3 novembre 2010

Ottone and Porcellana by Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella has decided to start celebrating its fourth centenary (it was founded in 1612) two years before, with the launch of two brand new Colognes "Ottone" and "Porcellana." Fourth centenary. It sounds fascinating even writing it: there’s no other company in the perfume sector -worldwide- which can boast such a long history. And even longer, actually, because some types of work related to herbs and their preparation had already started a few centuries earlier.

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.
Both Colognes are bright and light, they will appeal to those who seek for discretion and "lift".
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.
B
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.
Happy Birthday!

2 commenti:

DAVID McGRIEVEY ha detto...

I wear their vetiver cologne, I always pick up a bottle when in Italy. The best shop of course is in Florence but I have purchased it in Venice as well. I also bought their lavendar toothpaste and smelling salts. I do not need smelling salts but the bottle and the case it comes in was too hard to resist.
X David, NYC

Bergamotto e Benzoino ha detto...

Hi David, welcome! I did the same wiht the Aceto da Toilette (Vinegar for Toilette). I dont' use it but the bottle was simply so stately beautiful I couldn't resist.
I also use their Triple Extraction of Violette, which is woody and sort of balsamic, really refined and (not rètro in the least). Will definitely give their vetiver a try, thank you for the suggestion!