few brands though, so my tally would also fall short.;) This Argentinian line is completely new on me and makes me think of ‘frass’, as in the powdery residue of active woodworms. For that reason alone I don’t think I could ever bond with the brand, plus there is the pesky business of the Umlaut over the ‘I’. I don’t really like a peach note in perfumes, but wasn’t there one in Isabey Fleur Nocturne, that you quite took to, and I also care for? I am ‘never say never’ with peach, but by and large it doesn’t work for me. Blondine sounds pleasant if unremarkable – I’d give it a whirl – and while I like Love & Tears I probably don’t need another scent in the same vein.


    • Thanks to you I learned a new word today :)
      I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I also thought about you when I saw the name written in all caps ;)
      You’re right: there’s a peach note in Fleur Nocturne but, if you remember, I ended up not buying that perfume, and recently when I tried it again, I realized that it was the right call: I wouldn’t want to wear it even though in small quantities I like it.
      Nobody would need a second Love & Tears, as I noticed in my comment to Lucas, as a less expensive alternative it might work.


  6. I’ve never heard of this brand either slthough I quite like the name. It sounds like something you can shout from the rooftop and draw out the last syllable to be heard from afar.

    I never bothered to figure out from which country my perfumes originated (except when forced to do so to participate in the NST Community Project). Like you, I feel cheated when a brand that prides itself for representing a oarticular country uses a perfumer from another country.


    • The remaining drops in 2 vials (minus the “peach” one that I’m saving for Asali) will be waiting the next package to you – just in case these work better for you since you like the name (one person’s refuse of boring insects – see Vanessa’s comment above – clearly is another person’s triumphant call ;) ).

      I don’t always remember the provenance of my perfumes but since I have to enter them into the database prior to using, I add that information for each brand once – so sometimes I remember it later.


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