24 giugno 2014

Tirrenico by Profumi del Forte (2008)

The sudden heat melting Milan during the last weeks made me pass all at once from jackets to t-shirts. While waiting for a real vacation that will only come in the next months, also my nose started craving for chilling holiday perfumes, so I went for one of the few marines I enjoy, Tirrenico, created by Maria Candida Gentile for Profumi del Forte. I didn't wear it for quite a while and for sake of curiosity I went back reading the review I wrote back in 2008 for Perfumecritic. I could still fully agree with it, so since it's not online anymore, I decided to publish an excerpt here.

I walk along the beach of the Forte and sit down. I sniff. Sea smell. Pebbles washed by the waves, sand... I sniff and take note in my mind. Apuan Alps stand out behind me with their shining marbles. I'm in suspence in front of an almost unreal landscape. I reflect. I'm going to start with the marine notes: algae smell and the salt lingering on my hands. I'll go on with wild herbs from the downs, with a touch of citrus from the wonderful and perfectly kept gardens of the Forte. Some bitter orange: I'll deepen it with jasmin, the scent intoxicates me at times while walking. I'm going to add sunny fragrances: the good summer creams, thirst-quenching fresh fruits to be enjoyed at the beach, drenched woods... and a lot of time” that's how people at the Forte describe the inspiration for the fragrance.
Fall landscape in Versilia - Galileo Chini (about 1899)
Probably Tirrenico will disappoint people who love straightforward ozonic fragrances reeking of backwash and slapping your face with bursts of ocean breeze before ending on the usual boring clean musks. In fact it's a marine juice that dares to explore unusual paths, going beyond the sea water suggestion and capturing all the aspects of the shore carrying you away to a pleasant sea landscape.

Tirrenico starts off like a high pitch of iodine morning breeze, a sparkling, ringivorating cold water blast with a slightly bitter bite. About 20 minutes later though, the tide lowers revealing denser balsamic facets. Drenched woods emerge letting the way to the sweet and sour fennel taste morphing here into something cold and vegetal redolent of fermenting seaweed, of natural elements brought to the shore, rocked in the weakness of decay.
It's an ode to opposit balancing each other: the bitterness of bigarade with the sweetness of fennel, the bright elemi with the languorous jasmin, the anise tinged coldness of drenched woods with the mediterranean brilliance of basil sweetened by a fruity touch across apple and mirabelle plum.

The warmer and more vegetal heartnotes amplify the sillage of the fragrance making its saltiness mellow but never muting it. The edible sensation running through the whole evolution of the fragrance becoming its nerve is incredibly real, mouthwatering to the point Tirrenico can be considered a marine gourmand: I close my eyes and I'm by the sea in front of a typical sicilian winter salad with sliced orange and fennel. It's really fascinating how what could have been a huge fennel salad if not masterfully blended, plays here such a keyrole making of an overrated theme in perfumery something truly brilliant and original.

The longlasting drydown fully reveals oakmoss yet still giving a memory of the vegetal heart, blurring the sandalwood and white musks accord into a light chypre base still savoury with marine echoes. Don’t expect though the scent to smell like a seaplace in summer: no crowded versilian beaches here with loads of suntan lotion; it’s more the smell of a walk by the seafront in the middle season, with an unsettled weather and a kaleidoscope of smells carried by the wind.

Top notes: iodine, balsamic and marine notes, wet woods, sicilian bitter orange, bergamot
Middle notes: egyptian jasmine, philippine elemi, fennel, basil, fresh fruits
Base notes: oakmoss, sandalwood, white musk

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