We are happy to share some secrets of how Baraonda was created. Interview between Rita Donadei (Nasomatto) and Sergey Borisov (Fragrantica).
Some years ago I heard that Alessandro Gualtieri said his Blamage would be the last fragrance of his Nasomatto project. But this has just been refuted. After the recent years filled with the brutally animalic Orto parisi project, I had decided that the Nasomatto chapter is closed. And then I met Rita Donadei from the Nasomatto team in Florence, who brought great news to all Nasomatto fans. The new fragrance by Nasomatto will be launched just in ten days!
Rita Donadei: Alessandro’s idea was to have only ten fragrances in the Nasomatto collection. It could never become a huge line; if some new fragrances would be added, some previous ones would be taken out of the line. But then he read a book some time ago, Moscow – Petushki by the Russian writer Venedict Erofeev (another name is Moscow To The End Of The Line) and he decided he really had to create a new Nasomatto fragrance.
The book is about people totally addicted to alcohol, drinking everything from shoe polish to cheap eau de toilette, just to have some alcohol… The book is full of visions, and that’s why Alessandro decided to recreate not only the smell of the good kind of alcohol (whiskey, in this case) but also the taste sensation of alcohol!
Sergey Borisov: Do you mean that people are supposed to spray the new fragrance in their mouth instead of on their skin?
Rita Donadei: I think that would be too much for most customers, but Alessandro splashed the fragrance into his mouth during the entire presentation. It's made of all natural ingredients; plant gums, oils, alcohol, water - but we will never recommend people to drink a perfume!
Sergey Borisov: But in the book, people drink colognes! The main hero advises how to make cocktails out of medicines, beer, colognes and nail polish…
Rita Donadei: Yes, I know. But we decided to make a fragrance of the good kind of booze, whiskey.
Sergey Borisov: What about the price range and the bottle design?
Rita Donadei: The price and the bottle design have stayed the same, and as you know, the Nasomatto stoppers are made of various kinds of wood, this time it is made of real cork. It is very expensive, but Alessandro never cares about that. He preferred this great massive Italian cork to good quality 10 cents Chinese stoppers. And it has a very Russian style of packaging (Rita takes the bottle out of the box, the box falls down. Rita places it up near the bottle, and the box falls down again)
Sergey Borisov: (laughing) Seems like it’s a typical Russian alcoholic style, it just cannot stand properly on the shelves without falling down!
Rita Donadei: The box is very red inside. And we also made our advertising in colors very typical for the Russian Soviet period, from the 70s, when the book was written.
Sergey Borisov: What’s the name? Baraonda?? It’s not Russian. Seems to come from “onda” which means “wave” in Italian, and “bara” could mean “bar”. Something like “bar-hopping”?
Rita Donadei: Bravo. Actually in Italy, many bars close to the beach have funny names like “Baraonda”. It’s like a name of a bar near the sea waves. But the full word “baraonda” has a meaning in Italian, it’s a pure Italian word, and it means “chaos”, “confusion”, “mess”. When you enter an old pub where some rumble is going on, and drunk people are beating each other, you can say "Oh my God! What’s the baraonda!" And that’s what happens with any human mind after a long period of serious alcohol consumption.
Sergey Borisov: There’s a Russian word “??????” that has almost the same sound and meaning – “mess”, “disorder”, and “brothel”.
Rita Donadei: So this is the story about people who literally have an engine that runs on alcohol; they need a boost, they need to forget about the life around them, they need to get out of their life.
Alessandro never discloses his formulas, but he has tried to make some of the alcoholic cocktail formulas described in the book. As far as I know, he changed his previous (very natural) perfume formula two months ago, to make it more sweet and more fruity, and here’s the result after maceration. You know, Alessandro never talks about the notes of his fragrances, as he prefers to let the perfumes speak for themselves. Nobody should care about the ingredients, and anyway: the formulas are long, they fill numerous pages – why should we mention just some of them? It does not make sense. Also – it’s only the feelings that are evoked in people that count, not the ingredients.
Baraonda Nasomatto will appeal to most spirituous distillates connoisseurs. Each of us has one’s own relationship with alcohol, from particular preferences in drinks up to the complete rejection of any degrees. The fragrance will show teetotalers what pleasures can be found in alcohol - in fact it’s not necessary to drink; maximum pleasure could be reached just by inhaling the warm spicy vapors. Aside from the alcohol metabolism process, the beauty of the bouquet could be orgiastic enough. The bouquet of high-quality alcohol is a beauty in itself.
Baraonda brings the rounded and spicy nose of well-aged rum to mind, with its sweet and dense spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and so on. If you have ever tried to elevate your brewed DIY hooch of sufficient strength by adding spices, milk and other secret methods, and found your own way to the secret, you could grasp how Alessandro Gualtieri created the flavor of hi-quality alcohol. But spices are not enough – they bring the aromatic start, but not the finish. Alcohol, as well as perfumes, have to have not only a “head”, but also a “heart” (which here is sweet lactonic on my skin, and woody-ionone-like on a paper blotter), and a “finish” (a slightly sweet, dark woody, caramel “barrel” with a patchouli and coumarin accord, and a dried fruit base of dried apricots, prunes, raisins and figs in chocolate).
Overall, Baraonda has a rich, rounded aroma which is perfected with a piece of bitter tonka bean-chocolate. I easily believe that Alessandro could spray this in his mouth. I myself checked this and sprayed it in my own mouth – you can do this too – and it's far from terrible, but the taste is much different than the smell. The taste lacks the sweetness and the velvety roundness of the perfume. I would not advise to drink Baraonda, but would on the other hand not say "never try that" either.