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Monday, November 26, 2007

Perfume Review: Domenico Caraceni

Sometimes ignorance is a blessing. Not knowing any background info on a brand, notes, etc, allows one to smell a perfume with a fresh nose, so to say. Not, to my shame, being familiar with Domenico Caraceni, upon sniffing their eponymous blend, I decided it was a feminine fragrance, and the rare species at that - a chypre. Have I done my homework before sniffing, I would have realized that a line that, since 1913, has been specializing in custom tailored suits, would probably release a masculine perfume as their signature. And indeed, according to First in Fragrance, Domenico Caraceni Eau de Toilette is "a classic composition for the elegant gentleman with a great style."

A woman-fan of chypres, however, will not find this fairly dry, not particularly floral and beautifully understated scent to be any harder to wear than Y, Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum, Crêpe de Chine...and would certainly consider it much easier going than Bandit. The frankincense note is apparent, on my skin, from the very start, and, combined with the beautifully bright bitterness of petit grain, it creates, in the top notes, an accord that is something in between black tea and whiskey. Geranium and rose perform wonderfully together, bringing to the scent a deep, earthy floral undertone. The thorny quality of the flowers is underscored by the presence of spicy, somewhat pine-like aroma of cypress. I don't know whether the composition actually contains any of the classic chypre ingredients such as, first and foremost, oakmoss, but, whatever ingredients were used to achieve that effect, the base notes of Domenico Caraceni, do have, to my nose, a mossy, ambery feel and the restrained elegance of a proper chypre. Classically structured and classically refined, but with a bit of a quirky twist (incense!), Domenico Caraceni was a delightful discovery for me. Highly recommended, for men and women alike.

Domenico Caraceni is available at First in Fragrance, €79.00 for 100ml.

22 Comments:

Blogger marchlion said...

Well, it doesn't sound like "me," exactly, but it does sound beautiful, and I like that bottle very much.

And it is fun, isn't it, smelling something you don't really know anything about, and then getting the back story?

PS There's something flukey going on with your word verify, at least for me. It doesn't show up the first time, I had to try, get turned down, then re-enter.

10:12 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

March,
I guess blogger is acting up as usual, sorry about that!

I have always wondered, if I knew nothing about MoslBudWhatever scent by Elternhouse and about the whole By Kilian and Etat Libre lines, would I have liked the perfumes better? :-)

10:23 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

New lemming alert sirens are going off all over the place. Sounds truly amazing!

10:34 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

L,
As a newborn geranium lover :-), you'll at least like this one for sure :-)

10:38 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Oh my, this sounds perfect! Never heard of the brand at all. Is it likely to come to the States?

11:10 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

R,
I don't know! Maybe if Luckyscent, for example, will decide to carry it? Let's hope!

11:11 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Never heard of this one, either--and it does sound PERFECT! Thank you--I guess>:)

12:07 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

J,
I can totally imagine you liking and wearing it!

12:15 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Not sure that this would work on me with the geranium.

At least that's what I am telling myself. Must. Not. Buy. Perfume...

12:17 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Tom,
When the chaos that is the Holiday Season is over, I will be happy to send you my sample. Unless you manage to sniff it before then!

12:20 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Well, knowing *nothing* would have had to include not knowing even the name of some of those scents. The name of MusBuddhJewThing makes me grit my teeth, I don't even need to visit their website...

I did re-smell the Etat Putain the last time I was in NYC and was surprised, spraying it on, how lovely it was.

1:50 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

March,
'Tis true (re: the names not re: the loveliness of Putain :-))

1:55 PM EST  
Blogger Solander said...

Ooh, it sounds about as nice as that tailored suit! Too bad I already made my Perfumed Court order, or it would have gone in my shopping cart...

5:01 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

T,
You can also get it from First in Fragrance :-)

5:21 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Oh boy, here we go again. This is RIGHT up my alley. Very expert and evocative review of something I had never heard of. Chypre with incense? I am so there!

1:59 AM EST  
Blogger Faizan said...

This is great stuff. I guess you can thank Basenotes for introducing this to you ;)

2:30 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Faizan,
I am thankful to Basenotes for many things, but this one I discovered thanks to a lovely Makeupalley member :-D

6:46 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Donna,
Yeah! There is a good chance it might be coming to our shores soonish!

6:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Len said...

I purchased this cologne in Venice this summer and was also unfamiliar with the house and the designer until I Googled his name. The fragrance is indeed a spicy one, but subtle, and is what I consider the perfect man's fragrance for fall and winter.

9:20 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Len,
It definitely is!

8:48 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, now that I have my sample of this, I am addicted. Of course, living in the U.S., I'm SOL. Any suggestions for a good substitute that would be a little easier to obtain? Thanks in advance!

-Existentialist

12:13 PM EST  
Anonymous Euro Tailors said...

Well it sounds really great!

1:51 PM EDT  

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