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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cale Fragranze d'Autore Mistero: Perfume Review

Calé Fragranze d'Autore, an Italian line established by Silvio Levi, is another "library of fragrances", probably inspired by Malle's example. Each scent narrates a story, and Dr. Levi is the narrator. Take that as you will.

Mistere narrates a story of A Man, "but above all that part of him that we would like to discover." It's up to you to decide what part that is, and you don't have to tell me. Mistere attracted me initially with what I can only describe as a smell of sorrel, and I felt compelled to discover if the rest of is equally delicious. The sour aroma of sorrel is absolutely irresistible for me, it reminds me of childhood, of my mother's sorrel pies and sorrel soups. Mistere offers both on its menu.

The sweet, slightly boozy, tangy top notes of rum, rhubarb and mint are the pie, the mouthwatering, candied and green-tasting confection. As the composition progresses, it becomes more savory, spicier, drier, greener still. That is the soup. Pimento, which I adore, is very noticeable, as is saffron. The piquant, nose-tingling freshness of one and the raw sweetness of the other are incredibly attractive together. Those who like rice in perfume, should certainly give Mistere a try: half-way through the scent's development, the note appears, slightly powdery and comforting as ever, made interesting by the presence of spices. First in Fragrance mention a "hazelnut" undertone, and it is there indeed. The wood-amber accord in the base does have a certain nutty quality. The overall effect is complex: the blend moves suprisingly smoothly from sweet-n-sour gourmandness, to verdant spiciness, to rich, musky, mossy woodiness.

If I had to narrate the story of Mistero man, I would make him a chef and a family guy, warm, strong, reliable, with gentleness that is all the more charming, because it is so unexpected undeneath the burly-sexy, no-nonsense exterior. That gentleness, the playful aromatic sweetness of the scent and the fluffy softness of rice and woods also make Mistere entirely wearable for a woman.

Available at First in Fragrance, €65.00-€90.00.

Other perfumes in which I smell "sorrel": Guerlain Djedi and L'Âme d'Un Héros, Lalique Encre Noir.

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Blogger Flora said...

Delicious! I also love sorrel, I would pick it and eat it raw when i was a kid. Add the rice and saffron and Mistero sounds truly original!

12:23 AM EDT  
Blogger rebella said...

Sounds very interesting, but what is sorrel!?

2:34 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I adore sorrel soup! Yum! And I'd not thought of it, but you're so right - I do think that sorrel is part of what I love in Djedi. I also need to resniff Encre Noir w/ sorrel in mind.
I just ordered a sample of Mistero yesterday from TPC. Can't wait for it to arrive! *Hope* it will show up at LS before long.

6:27 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

That sounds really interesting and rather strange in a very exotic way! Loved the review!!!!!

8:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

My mouth is watering just thinking about chewing on raw sorrel :-)

8:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...


8:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...


8:31 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope so too, I am still debating on other scents in this line, but this was a standout

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It probably sounds more exotic than it is. It is actually more a comfort of familiar type of thing.

8:32 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How very curious. I would be interested in testing this. I don't detect sorrel in Encre Noir but might have to retry. Drinking sorrel with rum is wonderful and puts you in a 'Jump-Up' frame of mind! Now there's something to wear to the Jump-Up too!

lovethescents (I forgot my password again!)

8:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Sorrel with rum? How's that? The recipe please! :-)

8:43 AM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Whoa! What in the world? Must go discover another branch of the perfume tree...

11:31 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second Rebella's question: what is sorrel? And what does it taste like, if you can describe it in words (it's no harder to describe tastes than scents, is it?)

11:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Sometimes, I feel I am so behind in keeping up with new brands, I feel I can't keep up. Nor want to :-)

12:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It tastes green and sour. I posted a link in reply to rebella.

12:03 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Love the picture, and the description.

The sorrel is making me a bit melancholy ,I confess.
So close to Mother's Day...

I used to go out of my way, to concoct the soup for my late MIL from Kaunas, and for my own, recently deceased mother.

3:23 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aw, I am sorry :-((

9:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marina,

Sorrel drink is enjoyed throughout most of the Caribbean at Christmas time--and Carnival/Jump-Up too. Here is one of my favorite recipes, which happens to be a Trini one:

About 1 inch ginger, sliced
1 cup dried sorrel petals
1 tablespoon cloves
Brown sugar syrup (1 cup water + 1 lb brown sugar boiled together)
Dark rum

1. Let ginger sit for 2 to 3 hours.
2. Boil ginger in 2 litres of water.
3. Once water is boiling, add sorrel and cloves.
4. Boil for 30 minutes.
5. Cover tightly and steep overnight.
6. Strain and add sugar syrup and rum to taste.
7. Chill and serve.

Some people add orange zest before steeping as well. It's up to you. You should be able to find the dried petals at a Caribbean store. Enjoy!


8:15 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It sounds amazing, thank you!

8:20 AM EDT  

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