Perfume Review: Il Profumo Ambre d'Or, Chocolate Frais, Patchouli Noir and Vetiver de Java
Il Profumo is an Italian company, a brainchild of the perfumer Silvana Casoli. The scents are inspired “by the rhythm and the scented messages coming from nature”; they are divided into three groups, Classic Line, Osmo Line, and Floreal Scents. The latter apparently have the maximum concentration of essence obtained from petals of freshly picked flowers. Osmo Line has a complicated-sounding premise, which I invite you to study in detail at Il Profumo site. Basically, the Osmo perfumes are unique due to a special “preparation formula , with a slow “evaporation curve”, which allows a very intimate and sophisticated use of the perfume, defined at “short range”… I am sure you understood that just as well as I did.
Tom talked about Musc Bleu and I once wrote about the rather interesting if not entirely wearable Encens Epice. Today I am briefly reviewing four more Il Profumos.
Ambre d’Or. Rich, sweet, almost sugary amber, it becomes more resinous and balsamic as it develops, and dries down to a cuddly, fluffy ambery-vanillic blend. The official list promises a wide and very appealing array of notes: mandarin, white peach, grey amber, ambrette, datura (!), opium flowers (!!), white iris, myrrh, rose wood, patchouli leaves macerated in citrus fruits and honey…but all I get is basically amber, more amber, vaguely fruity sweetness (that would be mandarin) and vanilla. Amber “soliflores” are not my thing, as you can plainly see by the fact that I have next to nothing to say about this attractive but ultimately (for me!) boring fragrance. Objectively speaking, however, I believe that amber aficionados would love Ambre d’Or.
Chocolat Frais. Let’s say you are a big fan of Angel. And let’s say you are just not satisfied with the amount and variety of Angel-like scents on the market. You have tried every fragrance that smells like it, offered by mainstream brands, found in Sephora, Nordstom and at Sentiments.com. Well then, here is a new, obscure, niche treat for you! I am not saying that Chocolat Frais is absolutely identical to Angel. For one, it is not nearly as sumptuous. It is paler, a little more delicate and with a more pronounced berry accord…but if a person next to me in an elevator was wafting the Chocolat Frais sillage, no way would I have been able to guess that it was a hard-to-find Italian concoction inspired by “the scented messages coming from nature” and not Angel or one of its garden varieties. So if you are one of the Angel Collectors, get thee to Luckyscent.com. If, however, you feel that perhaps there are already a million too many Angel-like perfumes… Chocolat Frais is probably not for you.
Vetiver de Java. Vetiver marinated in dill, was my first, bizarre impression. After the bracing, herbal, sharp beginning, when Vetiver de Java smells like it would go nicely with Vodka, the scent becomes smoother, “rounder”, sweeter even. On my skin, Vetiver de Java has a hazy, shapeless feel of a fragrance abandoned half-way before completion by its bored creators. Strong, at times even aggressive, it is strangely characterless and was a big disappointment for this fan of vetiver.
Patchouli Noir. All that talk about the maximum concentration of essence and a slow evaporation curve couldn’t have been just marketing blah-blah, now could it? At least one of the Il Profumo scents I tried had to deliver, and Patchouli Noir certainly did. I am not a fan of straight patch at all, but even I can appreciate the attractiveness of the note here. The rich, dark scent portrays beautifully the two sides of patchouli, the almost-gourmand warmth and the mentholated, dry coolness, combining a bitter, lush chocolate-like undertone with a nose-chilling camphorous leitmotif. Unbelievably gorgeous, it is a must for patch-hags, and even I am tempted to get a bottle.
Ambre d’Or and Chocolate Frais are sold at Luckyscent.com, $80.00 and $90.00 for 100ml respectively. Vetiver de Java (€ 84.00-109.00) and Patchouli Noir (€ 109.00) are available at First in Fragrance.