Gates of Heaven, Gabriella Chieffo Quasicielo

From the very young age we are being taught specific behaviours, reactions by our parents and teachers. Of course they do it in good faith, to help us function in a society, to adapt to living and interacting with other people. You can say that they shape us in some sort of way. But sooner or later for everyone comes the moment when they start feeling independent, that they would like to start shaping themselves. This often brings questions like: who am I? who I want to be? Discovering your own identity and deciding which path to choose might be hard, but it’s a valuable lesson. Recently Gabriella Chieffo introduced a fragrance inspired by this particular stage of life.

Quasicielo starts with aromatic facet of crushed cardamom. It feels crunchy, nutty in some sort of way with a dry tinge of spice. It’s followed by a tender smell of green mandarin and lemon. They are somehow creamy instead of juicy, which hives me the impression of citrus custard with additional spicy flavor. It smells intriguing, kind of bizarre but at the same time it makes me want to see what will happen next. Fresh ginger makes Quasicielo tingly and fizzy while cinnamon is responsible for introducing a dry but tasty facet that veers towards balsamic qualities. Quite surprising.

Speaking of balsamic, the perfume has a myrrh accord that is quite prominent. I thought that I might not like it but it’s toned down by surrounding spiciness. Especially black pepper makes it less in your face with its own vibrant, metallic spice vibe. Galbanum is also an important feature of Quasicielo. It adds a green tint to the perfume but at the same time it feels more earthy, rooty instead of smelling of stems and leaves. It’s probably because it’s been overwhelmed by other notes.


This fragrance changes continuously, revealing more nuances of its structure. Every next one feels intriguing, far from obvious. For some time I can smell a cacophony of different materials. Smell of lemon cream mixes with cardamom, cinnamon or some myrrh. After a few hours Quasicielo is not so strong anymore but the drydown is not to be missed since it’s quite dark. Smoky yet welcoming scent of incense spreads around creating a mysterious, slightly eerie aura. Patchouli make it feel more intense and dirty, as on its own it smells rooty, earthy, with a woody twist.

Picture that Quasicielo paints in my head in its late stage is a forest at night. Trees, looking ominous are surrounded by a fog. But then there is warmth, that of tonka bean. Tender, aromatic and reassuring, it feels like a supporting hand on your shoulder that says ‘everything is going to be alright’ without actually using words. Creaminess of sandalwood and luminosity of amber are like the light that will guide you through this forest. There’s weirdness and magic in this perfume. Nothing should make sense here but it does! Ingredients are separate & they are together.

I have to admit that Quasicielo by Maison Gabriella Chieffo is a weird, strange perfume but at the same time it’s one that it’s hard to pass by being indifferent. It sure has something that makes the wearer keep sniffing their wrists. This composition marks the first attempt for Gabriella Chieffo to make perfume on her own, without help of Luca Maffei. You’ll notice in this fragrance that she’s still learning, that the perfume is not perfect and it has rough edges. In my opinion that’s exactly what makes it so interesting. Quasicielo translates to ‘almost heaven’ while its visual depicts a man leaving a body of a woman. This eau de parfum is available in 100 ml bottles. Projection and longevity are above average. I wonder what will be your opinion about this fragrance.

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10 thoughts on “Gates of Heaven, Gabriella Chieffo Quasicielo

  1. Holly says:

    Thanks for another beautifully written review! I’m not sure if this would be for me, but I love that you prefaced this story by talking about discovering our own identity. There’s a lot of flux, indecision and exploration during those phases of life, and it sounds like this perfume embodies that. I particularly love the image you evoke of the forest at night – you have captured that perfectly!

    • lucasai says:

      My pleasure!
      I understand that you’re not sure if you’d like it or not. I am more than happy to send you a sample. I’m happy that you like the imagery I described.

  2. Jillie says:

    Actually, I was getting a little bit hungry reading some of the notes! What an intriguing perfume – I like the fact that it isn’t ordinary. I agree with Holly that you evoke a marvellous sensation of a foggy forest with the feeling of a fairy story ending. Just perfect for this time of year with Halloween looming.

    I’m going to have a spicy cup of tea now – you’ve made me yearn for cardamom and cinnamon! I will put my hands round the mug to warm them, and think of that gloomy forest.

    • lucasai says:

      I know, right? There are some foody, gourmand ingredients here but the perfume is not a gourmand at all.
      I’m happy that you liked the forest description. Actually unconsciously I am wearing Ineke Idyllwild today, which is a perfume of a forest just like the one I described.

      Enjoy your tea! I recently started drinking your marzipan tea again. It’s this time of a year again when it suits best

      • Jillie says:

        Oh yum, marzipan tea – yes, it’s that time of year again!

        The woods around us are looking very Halloweeny at the moment – not dark and gloomy, but golden and red as the leaves make their final change before falling. Storm Brian is starting to blow, so I think those poor leaves will be torn from their branches today.

        • lucasai says:

          Same happened here when we had that strong storm. Most trees lost at least half of their leaves that night. The next morning all pavements looked like leaf carpets.

  3. Undina says:

    I like the name and do not mind the notes and the bottle (well, I don’t like its size but other than that it looks fine) – which is already a lot for a perfume house with which I’m not familiar. It was a good review – thank you for bringing this one to my attention (I wouldn’t have noticed them otherwise).

    • lucasai says:

      Would you like a sample of Quasicielo and few others from this brand? I have 3 bottles, so I can decant some bigger samples for you

      • Undina says:

        I do want samples! But all I need is 1-2 ml: these days I prefer to quickly test perfumes and either buy a bottle (maybe decant) or move on. I hate wasting perfumes that somebody loves and I rarely go back to retest perfumes that didn’t impress me from the first time – so they just slowly die in my “library”

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