A Severe Consonant Shortage: Hilde Soliani Doolciiisssimo and Fraaagola Saalaaata
Right off the bat I have to say this: I have never smelled a perfume that smells like both muscle liniment and root beer simultaneously. As a matter of fact I don’t think those two aromas have ever been in my nose at the same time in my entire life, but here they are, in the form of Hilde Soliani’s Doolciiisssimo. Having read Marina’s enthusiastic reviews of some of the other scents in the line, I was keeping an eye out for some of them, and two unfamiliar ones from this tiny Italian niche brand surfaced in a mixed sample lot I found online. I decided not to try to find out more about them until I had tested them, since I was amused and intrigued by their odd names and I like to try out oddball perfumes with as few preconceptions as possible.
With a name that seems to allude to sweetness, I was expecting perhaps some caramel or praline for Doolciiisssimo. The initial blast of something peppery-warm told me right away that this was no ordinary sweet or gourmand perfume. It turned to frothy, foamy old-fashioned root beer in a few moments, and then something weird happened (like root beer perfume is not weird enough) and a medicinal note crept in. About ten minutes in it was very sharp and I almost decided to wash it off it was so penetrating, but I decided to wait it out. After about twenty minutes the components evened out enough to reach a stasis of sorts on my skin. On the one hand there is the smooth, creamy, comforting smell of that “root beer” and on the other there is that background odor of something that you might rub on sore muscles. It’s fascinating in a way, but I am not sure it works as perfume. Has anyone else tried this, and did you get the same thing? Anyway, I looked up the notes after I tested it, and yes there is vanilla, but cherry tobacco and patchouli are the culprits in the liniment accord – it’s like cherry cough medicine, with the patchouli turning it into something camphorous like a chest rub. Maybe it would smell a lot better on someone else, but on me it’s like a trip down the first aid aisle of the drugstore.
Okay, so what about the other one? What’s in Fraaagola Saalaaata besides all the vowels in a Scrabble® game? One whiff and this one was no mystery at all – it was strawberry and nothing but, fresh and sweet. Strawberry is a very frequently misused note in perfume, usually showing up in achingly sugary celebrity scents and entwined with lots of other syrupy fruits and plasticky florals. Here it shines by itself and it reminds me very much like a perfume I used to wear when I was much younger, a long-gone but lovely Fragonard strawberry perfume intended as a first fragrance for young girls. I was already well beyond the target age when I discovered it, but I wore it anyway, enjoying the simple charm of a scent that captured the essence of one of my favorite aromas, ripe wild strawberries. The listed notes of this perfume are simply strawberries and salt. I don’t get anything salty at all from this, as it is really sweet on my skin; nothing briny or even sea-breezy is detectable. I would actually wear this, because there are few things I like more than strawberries in any form. Never mind the loopy name and the girly theme, I am a fan.
The Hilde Soliani perfumes can be found at Luckyscent.
Image credit: Wild Strawberries from Boby Dimitrov’s Flickr photo stream, some rights reserved.