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Monday, October 20, 2008

In Search of Comfort: Hilde Soliani Bell'Antonio and Carnival Wax 1965

'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 and retails for $175.00 for 3.3oz; Carnival Wax 1965 is sold at, $95.00 for .35oz of oil.

Image by Diego Uchitel.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I may have to get to know this Antonio fella. He sounds like my cuppa coffee. Ciao, bella!

9:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yes, this Antonio fella is hot :-)

9:14 PM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Hey, ladies...move over & share. ;)

Marina, your post is so evocative I've been left thinking I both smell cigarette and need to light one up....

Looks like Solianni's TiAmo led to some action. Followed by a trip to Grandma's kitchen to remind ourselves that we'll always be somebody's little girl, no matter what just happened back in our/his apartment.

9:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love that :-) We'll always need our mamas :-)

9:41 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Я рад, что ты вернулась...к блогу.
Целую неделю кофе было невкусным, потому что было нечего почитать с утренней чашечкой... )

10:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Я рада, что вернулась...к блогу.
Утренняя чашечка кофе - это святое :-)

10:06 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I am also very much in the mood for comfort scents these days and Bell'Antonio is perfection. 1965, however, has not won me over yet. I think it's because I made the mistake of ordering it unsniffed based on the description and you are *so* right about it not matching the copy. It is exactly as you describe it - a scent about cozy kitchen scents. I need to start wearing it w/ that in mind, but I still think I will need to layer it w/ just a bit of a cinnamon scent to punch up that note.

10:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Maybe layer it with something skanky...CB Musk? :-)

10:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

I think I really need some Bell' Antonio right now....lovely images come to mind from reading your words!

The 1965 sounds like my great-aunt's country kitchen, and that was one of my favorite places and smells in my life. If I close my eyes I can smell her famous doughnuts, the best in the world.

12:38 AM EDT  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

Hi dear! Haven't smelled the fragrance, but I saw the movie (by Mauro Bolognoni,1960, written by Pier Paolo Pasolini). This particular Latin Lover is played by Marcello Mastroianni at the peak of his beauty (swoon), but the character is, sadly, not quite what one would expect in the boudoir (even with Claudia Cardinale around).
Seems like the olfactory version is a bit more satisfactory!

3:58 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Homemade doughnuts, mmm :-)

6:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Young Mastroianni *sigh* even if he disappoints, a least he'd be easy on the eye :-)

6:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M, what are these carnival wax scents like? Lasting power? Did yo smell any others? I've been dying to hear about the sugar witch one...!!

10:32 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I have not tried either of these, and now I think that I need to!

1:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Nice to see you back, M!

I've been waiting to get to NYC and smell the Antonio, hoping that New London won't sell out of their bottles before I do. I don't need 100 ml of anything but it doesn't sound like a split would be hard to organize in this crowd...

I will report back on my endeavors next week.

8:30 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is the only one I tried. It lasted quite well.

8:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Antonio- for sure!

8:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Do report!
Till Wednesday?

8:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Jarvis said...

Thanks for reviewing Bell'Antonio, Marina. It is quite lovely, isn't it? Very compelling.

I'm curious about some of the other fragrances in Solinai's Teatro Olfattivo line, in particular the Vecchio Rossi (it's supposed to smell like an old theater).

11:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

After being so impressed with this one, I really want to try the others

6:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Aimée L'Ondée said...

oooh, thanks so much for the review. I've been wanting to try Bell'Antonio, because I've been looking for a great tobacco scent. Would you say this smells like cigarette smoke or aromatic pipe tobacco?

9:10 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

You're Tagged. Sorry.

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

A reason to visit Apothia, surely..

1:33 PM EDT  
Blogger ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

You have been
tagged lovely!

5:01 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is extremely interesting for me to read that article. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to them. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

Best regards

8:26 AM EST  
Anonymous Joye 510 said...

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.

5:11 AM EST  

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