13.11.13

ON COMPLEX FLAVOURS AND SCENTS

 

Looking back at the history of perfume, it is odd to see just how long "respectable" women have perfumed themselves with a single garden flower's scent. Complex floral scents were generally frowned upon by women of the upper classes.

"Notes gourmandes" were especially associated with women of the demi-monde, prostitutes and courtesans. The idea of aristocrats wearing musk was so unusual that the decadent entourage of Joséphine de Beauharnais (Napoleon's first wife) were nicknamed "Les Muscadins" because of their preference for this deeper, animalistic scent.

It wasn't until the early 20th century - with perfumes like Houbigant's "Quelques Fleurs" (1912) and Chanel's No.5 (1921) - that the idea of complex, multivarietal perfume really took off.

And yet, today, it seems so obvious to us that multivarietal perfumes are far greater than the sum of their parts. The juxtaposition of different essences creates a third product that transcends its original components, creating new species of fragrance your nose has never perceived before. It's like opening up new worlds.

The reason Monteluz is a "pisco acholado" is that we're very interested in these complex flavours and scents. We like transcending the elements we have at our disposal. We like opening up new worlds.

   "Acholado" is the term used for a pisco that is made up of more than one varietal. It is named after the "cholo", the native servant. The origin of the term comes from the fact that the landowner would normally only drink pure, single varietals of pisco. The cholo was left with a variety of leftovers, which he would then mix for his own consumption. Because of these social connotations - this historical differentiation between master and servant- pisco acholado is sometimes thought of as an inferior pisco.

We strongly disagree with this point of view. Our claim is, on the contrary, that multivarietal pisco is far superior. Our rationale is easily justified: look at the way so many of the today's finest culinary delights were once considered peasant dishes, precisely because they were made from leftovers, mixed together with inventiveness. Austerity is the mother of invention.

And, just as composed perfumes are much more interesting than single floral essences, it is clear to us that the best way to create a truly unique and interesting pisco is to compose a new, third product that transcends its original components, that "goes beyond".

"Plus Oultre" (Further Beyond) is our motto, and multivarietal composition is the best way we see of living up to this ideal in the process of making pisco. This is why Pisco Monteluz is a proud "pisco acholado", and to hell with social and historical norms.