17 aprile 2012

Chinotto in Fiore/Blooming Chinotto (Abaton)


Chinotto, a kind of bitter orange, is a beautiful, intensely golden citrus fruit, especially used in gardens as an ornamental plant, due to its fragrant and abundant flowers.
I knew the history of Chinotto in the city of Savona is important, because the “canditori” (confiteurs) had been able to find a way to transform its extremely bitter fruits into delicacies to be enjoyed at the table, which were appreciated throughout Europe throughout the '800 and beginning of' 900.
But in addition to eating it, Chinotto may be enjoyed a drink, characterized by an aromatic, energizing taste. I suggest you to try the one by Lurisia (leftside pic, website here): I always keep a couple of bottles home, as my husband is very fond of it.





What I didn't know, however, is that even the Chinotti may be processed to extract the essential oil (flowers, leaves, rind of the fruit). Perhaps processing Chinotti is more complicated than processing other citruses, or perhaps given the triumph of citrus essential oils already existing, none had felt the need to add that too. Yet its scent is delightful, dry and bitter, not too citrusy and without the rough-green facet you find in petitgrain.
I'm writing about this because Abaton (website here) devoted a scent to Chinotto, called "Chinotto in Fiore/Chinotto Blooming” I'm wearing these days (I think it's an edt). 
I like the aromatic top accord, so fresh, bitter and dry, qualities which aren't found so easily grouped together in a single scent. In addition to citrus fruits I also detect artemisia, helichrysum, rosemary, sage, myrtle perhaps, and this aromatic top connects very well with the heart/base notes, through woods and resins (I smell cedarwood, benjoin and a tobacco note), which warm up the scent and bring it into a more meditative and profound state, reminiscent of a meditation brandy.
The notes selected are very traditional, and the whole structure is quite classical, too (ie, the scent features a fresh top accord, which then warms up becoming woody and balsamic in the base) even if the feelings it provides is definitely modern and kind of "sartorial", without overdoing it. 
Simple, classic and energetic, Chinotto in Fiore is not a particularly challenging scent, yet is enjoyable, especially on men's skin, where, imho, it gives its best. Try it if you can!

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