3 novembre 2010
Ottone and Porcellana by Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella
The names "Ottone" and "Porcellana” (“Brass” and “Porcelain”) were chosen because they remind typical manufactures of countries with which, back in the eighteenth century, the Officina used to have business contacts: Ottone recalls northern Europe, while the name Porcellana is a homage to Far East.
Of the two, Porcellana is the more immediately pleasurable: it opens with delicate notes of white flowers, but what makes the fragrance interesting is the heart, where star anise and cardamom (two "cold" spices) beat in unison with a note of bitter almond, thus giving a mixed sensation: soft and powdery with a gourmand side on one hand, and sharp-spicy on the other. I also detect an ozonic note that immerses the fragrance in a millions sea waves splashes. The result is delicate, poudrèe, romantic, perfect for wintertime because it suggests comfort and warmth, but I see it very well in spring, too because being a Cologne, it doesn't fall into the "too much" effect.
ut I definetly prefer “Ottone” because it possesses a somewhat timeless appeal. It can be described as the more "masculine" of the two because of green and vigorous notes: the composition opens with bitter citrus (bergamot and petit grain), along with dry and aromatic notes such as oregano, spices like cinnamon, cloves and red pepper. The bottom strikes pleasantly with beautiful cedarwood and incense giving a very austere touch. I also enjoied a slight leathery note, adding severity and rigor. The composition results bright, bitter, dry, quite sophisticated. Being a Cologne it's at all times light and unobtrusive: the same composition in a higher percentage would’ve given me greater satisfaction, you know that I'm not the Cologne type. But here there’s a huge amount of style and I must admit that.
If you have a dad with sound classic tastes (classic but not rètro, because there's nothing rètro here: both Colognes are deliberately modern), a boyfriend/husband wearing tailored suits, or a girlfriend/wife of strong character and good taste this might be a nice gift.
The creator of the two fragrances is Eugenio Alphandery, director and co-owner of the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (website here), which also created the bottles, made in limited quantity and hand-numbered.