A serious blast of violets opens this perfume, but if you're thinking powdery girly perfume, you'd be wrong Ariel ties the violets into a weirdly oily spice note at the start (probably the ginger-mandarin combination), rendering the opening effect unsettling and anti-classical. It feels like a new way of treating violets to me, and about a hundred times more interesting than the tired lipstick trope seen in countless violet perfumes from Misia onwards. The spiced, oily floral effect extends into the heart, but Ariel eventually loses the violet and dovetails into a sweet, creamy sandalwood base that recalls Samsara but without the synthetic sonic boom that accompanies it. It ends up being a little too sweet for my taste, but I have to say I like this version of Samsara much better than the current version out there at the moment.
From the notes I expected Ariel to be my least favorite in the Sammarco's range but it comes out I was wrong. Another extremely good fragrance and probably the most complex out of the four from this line.
The opining is a juicy citrusy-fruity thing pervaded by a sweet tobacco note. It quickly moves into a magnificent floral middle phase in which smooth white florals are paired to rose. There's also a soft powderiness going on, probably provided by the orris / violet combo, but nothing to worry about for me. Again, the overall quality is honestly undeniable and while I'm generally not drawn to these kind of fragrances, there's something so nailed about Ariel that makes of it something noteworthy. It's a familiar, classic accord that, at the same time, doesn't rely on nostalgia or old-fashioned themes. The white florals are plush and devoided of any angular facets but they still feel rough and visceral as opposed to overly polished and prettified.
The base breaks in pretty soon unveiling a sweet-n-dry sandalwood that I find completely intoxicating. Ariel strikes as an ageless fragrance, something that doesn't follow any trend or style, something that goes beyond genres while maintaining a relevant perfumey allure throughout. In this context, it's quintessentially perfumey and kind of a textbook-type woody-floral. My only complain about Ariel is that it gets pretty calm a bit too soon. Projection is really moderate after the initial phase even if longevity is decent, especially considering it's apparently an all-natural composition. With that said, I still find Ariel completely noteworthy and, composition-wise, probably my favorite in the whole range.
The first thing that I noticed after "Ariel" settled on my skin is that it's considerably softer, more gentle, actually totally different in style than the other perfumes by Sammarco, so I think it should be less "polarizing" to folks who found the previous ones too raw. :-)
When "Ariel" hits the skin you are greeted with a strong, leafy green and citrusy fresh accord with a sharp Tuberose, but this accord fades away after a few minutes and the scent turns into a soft and creamy mix of Sandalwood, Orris, Citrus (Ginger, Mandarine) and herbal undertones (although I'm not sure where the notes are coming from as there are no typical herbs listed). There are floral notes as well, but they are more in the background and tie everything together, the only flower that sticks out more is the Tuberose together with Davana. There is also a very faint Tobacco-note providing a slightly smoky background right from the beginning. This stage lasts quite some time and leads to a dry down that consists mostly of sweet and nutty Sandalwood and the soft Tobacco-note. As you can see from my description "Ariel" is a perfume with a distinct evolution whereas the other perfumes from Giovanni are more on the linear side. It's also the most complex so far. The quality of the (natural) ingredients is very good, but this time they don't show their raw power and stay more on the polite side. Like mentioned in the beginning this could be a good thing for people who didn't like the earlier creations and dismissed them as too hardcore. Personally I like the rougher compositions more. Some criticism: "Ariel" can be a bit cloying (Davana?), especially when the dry-down kicks in. Before that the sweetness is nicely counterpointed by the citrus/floral notes and the herbal notes. Longevity is not good (on my skin) which is normal for a natural perfume. Projection is moderate. On the website "Ariel" is described as the most feminine perfume from the line and it definitely is. Still I think a guy can pull this off especially in spring or summer. All in all this is a soft, sweet and sensual perfume with a shier personality, seamlessly blended with high-quality ingredients, and it's entirely different from the other offerings by Sammarco Perfumes. Definitely worth a try!
List of notes: Angelica, Tuberose, Jasmine, Osmanthus, Violet, Rose, Sandalwood, Mandarine, Ginger, Tobacco, Davana and Orris Concrete.