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Friday, January 21, 2011

Fête Accompli: Hilde Soliani Conaffetto

By Marina

Falling in love with one orange blossom scent was surprising, falling for another one is really pushing it for me. Add to that a renewed interest in jasmine and a sudden craving for roses...Body rebelling against winter, refusing to seek comfort in the usual warm-resinous cold -weather comfort scents and instead trying to find it in an escape to ever-blossoming, ever-summery nevernever lands?

Conaffetto is certainly escapist. It might not carry you to a faraway exotic paradise. It would take you as far as down your memory lane or down the path of your imagination, to "that place between sleep and awake where you still remember dreaming", where images of real, imagined, read-about-in-books, seen-in-movies childhood excitement and happiness dwell. Conaffetto is a smell of a Fête, which you maybe experienced or maybe only hoped to experience, a perfect celebration or an ideal carnival, where everyone is happy, clowns are not creepy, each throw of a dart wins you a stuffed animal, cotton candy never melts and the air is fragrant with trees in bloom. (As an aside, fragrance has been inspired by a wedding, and it certainly fits that inspiration just as well, just replace clowns with uncles.)

After smelling first of sugar, plain and simple, then of bitter-sweet almonds, then of sugared almonds...a startlingly true-to-life replication of those candies ubiquitous to certain events, which, at real life celebrations, look better than they taste, much like most wedding and birthday cakes (but not at this Fête!), Conaffetto transforms into an orange blossom dominated composition. I probably wouldn't recommend this to someone seeking an almond scent, the realistic almondy feel is too short-lived for that, but certainly would to someone looking for an interesting take on fleur d'oranger.

Funny as it might sound, even sugar doesn't make the blend smell overly sweet, and orange blossom puts a stop to any potential veering towards sweetness by being tangy, fresh and verdant. What intrigues me in this perfume the most is an unexpectedly raw, dare I say almost earthy feel...Does anyone remember Sloth by S-Perfume? The sadly discontinued Wasser's creation had a unique undertone, which I called "boiled courgettes"...I could also call it "boiled potato skins"...As it was the case with Sloth, this raw aspect brings a tinge of melancholy to the otherwise joyful Conaffetto. Nothing too existentially heavy here though, this is the melancholy of realization that it's late, and the Carnival is closing for tonight...but you know that tomorrow is another day and the Fête will go on.

I believe that Conaffetto will be available later this year, probably from the usual Soliani stockists like Luckyscent and New London Pharmacy.

Image, Ocean Club Sea Carnival by Sally Caldwell Fisher.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your description reminds me of Peter Pan, "that place between wakefullnes and sleep" I am currently reading it to my son, this sounds like the perfect scent to accompany it.

2:58 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

that' where it's from! And this definitely would be a great goodnight story scent :)

7:28 AM EST  
Blogger Katy Josephine said...

What a beautiful review! I particularly like the twist at the end of the 'realization it's late and the Carnival is closing for the night...

Now, you have my attention.

7:59 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I'd have been uncomfortable with a scent that was happy start to finish :) Just like with people who are always perky :)

8:04 AM EST  
Anonymous Victoria said...

It sounds so wonderful, so alluring. I agree with you that there comes a point when the whole being begins to rebel against winter. Even in my case of someone who adores snow and winter. :)

8:23 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I thought this winter I'd like winter, with snow and all, because I'd be inside. But then one starts to worry about the family members driving in snow, being stuck on a subway, being cold on the way to school etc...ugh....UPS can't deliver because of "extreme conditions" etc.

8:26 AM EST  
Blogger ScentScelf said...


It sounds ridiculous. It also sounds like I want to smell it.

Winter can play strange tricks...or perhaps, it is the perfume's fault, taking advantage of winter?

BTW, for fans and those with interest in literature for the younger set...when the time has come to move past Peter Pan...there is a book by Michael Chabon, Summerland, which gets catalogued as young adult fiction, but is a wonderful other sort of neverneverland for anyone to find themselves in. I mean, crossing over to another reality, and giants and trolls and baseball and what amounts to a quest that can really only be solved by someone who is still in their youth, but rather astute and mature?

Hmmm. Maybe I should re-read, with Conaffetto on my wrist. :)

11:43 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Michael Chabon The Dumbledore? :) I'm there! :)

11:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

" ideal carnival, where everyone is happy, clowns are not creepy, each throw of a dart wins you a stuffed animal, cotton candy never melts and the air is fragrant with trees in bloom."

What a sweet, dreamy description! I just love your reviews and am so happy to be reading them again!

12:36 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you very much, Suzanne!
And I am always looking forward to your new posts in Perfume Journal.

12:47 PM EST  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Ah! You've stumbled into my favorite mixing of the week...Dumbledore and "Kavalier & Clay."

Michael Gambon is the actor who took over the role of Dumbledore; Michael Chabon is an author whose books include "Wonder Boys," "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," various writings for McSweeney's, etc.

I now want to have both over for tea. I may spritz them with Conaffetto just to add another measure of surreal. :)

(I have to confess, despite a long and impressive career, I would not have so easily accessed "Gambon" in my head had it not been for Potter...)

1:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

What a delightful description! I would love to try this alongside L'Artisan's Jour de Fete, with its sweet Jordan Almond impression.

4:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

do you like almond? I discovored another almond scent today, Keni by DSH. Do you know it?

4:32 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh Shelley,
shame on me! *crawls back under rock* :)))

4:35 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan almonds are a snack I really love; when I got married, they were everywhere---the rest of the food was Mediterranean themed---and before the wedding I ate TONS of them... It's too bad that the note doesn't stick around, but I'll look forward to smelling it anyway! :)

10:07 PM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

"replace with Uncles"


You are in such fine form... I don't know if I want to smell this but I loved reading about it!

11:23 PM EST  
Blogger EauMG said...

A carnival where clowns aren't creepy? I could go there!
I always thought I disliked orange blossom/neroli scents but they have grown on me.

12:06 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I go on and off them, apparently it's an on period :)

6:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

:)) Thank you!!!

7:04 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Do you like almond scents? If so, do try Keni by DSH, it is so almondy and the note sticks around.

7:05 AM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

I love, love, love your description! I hope some day you'll write a novel, Marina, because I know it would be magical and enchanting!
I'm wishing Conaffetto were oil based because it sounds like just the scent to put in my diffuser to bring sunshine indoors- earthiness and all!
Thank you for such delightful images! I know I'm going to think of, and be tickled by them, throughout the day :-)

10:14 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh thank you so much!

12:35 PM EST  

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