Zenzero by i Profumi di Firenze
Florentine perfumer and founder of i Profumi di Firenze, Dr. Giovanni di Massimo allegedly discovered Medici perfume formulas in 1966, in his apothecary’s basement, in the aftermath of a flood. The fragrances in the i Profumi di Firenze collection are therefore based on actual Medici formulations or on blends popular among the Renaissance nobility. Zenzero (Ginger) is the latest scent in the i Profumi di Firenze fragrance line. According to Isabella Imports, the distributor of i Profumi di Firenze in the US, ginger was a favorite spice ingredient of the Medici family. In Zenzero, white ginger is paired with vanilla to create a perfume that is “as luxurious as the finest cashmere wrap and captures the sensual glamour of a beautiful fall evening.”
Ginger is a spice whose flavor is a combination of sweet and peppery. In the beginning of Zenzero’s development on my skin, ginger shows its peppery side. Zenzero starts rather spicy and dry, almost harsh; however this piquancy subsides within seconds and the ginger note become sweeter as vanilla comes into play. At this point it smells the way crystallized ginger tastes, like ginger that has been cooked in sugar syrup. Unfortunately, in no time at all, ginger practically disappears on my skin, and Zenzero becomes practically a vanilla-only scent. It is pleasant, warm, comforting, not overly foody, in fact a very nice vanilla fragrance. However, Zenzero is the name of this perfume, not Vaniglia, so I would have liked for the title note to stay around longer.
I wouldn’t argue with the official description that likens Zenzero to a cashmere wrap, but I would respectfully disagree that there is anything glamorous in this fragrance. Zenzero is a very enjoyable scent, it is comforting, warm, and pretty, but nothing in it suggests glamour. It is a mystery to me, why this simple two-note comfort scent was described in these terms, but marketing people do move in mysterious ways and anyway the lack of glamour was not the reason of my disappointment with Zenzero. I cannot get over the fact that ginger note disappears completely on my skin; there already exists a very nice vanilla scent in the i Profumi di Firenze Collection, Vaniglia del Madagascar and this is what I would rather buy, should the vanilla mood strike me. For now, Talco Delicato remains my favorite in the line, a fine example of a subtly gourmand comfort scent. As for ginger, for now I will stick with my Mandragore by Annick Goutal.
Any suggestions of scents with the prominent (and lasting) ginger note are most welcome!
Zenzero is available exclusively at Barneys and retails for $79.00 for 1,7oz. Samples of all I Profumi di Firenze scents can be purchased from Isabella Imports for $1.50 each.
*The photo of iPdF scents is from isabellaimports.com. The photo of crystallized ginger is from the wonderful site templespice.com