Tag Archives: Maison Gabriella Chieffo

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.

quasicielo

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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Blooming inspirations of Pitti Fragranze 2017 – part 1

My summer holiday in Italy this year was a fantastic experience. For a really long time I had no idea where to spend my vacations so I’m happy that thanks to some research and tips found by my mom I planned such a great trip. I finally saw more of Milan, tasted a little bit of dolce vita during my stay at Lake Como & enjoyed my short stays in Genoa and Pisa. But most anticipated part of my Italian voyage was going to Florence for another edition of Pitti Fragranze. It was a true cherry on top.

I arrived early in the afternoon on Thursday, a little bit more than half a day before the show was starting. On the occasion of lovely weather I went for a walk to revisit popular Florentine places, such as Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, Ponte Vecchio or Basilica di Santa Maria Novella. This time I also went to a famous Santa Maria Novella apothecary & shop. It’s a beautiful place. I bought a bottle of SMN Citta di Kyoto, a gentle cologne combining iris with lotus flower.

As I was getting hungry I tried to ask my friends if any of them was already in Florence and wanted to eat something together. But it turned out that they either had different plans, didn’t arrive yet or were simply not interested in joining me. Just when I was ready to give up and just sit by myself and eat, I was passing next to a restaurant when I was spotted by Andy Tauer. What a coincidence! I joined him at the table for Aperol Spritz and a dish of pasta. We had a nice chat. We also met Sarah McCartney and Olivier Valverde. Florence was clearly being taken over by perfume people.

Next day the Pitti Fragranze fair was starting at 10 AM. I went there a little bit earlier but thanks to using Pitti App on my phone I didn’t have to wait for a paper press pass & was able to enter as one of the first. First round in Stazione Leopolda is usually greeting with all friends. First hour passed quickly and at 11 AM I attended a Mane conference of the RAW project. This time they focused on spices in perfumery, especially on pepper & sustainability of their resources. But before that I had a chance to chat to Olivier Durbano, who presented Labradorite, his perfume #13. It’s a smoked tuberose with some not overdone animalics. I also met Nicolas Chabot, a guy behind Le Galion and Aether. At his stand I smelled new Aether Celluloid, a fantastic iris with cashmeran.

When the clock was showing it’s almost 1 PM I went out for a planned meeting with Puredistance. The brand wasn’t attending Pitti this year but Mary Gooding and Nele Tammiste were in Florence to meet with some people. We went out for a lunch together. We decided to snack at a nearby cafe bar and it was the best decision. Each of us had a great piece of foccachia with tomato sauce and melted cheese, plus we had 3 different sweet treats. Puredistance is preparing for a global launch of Warszawa right now. I enjoyed meeting with them and seeing new graphics they made.

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Further explorations brough me to Andy Tauer. We laughed again because of our accidental meeting on previous evening. He has shown his new Tauerville Patch Flash to me which is pretty unusual and not very patchouli take on this note. There was also AT Attar in Tauer Perfumes collection. Andy outdid himself with the packaging. A 5ml attar is packed in a miniature pentagonal flacon made of blue glass. So cute! I also had a chance to smell his soaps. Loved mandarin one.

Gabriella Chieffo stand was eye-catching for another year in a row. Using metal fence, polyurethane foam and paint her team created an installation that was bringing clouds to one’s mind. A well thought background to present Quasicielo (‘almost heaven’) a lovely composition of tart citrus top notes with spicy, aromatic heart and warm, resinous base. At the end of the fair I concluded it was one of my favorite fragrances this Pitti. It’s not a perfect fragrance but it doesn’t have to be. It’s first perfume made entirely by Gabriella. Previously she had lots of help from Luca Maffei.

Sarah McCartney stand was nearby so I was offered a full presentation of Our Modern Lives, a new project next to 4160 Tuesdays. There are 7 natural fragrances inspired by yoga and different moods of the day, plus 2 synthetics that are free from allergens. You can mix & match, layer them. The idea is to select one natural and one synthetic and blend them. Body sprays with 3% fragrance (see photo) were quite nice already, but 10% EdP are also available. What is very attractive about OML are the labels, featuring gorgeous drawings of plants and herbs that match ingredients.

At a combined booth of Eau d’Italie and Altaia I was able to smell 2 novelties – one for each of these two brands owned by Marina Sersale and Sebastian Alvarez Murena. For Eau d’Italie they presented Rosa Greta. Inspired by a person of Greta Garbo and her love affair, the perfume is a delicate, feminine and innocent floral bouquet with dominant rose note. Altaia presented Tuberose in Blue, a gentle white floral, tuberose for non tuberose lovers as I called it after blotter test.

Among new faces that arrived at 2017 edition of Pitti Fragranze I noticed a familiar face from before. Barbara Herman was attending the fair. It was actually my first contact with her brand – Eris Parfums. I liked the idea of her initial fragrance trio, trying to create modern versions of big vintage perfumes. I especially liked Night Flower, which was inspired by Guerlain Shalimar. On the other hand the new release, called Mx. defies gender segregation. On my skin it smelled of super creamy sandalwood with a coconut tinge. It seemed popular, many people were buzzing about it.

That’s it for a round-up of 1st day at Pitti Fragranze. When you attend it for a few years there comes a moment when you realize that year by year you smell less perfume and you spend more time talking to people. We gradually become closer friends so it wouldn’t feel right to cut out the conversation after a few minutes. Yet I think I did my best and tried a decent number of new releases, especially on 2nd day of the show. More of Pitti report coming soon! Stay tuned!

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