'Tis was a winter of discontent, an up and down spring, and a cruel summer. Fall 2008 finishes the cataclysmic year on a fittingly destructive note. What does a perfume lover do in a situation like that? Well, she goes in search for new comfort scents. Hilde Soliani Bell'Antonio and Carnival Wax 1965, which I tried thanks to my wonderful friend Elle, provide comfort in two very different ways, both tremendously satisfying.
Bell'Antonio, is "focused on multi-nuanced aromatic tobacco and dark roasted coffee" (and that's exactly what it smells like, of not excessively tarry tobacco and hints of coffee). I can't think of two smells more attractive on their own, but bring them together and ...well, I can only describe the result as an olfactory, um, climax. Having said that, sensuality is not what Bell'Antonio all about for me, or not primarily anyway. Imagine that you are dating somebody who has to travel a lot, and he smokes (and you like the scent of cigarettes, of course). And when he is away and you go to sleep, you lie down on his side of the bed and on his pillow still lingers delicately the scent of his skin, his perfume and his cigarettes...that unique fragrance that is unlike anybody else's. You curl up under the blanket, you inhale that aroma and you are instantly comforted...or you put on one of his sweaters bearing the traces the same warm, elegant smoky perfume, and it is as if he is right next to you... That is Bell'Antonio. A masculine fragrance created to be worn by women.
Whereas Bell'Antonio was comfort given by a man you love, Carnival Wax 1965 is, to me, the kind of comfort one would find in the arms and the house of one's mother or grandma. Now, if you go to Apothia and read the description of 1965 (all about hustlers, red skirts and booze), you'd get a very different impression of the scent. I don't know what kind of booze the copywriters were drinking, because there is nothing slutty, dirty or even a tiny bit sexy about this scent. This is the smell of the kitchen where blinis were being made, a buttery, sweet aroma of dough, vanilla and spices...and the smell of the skin of the baker, soft, infinitely familiar and absolutely comforting.
Hilde Soliani Bell'Antonio is exclusive to newlondonpharmacy.com and retails for $175.00 for 3.3oz; Carnival Wax 1965 is sold at ronrobinsoninc.com, $95.00 for .35oz of oil.
Image by Diego Uchitel.