Italian Cities Perfumes
After 26 years living in Italy, I would like to pay homage its soul with a great fresco, composed of 5 precious fragrances that will celebrate some of the country’s most beloved cities: Milan, Venice, Rome, Florence and Naples.
It is, I hope and believe, to my advantage that my knowledge of Italy, intimate though it is, rests upon my experiences as a man who was not born here. That slight distance allows me to contemplate the land I love with a measure of objectivity, and to take note of some aspects of its character that might be so obvious as to be invisible to one who was raised here.
The symbol of the city of Florence is the Lilly: “il Giglio”, which grows spontaneously in the valley of the Arno river and in the hills around the city. It is in reality Iris. From its dried roots is extracted the most expensive of all perfumery materials, the concrete and the absolute of “Orris”. Worth four times its weight in gold.
Iris is the noblest of all botanical essence, its extract is to botanical essences what Muskdeer is to animal scents. The noblest and most precious.
The next fragrance is dedicated to one of the world’s most beautiful cities: Venice. “Venezia, Giardini segreti” is inspired by the “corti” — the courts of Venice that contain its secret gardens, hidden within the maze of the city — and particularly to the imaginary “Corte Sconta detta Arcana” of the “Favola di Venezia” di Corto Maltese, first discovered in the recesses of Hugo Pratt’s mind, and illustrated by his hand.
“When the Venetians grow tired of the established authorities,” he writes, “they walk to these 3 secret places and, opening the doors that are in the bottom of these courts, they go away forever into beautiful places and other stories.”
“Palermo Don Corleone” was composed during a Sicilian summer holiday. The predilection that Sicilians have for the Vanilla note reveals a psychology very different from what we imagine about them.
I smelled so many Vanilla accords in the wake of Sicilians men and women that I felt challenged to compose a Vanilla theme perfume, which I never attempted before.