Before leaving the US in 2017 for Mexico, it was clear that there was an entrepreneurial groundswell happening with small start-up companies, stores and restaurants happening throughout the country. It was exciting to see craftmanship return to the marketplace with people who had the love and spirit to make and provide new and unique products and services. Here in Mexico, the same is happening, especially with the younger generation. And because of it, many are bringing a new twist to the traditional in a very exciting way.
One of these entrepreneurs lives right here in Merida; Jose Sandovalis of Sandovalis Perfumes. As a self-taught perfumer, Jose has used his love of perfume, botany and the Yucatan to create a line of perfumes, candles and personal grooming products that are rooted in the local environment. Jose cites that his interest in perfume began with his grandmother who had a book of perfumes from the late 19th century. But it wasn’t just his grandmother that helped to influence this interest; his father and grandfather helped to educate and mentor with a shared passion for botany. Now, together with his wife Cindy, they have handcrafted a collection of unique products that are tied to the history and botanicals of the Yucatan. And they source their materials throughout the peninsula with a concentration on fair trade. To Jose, sustaining and supporting the local people is key to his mission. Sorry to say however, that these products are only available in Mexico. So if you need a good excuse to come experience this wonderful country, this is one good reason to do so
WHAT I SMELL: Cicle Club first spins off of the skin with a fresh and tangy lightly sugared tangerine. The pefume sparkles with a bright energy. After a couple of minutes, the cheery opening starts to retreat, leaving the wearer wondering if the perfume is about to disappear after a quick hello. But as expected, the perfume begins to reveal a more herbal heart with hints of dewy wood. The light sugared sweetness is still there, but it has retreated in such a manner giving it a quiet and understated level of positivity. After some time, a tobacco note starts to swirl and rise through the center of the perfume. It’s projection is just right as it feels a bit windswept off of the skin.
Head notes: Tangerine and Rosemary
Heart notes: Good grass and Basil
Background notes: Cedar and Tobacco
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A quiet early evening bike ride underneath Merida’s Arcos de Dragones.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE CICLE CLUB: understated, classic, comfortable
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CICLE CLUB: None found.
BOTTOM LINE: Cicle Club is clearly a gentlemen, but one with a sporty heart. It’s herbal and woody tobacco freshness is perfect in the heat of the summer and for any time of year.
- Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Aromatic Woody
- Nose: Jose Sandovalis
- Classification: Masculine
- Expense: Approximately $50 for 60 ml eau de parfum. Also available in 30 ml.
For more information, please check out the wonderfully historical Sandovalis Perfumes website (in Spanish – easy to translate using Google Chrome).
April 16, 2019 at 4:55 am
How did you find them? Just walked into the store?
It’s great that people are still doing something local, not standardized offerings from the same 10 most popular mass-market brands.
April 17, 2019 at 5:12 pm
Hi Undina – Actually found them online, then it turns out a friend knew Jose. They invited me over to their house (and manufacturing facility!!). They are incredibly nice and incredibly driven by their passion which is just wonderful to see.
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July 9, 2021 at 8:23 am
How can I purchase the Sandovalis Les Jardins De Merida? I bought it on vacation in Tulum and need more!!! I live in the US.
July 12, 2021 at 12:10 am
Hi Laurie – Unfortunately I do not. I do believe at one time I found there was some obscure shop somewhere that was, but I can’t find who that is now. If I ever hear of any place I’ll reach out to you.
July 12, 2021 at 12:11 am
Or more simply, maybe you should take a vacation and head back to Tulum. That actually sounds pretty fantastic!