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Monday, October 30, 2006

Perfume Review: i Profumi di Firenze Mirra, Incenso and Cuoio di Russia

i Profumi di Firenze is an astoundingly prolific line that lists over forty fragrances on their site and apparently has many more available in their store in Florence. About thirty of their scents are sold in the States, and, as far as I am concerned, not the most exciting ones. How many variously numbered Florentias does one need, when there are many other more seemingly exciting fragrances available, like Russian Leather, Desert Jasmine, Bitter Wood, Red Patchouly, Incenso, just to name a few. Mirra, a new scent that is being added to the line in the US, is one of the i Profumi di Firenze fragrances that I always hoped would be sold here. Featuring Ethiopian myrrh, incense, wood and vanilla, this is a warm, cuddly, delicately powdery, sweet scent. If rich brown velvet ornamented with gold had its olfactory equivalent, this would be it. Mirra is sumptuous but not heady, comfortingly sweet but not cloying. It is not particularly complex, mostly I smell languid, honeyed myrrh and quite a bit of vanilla, but it smells plush, it is smoothly blended and overall is a very attractive scent indeed. The only thing I would say against it is that it has rather poor lasting power on my skin.

Thanks to the kindness of a wonderful fellow perfume addict, I got to sample two more I Profumi di Firenze scents not (yet?) available in the US. Incenso is interesting to me, because, unlike many incense-heavy scents, although it most definitely smells “churchy”, it is neither melancholy nor “dark”. This is a scent of a church at Christmas time, brightly lit with candles, ornamented with colorful red, green and gold wreaths, full of rejoicing and festive spirit. I smell a very strong woody-balsamic note here, so the church in question is freshly built of pine. Like most i Profumi di Firenze scent, Incenso does not have a complex composition, but it smells wonderful. I wish a bottle was waiting for me underneath a Christmas tree this year.

Russian Leather aka Cuoio di Russia is the “non-export” i Profumi di Firenze scent I wanted to try the most. Ironically, it was the one that I liked the least. It has a very nice citrusy beginning that is “candied” in the same way that the citrus accord in L.T. Piver’s Cuir de Russie is candied, which is a quality I like. The leather is fairly smoky. There is even a certain incensey undertone that is certainly attractive. But on the whole the blend seems to be a little watery, a little pale, not intense and rich enough. Still, it is more interesting to me than the numerous florals that the line exports to the States, and if it was sold here, I would have probably bought it.

Finally, I wanted to address the question of the price of i Profumi di Firenze scents. On the iPdF site (erbitalia.com) they are sold for…wait for it…€18.00, which is about $23.00. In the States, however, the price is $79.00. You do the math. And yes, I know that the profit must be made, but what other line is sold for almost four times of its “domestic” price? Ridiculous. Still, since Dr. Di Massimo refuses to sell online to the American customers, I suppose we will just have to grin and bear and keep paying these inflated prices.

Mirra is available on Beautyhabit.com, $79.00 for 50ml.

The image is from isabellaimports.com

20 Comments:

Blogger tmp00 said...

Too bad there's nothing I can think of that we could exchange to hungry European buyers to make a perfume undergound railroad.

10:57 PM EST  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

Ok, you've convinced me to take out the samples and finally try them. I have been so unimpressed with I Profumi that any samples that have been coming my way recently just ended up neglected. Must try them at last!

1:01 AM EST  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

We are exactly in accord! I really love Mirra; it's not complex, as you say, but I think it's unique scent that's very warm and comforting! And I, too, was disappointed in the Russian leather--it was not bad, but could have been amped up several more notches. On the other hand, I enjoyed Incenso more than I thought I would. Again, a linear scent--but a very nice one! But Mirra is my favorite!

7:03 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Most of the scents from this line have either bored me to tears or I've actively disliked them, so I haven't paid any attention to the buzz around Mirra. Obviously, I need to keep an open mind. Sounds divine! And Incenso sounds fab as well. I've seen the Cuio di Russie on ebay and have been tempted just becaue I'm always tempted by anything titled Russian Leather, but refrained due to it being an iPdF - am glad I held back in this case. Am actually quite tempted by the description I read of Miele Rosa. Have you tried it?

7:20 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

They have maybe 30 (or more?) scents in the store in Florence, and had I known how few and which ones are imported here, I'd have worked harder. They're not sophisticated scents, and some seem frankly not much above the quality of whatever they're selling at my co-op in terms of perfumer "art." But I think the tiny bottles of concentrata they sell are perfect -- the smell is concentrated, meant to scent a bottle of lotion or oil. They were 11 euros, maybe? (sob) Florence is so wonderful, I'll get back there eventually.

7:42 AM EST  
Anonymous newproducts said...

Mirra was a little like soda (Sprite to be exact) on my skin, and coupled with its buttery sweetness, it is a bit much for me, though I still find it comforting. I am experimenting layering with it (you know me!:)). I tried it with Fumerie Turque, which is all smokiness on me with only a mere hint of sweet. The combination was quite nice, though a little odd. I will try more combos later. :)

10:07 AM EST  
Blogger AnnE said...

I agree, Mirra is a nice, simple, comfort scent. I tend to like my fragrances more complex.

I own a couple of others from iPdF, and I hardly ever reach for them anymore. I'm finding the line pretty for the most part, but not memorable. Plus, when I found out what the mark-up was for the American market, that really turned me off. I know that companies have to make a profit, but it seems to me that this gets into the gouging territory.

10:15 AM EST  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Mirra sounds gorgeous but the mark-up is a real off putter.

11:25 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Tom,
HUngry European buyers, haha *cries thinking of all the foods They have and We don't*

11:57 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Vika,
I am rather unimpressed myself. Well, perhaps better to say- no excited by IPdF. And these three are nothing exceptional either, but they are rather more interesting than the floral-fruity-citrusy stuff they already sell here.

11:58 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
Mirra is a compfort scent and those work they best when they are no complex, right? Russian Leather was such a let down. :-( Have you tried Piver's Cuir? I know not many people like it, because of that candied citrus accord, but I love it. Well this oen was like a plain, dull younger sister of Piver's Cuir de Russie.

12:00 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
It's not divine, but it is very nice :-) It's cuddly but not too casual, you know? I think it would be great in winter.
I haven't tried Miele Rose...is it supposed to be a Dark Rose? :-)

12:01 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
When you go back to Florence...I might ask you to buy some of these for me :-)

12:03 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

M,
The combo sounds heavenly, actually! I want to try doing that too!

12:04 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

A,
The mark up is shameless. Just shameless. The scents are just not worth $80. Oh well.

12:05 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Jennifer,
It should be priced like Erbolario or Speziali Fiorentini, somewhere in the region of $40-ish. There's no way I'd shell out $80 for this simple albeit lovely little scent. I am waiting for a sale somewhere :-)

12:06 PM EST  
Anonymous Teri said...

I smell a shamelessly rich middleman somewhere in the distribution channel for these scents.

Hmmm....that sounds like an idea for a men's fragrance. Shamelessly Rich Middleman. No worse than Rich Hippie, right? lol

12:47 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Teri,
LOL! Yeah...can't imagine what it would smell like, apart from "in your face" rich. :-)

12:55 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Late to the party again...but if you don't like Mirra, it lasts forever. I am just not a myrrh person.

12:22 PM EST  
Anonymous Carol Sasich said...

I will happily pick up something for you next month in Florence...I will be in NYC all day July 5 if you want to connect.

8:16 AM EDT  

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