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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hilde Soliani Stecca: Perfume Review

There is no fragrance more joyous, comforting and poignant than that of tomato vines. No fruit more bright and cheerful visually than tomato. No taste more summery. The whole plant is a delight to the senses.

Hilde Soliani's Stecca is an ode to tomato leaf. It is green, fresh, rooty- as true to the smell of the actual vines and leaves as it gets. As it develops and the earthiness subsides a little, one can sense the aroma of fruits themselves; this slightly sweeter and simultaneously salty, juicy note make Stecca softer and, for the lack of a better word, airier, less earth-bound than CB I Hate Perfume's earthy-green masterpiece Memory of Kindness. There isn't much to describe in terms of development: it is the smell of tomato plant in its entirety, earthier and greener in the beginning, somewhat riper n the middle, fresher in the base. The most pleasurable things in life are simple. Stecca is the smell (not a perfume, as in Proper Perfume, but smell) of uncomplicated, childish happiness.

Among his Elementary Odes, Pablo Neruda has the Ode to Tomato, and I will leave you to savor it:

The street
filled with tomatoes
light is
its juice
through the streets.
In December,
the tomato
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
into living flesh,
a cool
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
its flag,
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
at the door,
it's time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth,
and fertile
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.

(translated by Margaret Sayers Peden)

Stecca is available at New London Pharmacy, $175.00 for 100ml.

Other posts dealing with tomato vines and garden theme:

CB I Hate Perfume. Secret History Series

Perfume Review: CB I Hate Perfume Memory of Kindness

The Smell of the Garden

Saint Parfum “Tomato Vine”

Image source,

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Аж слюнки потекли )

9:33 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Завтрак- главный meal дня. Если спать не можешь, хотя бы ешь.

9:34 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Слушаюсь и повинуюсь.)

9:35 PM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Oh goddess...
I must have this......i don't think that I'll sleep until I do:)

9:55 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

YOU must, YOU really must.

9:55 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Oh dear- one of my favorite aromas and tastes in all the world! What a lovely idea for a perfume. The poem sums it all up - I want my summer tomatoes NOW!

10:06 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

ME TOO, Donna! :-)

10:07 PM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

This is great to know about, Marina. I've been looking for tomato vine scents for a friend and she'll be so pleased. People keep recommending Eau de Campagne to me that way, but I find the vine note stronger in the top of L'Ombre Dans L'Eau.

11:26 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Oh, YUM!!! Sounds like the perfect antidote for my impatience as I pray for winter to end. I really look forward to seeing what else Hilde Soliani will be creating in the years to come.

6:03 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

have you got Memory of Kindness for the friend?

6:09 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

What other Solianis do you like?

6:09 PM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Yes! I ended up giving away my decant to her after our initial smelling session because she loved it so, and because it smelled *so* much better on her than it did on me.

You know what's funny about MoK? Both times I've had it, I've given it away almost immediately, without planning to. I look forward to smelling Stecca.

6:17 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Hmm, well, MoK, as much as I LOVE it is often unwearable for me, too poignant. This is one so much more light-hearted.

6:19 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, this sounds wonderful!!!! --Jen

5:04 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

it is very enjoyable

9:10 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

This sounds as if I may crave it, in the filthy Boston summer swelter !

9:17 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

How are you feeling?
Stecca is crave-worthy for sure.

9:20 AM EST  
Blogger danush said...

I have to try it - and in my case the only hope is TPC -which still doesn't have it. Can you compare it to Nina Ricci's Liberte Acidulee - I really like it for this garden theme?

7:16 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am sorry, I don't remember that one at all :-(

9:10 PM EST  
Blogger ninja said...

I am so enamored with Stecca. I also bought Il Tuo Tulipano, which is the juiciest fragrance imaginable...but can't pony up the cash for Stecca, as it's not available in the smaller size that would bring it within the range of the possible. Proper perfume or no, this smell is delicious, summery, fresh without being dewy or melony, or having those indefinable properties of Sea Breeze Skin Toner that I despise in the types of summer fragrances typically hawked on sticky paper foldovers in Vogue. Yech. This one smells like actual summer. Something about the sunwarmed skin of tomato and vine echoes some very plausible recollection of sunwarmed skin of a girl, or more specifically, my own, from summers past. Somehow, although it's the most literal rendering imaginable--and an idolatrous one, as well--of the tomato and vine, it operates on a more impressionistic level with me, too; which is the smell of sunlight itself, of skin that has picked up color, of the smell of tanned skin in the shower in the late afternoon after an eternal summer day outdoors. I googled it in vain hopes of finding the smaller size for purchase, and found some vocal detractors of this, and I am surprised. It is unremittingly delicious to me.

1:41 PM EDT  

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