Tag Archives: Laboratorio Olfattivo

Monday Quick Sniffs, part 62

It’s been a while since I last wrote about something from Laboratorio Olfattivo. I quite liked their earlier releases but what came later didn’t interest me as much & the number of new fragrances added went up quite fast. But I never fully gave up on the brand, that’s why I got me a decant of Mandarino. Laboratio Olfattivo is one of those brands that keep Jean-Claude Ellena busy after his retirement from Hermes and this perfume is also composed by him. Mandarino is a very simplicist creation, very much in line with the style of J-C.E. At first there’s a burst of Italian mandarin – a very juicy and realistic interpretation that makes my mouth water. Mandarin notes often turn flat after a while but this one stays round and firm. Maybe it’s because that right underneath this lovely juiciness there’s also this powdery, almost talc-y albedo facet that is additionally followed by the aromatic orange-colored peel. It’s a whole fruit. Once this part calms down the flavor changes. Enter blackcurrant note. In Mandarino it has a very tart character – more like actual buds rather than a jammy fruit. You can almost smell the acidic quality of these delicious black orbs. Mandarine and currant notes are quite linear here but they last for a good amount of time. When the perfume dries down it becomes lighter, softer and pleasantly musky. It’s a simple fragrance but it does the trick. Had I discovered it before the summer, I’d have worn it.

I rarely reach for gourmand fragrances at my own will so you have to blame my NST swap partner, Karina, for adding a sample of Cafe Cabanel by Teo Cabanel as a freebie in a package she sent me. In other circumstances I wouldn’t have been searching for this one. The perfume opens with a warm and slightly caramelized smell of freshly roasted coffee beans that are being ground a moment later – resulting in giving off a slightly powdery aroma. There’s a bit of cinnamon going on in this composition but while it adds a little bit of spicy tinge, Cafe Cabanel becomes sweeter and sweeter. Over time it develops that densely sugary scent of condensed milk – this bring back childhood memories as I used to buy it in tubes and eat it like regular sweets. This gourmand accord is enhanced by a smooth buttery note and an almost edible heliotrope. In the drydown there’s a lot of balsamic tonka that fuses with gooey and sticky concoction of caramel & vanilla. There’s a hint of sandalwood in this composition but it can be easily unnoticed due to all the sweetness that is oozing from this perfume. I can understand why some people like i; But not me. However after a couple of hours when the sweetness is not so drastic, the drydown reminds be of balsams from MFK Grand Soir.

Speaking of Maison Francis Kurkdjian, I was curious about their newly released L’Homme a la Rose a masculine response to their A la Rose perfume for women from 2013. For some reason MFK still stubbornly divides their offerings by gender but ok, let them have it their way. Personally I love roses, that’s why I was interested how the brand will approach the subject of a flower that is still considered dominantly feminine in Western perfumery. L’Homme a la Rose begins with a muted and slightly bitter note of grapefruit. It feels crisp and tad powdery, like a just ironed shirt. I guess that’s what makes if feel more manly. There seems to be the faintest sweaty undertone to the grapefruit but it’s gone in a blink under a damask rose. This rose smells green and fresh, the scent of flower stems is especially pronounced on my skin. I also pick that specific note of the flowershop spray they use on bouquets. Later on the rose blooms more rich (now it’s Rosa centifolia) yet the perfume maintains its elegant suit & tie vibe. Airy herbaceous tones of sage are well-aligned with the idea of this fragrance L’Homme a la Rose turns lightly woody and gains an ambery touch with a bit of labdanum to add some weight to the base. Overally it’s too light in my opinion.

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Defining Undefined at Pitti Fragranze 2018 – part 2

First day of this year’s Pitti Fragranze sure was exciting and packed with many meetings and a wide variety of perfume. I expected that following days won’t be any worse & in fact they were not. Each day gave me something different. Also for the first time in the history of my Fragranze attendance I was at the fair for all 3 days so I got a new perspective by seeing how the last day looks like.

On Saturday I started my olfactory investigations by visting a stand of Soul Couture. This is a new brand of Italian origins & some of my friends recommended it as worth trying. At the stand I met Michele Marin, who founded this brand and who is a perfumer behind it. He created 6 different fragrances presented in simple & elegant bottles and boxes. I especially liked Weekend Postmoderno (with spices and iris), and Gender Ginger (with citrus, ginger and rosewood). It’s also one of the very few brands that offers travel-friendly size from the very beginning.

When I was passing next to Uermi booth I noticed they have some news too so I decided to spend there a few minutes to learn about them. They worked with perfumer Alexandra Carlin to develop two new compositions: SO Satin and UR Silk 19, a rework of UR Silk introduced 5 years ago. They also had a third one for which they teamed with Maurice Roucel. OR Damask is a lush red rose that I really liked. It had a full body and from the start you could smell it’s very well blended.

Miya Shinma didn’t present any new things as she still wanted to focus on the L’Eau de Miya Shinma collection. I said ‘wanted’ because she told me that she has been robbed. She shipped all of her perfume to Florence and when she wanted to organize the stand it turned out that someone stole all of the bottles of the new collection that were inside that box. It’s more than a misfortune – to come to the fair (which is not cheap!) and to not be able to present your latest achievements. So sad.

Have you ever heard of an Irish perfume brand Cloon Keen? Well I did and many years ago I even reviewed one when I got a sample in a swap. Ever since I was curious to smell the other fragrances in their range but it just never happened because I couldn’t get samples locally. This year they came to Florence and had their stand at Fragranze 16 – I could not overlook such occasion. I talked with Margaret Mangan, creator of Cloon Keen, who guided me through fragrances and candles. I’m telling you – I liked all of the scents. Lunasa and Frosted Moon stayed in my memory for long.

On that day another interesting discussion took place in a conference hall. Title of this panel discussion was ‘Asia & You’Chandler Burr as a host and 5 different people were blind-smelling around 20 fragrances and commenting whether it’s suitable for Asian market or no. The gimmick was that Chandler asked 20 random brands exhibiting at the fair to select ‘the most Asian’ scent from their range. Then at a panel those people had to come to the scene, shortly explain why they think it fits. This was followed by smelling, commenting and at the very end the name of brand and perfume was revealed. I think it was brave of all those brands since comments were often not nice. My friend, perfumer Alex Lee was one of the panelists and later when we talked he said he didn’t feel good doing it. It surely was a challenge as he didn’t want to offend anyone.

Beaufort is not a brand that belongs to the group of my brands but I decided to give a try to their new composition mostly because their stand was shared with Atelier des Ors where my friends were. New Rake & Ruin was very much like gin – super metallic, tons of juniper, lots of smoke and animalic ingredients. Absolutely not my cup of tea but at least I gave it a try, right?

Nowadays I think that Laboratorio Olfattivo is one of those brands that just have something new any time they exhibit, meaning new things are added to their range twice a year at least. After introducing a handy 30 ml bottle as well as travel kits (2 x 15 ml) now they presented a new perfume. Its name is Sacreste and it’s composed by Luca Maffei. The scent itself is very incensy but with a lot of warm oriental elements like saffron, cardamom, amber. It’s nice but not very new in terms of idea.

One of the completely new brands that appeared inside of Stazione Leopolda was Maison Rebatchi. For their debut they launched 4 fragrances but even if I’m alone in my impression I’m going to say it was a let-down. The bottles look kind of like boutique collection from Dior. Each scent was done by different perfumer and even if one of them was Bertrand Duchaufour didn’t convince me. And people there seemed annoyed they have to talk to me. I quickly lost my initial interest.

Dusita with Pissara Umavijani at its front was busy all the time but I managed to have a few minutes with her. Current focus is still on Erawan of course but Pissara let me smell the fragrance she’s been working on and which she’d like to launch in spring. Oh boy, it was very good, quite different from her previous creations… and it has a lot of iris! At Andy Tauer’s stand Les Annees 25 was the newest perfume but Andy also had his 2 candles (they just launched!) that I could smell. Extrait d’Atelier still focuses on Maitre Ceramiste – not rushing things is always good in perfumery.


In the evening many of us went to a street party celebrating the opening of Campomarzio70 boutique at it’s new location in Florence. It was super crowded and we had to be careful because taxis and buses kept passing through. Afterwards I was supposed to get something to eat together with Nick Steward but the word spread and I actually started gathering people to come with us. We ended up having a fantastic dinner for 10 people. That’s it for day 2. Normally I would pack but not this time!

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