3 perfume stories from Giovanni Sammarco

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.

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22 thoughts on “3 perfume stories from Giovanni Sammarco

  1. Jordan River says:

    Vitrum. Interesting that he moved to Switzerland for freedom of work.

  2. Undina says:

    I don’t think any of these will work for me (most of the natural perfumes don’t) but I like that move and wish Mr. Sammarco’s company a great success.

  3. hajusuuri says:

    Hello sweetie…I ordered my sample set…I say “Better to try and not like than to miss out on something you may like/love.” The sample set price is actually on the high side (~US$33), including shipping. In any case, based on your description, the one that I’m afraid of is Alter due to the indolic jasmine.

    Great reviews and a wonderful introduction to an indie perfumer. Much success to Mr. Sammarco.

    • lucasai says:

      Hi Hajusuuri, hope you’re having a good weekend.
      You ordered a sample set of Giovanni Sammarco scents? That’s very thoughtful of you. I hope that you’ll like them. The samples are quite big, I think they’re 2,5ml or at least 2ml each.

      Glad you liked the reviews. I hope Giovanni Sammarco will become more recognizable soon.

      • hajusuuri says:

        I will absolutely have a great weekend. I am meeting my sister for lunch and some shopping. Although I have to get some work time in, it will be something I enjoy doing (proofreading a document). I am looking forward to trying out the samples. According to the website, each one is 2.5 mLs in an atomizer. Thanks for introducing the line.

        • lucasai says:

          How great! My Mum is at a 24 hours work today, I’ve been lazing away all day. And had my hair done yesterday.
          Tomorrow I’ll be getting ready for a new week of posts and something BIG.

  4. Thank you for the introduction Lucas. If any of these sounds interesting to me, it would be Alter… I love a great Jasmine fragrance and you convinced me with the word “diva”!

  5. Alter sounds as if it opens a lot like Sarrasins, which I adore, with the full-spectrum jasmine that manages to be both fresh and indolic, rich but with a “stemmy” sort of green. What do you think, lucas?

  6. hajusuuri says:

    Hello sweetie! I got my sample set on Thursday! Would you believe it…I ordered it on the 16th and bammm got it right away. I am looking for skin time to try them out. They do smell strong and is likely suitable for perfumistas who like “presence” (and I am distinguishing that from sillage as sillage “wafts” whereas “presence” hits you over the head). I will report back on this thread.

    And by the way, Dr. Sammarco sent a personalized email and also sent a sample of castoreum. The other choice I had was civet and I don’t think I can survive that!

    • lucasai says:

      Hi!
      I just came back home from Warsaw 2 hours ago!
      What a lovely and fast service! Great. I cannot wait to hear your impressions once you get more skin time to test them one by one. Yes, these scents are highly concentrated and they definitely “mark a territory”

      How sweet of giovanni to send am email to you and a sample of a raw perfume material!

  7. Giovanni says:

    Thank you Lucas for your lovely review of my perfumes and thank you to all for comments and interest.
    Hajusuuri, happy you received the samples fast! I will be happy to read your impressions about! enjoy them and many thanks again.

  8. hajusuuri says:

    I tried Alter today and it is every bit a heady jasmine as you described. The green yet earthy aspects counterbalanced the jasmine and removed what would otherwise had been mothballish. Using 2 sprays, the sillage was moderate for the first 2 hours and the it became close to skin. It is now 5 hours since I applied it and I can still smell traces which is just about how long I expected a natural perfume to last. Overall, well done!

    I will try the other two when I find skin time and report back on this thread!

    • lucasai says:

      I’m glad that you generally enjoyed Alter. I’m happy you find my description of it to be accurate.
      Yes, 5-6 hours is in my case the usual time of lasting for a natural perfume.

      Can’t wait to hear about the other 2.

  9. […] I’m also waiting for new special raw materials I will receive in december, making experiments with scented soaps and enjoy this nice review from chemist in the bottle. […]

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