Pop music has had a massive critical renaissance in the last decade or so, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this is due to the slow death of radio. The backbone of radio is great pop songs, but the bane of great pop songs is radio. A great pop song is wonderful the first time you hear it, better the second time, and best the millionth time when you’ve memorized every lyric and melody, given one key factor: that you have time to breathe between the listens. The better a pop song is, the more radio play it gets, and suddenly a listener has no breathing time between one listen and the next. Hence, massive listening burnout. The true classics only come back a decade later after our ears have recovered from the constant exposure.
The demise of La Capitale is that it is both pop song and radio. The central accord is glorious – a warm, immaculately blended barrage of sweets (think candied strawberry and peace), sophisticated heart notes (saffron and ginger) and a luscious vanilla-leather base. La Capitale is a lovely fruity vanilla fragrance that’s likely to transfix those around you, though wearers who fear ‘feminine’-marketed perfumes might feel uncomfortable pulling this off. That being said, La Capitale is about as beautiful and universal as a perfume gets. The problem is that it hammers itself into the wearer’s nose until its candylike pleasantness becomes unbearable.
To give you an idea of the strength of La Capitale, I recently trialed the entirety of the Zoologist line. Zoologist is famous for crafting very strong fragrances with beastly performance. Not once during the trials did I strike something nearly as strong as La Capitale. In fact, six hours into my wearing of La Capitale, I applied Zoologist Rhinoceros – one of the strongest offerings in the line – to my opposite wrist. Within four hours, La Capitale was projecting more than Rhinoceros.
As someone who owns and often wears the notoriously powerful Interlude Man by Amouage, I cannot overstate the ridiculous strength of La Capitale. This is a perfume that is for people that love the scent so much that they’ll never get tired of it, or for wearers whose nose has become hard-of-smelling enough to tame the experience. Never have I ran into a beautiful perfume that I cannot safely recommend. La Capitale is a freak of nature, and for that, I applaud Xerjoff. Beware: each spray of La Capitale is a commitment. It sings a great tune, but after twenty hours, you might be sick of hearing it.
Though samples are currently out, the undaunted can purchase a bottle here.
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The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.