Barebones; Smells like Ibiza

By Jo Phillips

Ibiza is known worldwide as a party capital. Actually, it was like this since before Roman times, but in 60’s it first became a haven for the hippy culture, and then more recently, since the late 80’s/early 90’s it has been a rave scene. Often referred to as the White island it’s also known very much an island full of wellness retreats and some consider it a truly magical island, including the perfumer Ramon Monegal. It is the island of his youth and it was where he first really connected with scent which drove him to (not become an architect as he was training to do, but to) carry forward the family business of perfumery instead.

He is the 4th generation of the Monegal family in perfumery, the family that started in 1916 and built the House of Myrurgia.  The company started by  Esteban Monegal Prat, with a Catalan sculptor, who combined with his father in Barcelona.  The father-son partnership built the company into a successful name in Spanish fragrance and were even the official purveyor of the Spanish Royal Family.  It was seen as a very desirable brand, so much so that it was bought initially by Dr. Payot in and around the 1980’s and by Antonio Puig Perfumes in 2001.

Ramon Monegal had always worked for the family business and stayed on the board throughout both sales and collaborated on many internationally known fragrances for brands such as Adolfo Dominguez,  Inez de la Fresange, Antonio Miro, Massimo Dutti and many more. However, in 2007 he finally left the Puig group to start his own line of emotive fragrances, Ramon Monegal.

With already 29 perfumes in his collection he now celebrates the White island he so loves with Three new launches; The Ibiza Collection.

So what does Ibiza smell like? More to the point, what does  Ibiza feels like to Ramon and how he interpreted the loving feelings he has smelt and remembered from his youth? The collection is made up of three distinct fragrances that represent three specific times of the day for Ramon;  first, Flowerpower, or this could even be the third, as its about early morning, but not the early morning of waking up refreshed but the early morning at the end of the party.  Its all hippy flower love in 60;s vibe, the summer of love the first time round.  It’s all about seduction and addition –  the emotional scent that smells of the golden power of the sun, bohemian florals and deep hippy love among the yellow sands and sunshine of the island. It’s a sweet psychedelic trip full with chocolate and vanilla flowers (both notes created by Ramon) that will hook you in and keep you obsessed.

Top notes are Loganberry pink pepper and vanilla Flower.  In its middle is peony and gardenia with another note Ramon created; chocolate flower! It finishes in the base with patchouli sandalwood and praline.  Its these gourmand sounding notes that makes this very addictive and  give a sweet hit followed by a woody base all trapped in a bright yellow bottle.

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Next comes La Isla Blanca (The White Island) is like a white canvas which Ramon has painted the most clever unusual daring of ‘colours’.  It’s a sharp hit of sea spray in a bottle but followed through with fresh pine trees and then almond flowers.  It’s the single island in a bottle; it represents midday when all the smells mingle together over the island as if bought by the midday breeze off the sea through the vegetation into the white walls of the city. of course the bottle is pure white.
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Top notes here of anise ozonic aldehydes and gin, followed by almond blossom white jasmine and salty heliotrope with the final the sweet kick at the base via Tonka bean white musk and patchouli.

Finally is in the blue bottle, cafe del mar the early evening fragrance, where sunset offset the day and lifts it gently away towards evening.  It has the most unique of emotions and smells. It’s where heaven and Earth meet, deepest blue gets lost on a darkening horizon. It’s like the slightly unsettlingly cocktail hour, before an anticipation of the night and the letting go of the sun on the skin brushed with the salt from the sea.

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Top notes of clear seaweed meet coffee and golden apple, which goes into Freesia Lavender and Orris, finished off with Ambergris Vanilla and beach sand accord.

This is one very clever set of perfumes. We know the moment we smell them a set of emotions are triggered, the salt, the sea and the sand, the drifting floral accords and green earthy island scent.  It may not be our home per say but its all our Mediterranean holidays, albeit inspired by one very special island. IBIZA! It is and always has been, a magnet for hedonists. Its history reads like a history of pleasure itself. It is also a story of invasions and migrations, of artists and conmen, of drop-outs and love-ins. Ramon has taken us right there, so if you are unable to physically get there, go in your dreams via his scent imagination.

Ibiza collection at Ramon Monegal

Ibiza collection , exclusive to Harrods

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