Meet Giovanni Sammarco. He’s an independent indie perfumer and comes from Italy. Giovanni has a master degree in law but he’s very passionate about perfumery. Because of the strict regulations regarding fragrances, he decided to move to Switzerland this year, where he says it’s much easier to make artisanal perfumes and where a greedy hand of restrictions won’t reach him.
Couple of weeks ago Giovanni approached me by sending an email. In it he offered to send me samples of his artisanal perfumes (without any conditions.) Because I found his fragrances interesting I thought I would share my thoughts with you and at the same time return the favor to Giovanni. Currently there are 3 perfumes that Giovanni signs with his name.
Perfume number one is Alter and it’s a bombshell. Immediately upon application your nostrills will inhale a huge wave of jasmine. Pure and natural, indolic jasmine with hints of green notes. Its aroma is full bodied and almost fleshy. There’s also an animalic vibe to it. Reminds castoreum, but this impression fades away after a while. Once Alter settles on skin, level of indol goes down leaving a smell of white flowers lingering on your body. The aroma is still strong. Jasmine is the lone player for some time and after 1 hour it starts to effuse the sheer rose aroma. It softens and tones down the composition, making it also a little bit fresher (but not clean or soapy). Incense accord used by Giovanni is quite transparent here, though the smokiness can sometimes be spotted. Mimosa adds a vibrant yellow color to the scent and wraps around the entire creation, making all the notes compatible. Alter is classy and diva-like.
Second perfume from Mister Sammarco is Vitrum. It was created as a bespoke perfume for a journalist named Francesca. Giovanni decided to have this scent as a regular element of his fragrance collection. It is a vetiver heavy perfume. The main accord of vetiver is woody and dry while also having some rooty elements. There’s also an earthy and damp soil quality in this note – it reveals a little bit later. Black pepper adds sharpness and spiciness to this blend, making it completely unisex. I personally find this concoction to slightly veer towards the masculine side of the spectrum. There’s that metallic and gun powder like feeling from pepper that appears after an hour. It’s nice and interesting and not cold at all. Finally there’s a lovely rose element in Vitrum. It makes the perfume softer and a little less bold. Perfect for some formal occasions or saddening weather.
Last and my least favorite one is named Bond-T. I laugh out loud saying that it’s a perfume to watch “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by. In fact it was inspired by a trip to such factory. It’s the darkest and bravest in Giovanni Sammarco line. This perfume accents the patchouli accord in it’s most vile (to me) form. It has a very dark and dense smell of leaves, roots, earth. It has that typical rotten smell I detest so much while others love it. Patchouli plays on its own for a really long time, probably for an hour, or even longer. Chocolate accord appears later on. Made of cocoa absolute it doesn’t smell soft or creamy like a milk chocolate. It smells more sticky and strong, like a bitter chocolate that leaves its taste in your mouth for a while after you’ve eaten a piece. Truly gourmant but in least expected way. To me it almost smells like there was some tobacco in there, really. In the drydown there are hints of osmanthus. They bring the aroma of tiny dried flowers, making the chocolate note stand out even more. Bond-T is a perfume for gourmand fetichist. You are warned!
These 3 perfumes from Giovanni Sammarco are all-natural compositions created with high quality raw materials. Their concentration is EDP (15% perfume oils) and each of them is available in 30ml bottles. Naturals are not as strong as scents with artificial compounds, these last for around 6 hours. At the official website of his brand, there’s also a sample set available. The nice thing is that it comes with free shipping. Nice opportunity to try all three of them. Which one sounds best to you?
[note] samples provided by Giovanni Sammarco without any conditions. 1st, 3rd picture – my own.