14 agosto 2018

Antonio Alessandria Gattopardo (2017)

"We are old, Chevalley, very old. For more than twenty-five centuries we've been bearing the weight of a superb and heterogeneous civilization" The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Among woods, definitely patchouli is the most exuberant, and this roaring temper is love or hate just like it happens with great men. Among the new proposals seen in Florence at Pitti Fragranze (finally available), the one that drove patchouli fans fall like me hopelessly mad about it is Gattopardo, Antonio Alessandria‘s latest creation that brings us one more time dancing our way to his beloved Sicily.

The rhythm is given by the famous Verdi’s brilliant waltz Nino Rota wanted for Luchino Visconti’s movie. The poise and the lion’s roar are the ones of the Prince of Salina giving his arm to the beautiful Angelica, luminous like the orange blossoms running through her hair. Looking at Claudia Cardinale and Burt Lancaster twirling around, who’s not fallen helplessly in love with Palermo? Who’s not dreamt for a while to turn back time to 1860 as a guest of the great ball in the opulent halls of Valguarnera-Gangi Palace, vestige of a glorious past?

Villa Boscogrande in Palermo
Just sprayed, Gattopardo immediately welcomes us with a shot of whisky through the fragrant gardens in Donnafugata, in a citrus fruit plot or under the fig tree mixing its Mediterranean sap with the refined, decadent aroma of geraniums. The inebriating silver freshness invites us to climb the stairs to the entrance of the noble villa, forecasting the stolid elegance of the Prince of Salina, patriarch as rough as charming like the patchouli now taking the full stage. All eyes are on him while the echo of the steps, murmurs and the rustling silks are stopped only by the orchestra tuning the instruments.

As the waltz starts couples twirl under the look of great ladies with fans, white gloved cavaliers and thousand burning candles. Like Don Fabrizio just out of the bath tub, also this wood dresses its manliness in a silky beeswax attire. It’s said that Visconti demanded all the thousand candles were replaced at every shooting to give the set all the warmth of the natural light. Here you can get all this regal honeyed gold flooding iris in glitters, like a precious veil whitening cheekbones and necklines, floating at every step like Angelica’s dress designed by Piero Tosi.

In the end the dinner is served: through laces and fine porcelain the delights of the Sicilian table break through the basenotes. What lasts on skin for many hours is a sumptuous, nostalgic embrace revealing under the strength of cedarwood the noble soul of the Prince and the love for traditions with the sweetness of almond pastry. Not to be missed, the "exotic" crunchy seduction or bitter cocoa sprinkled hazelnut pralines bears traces of the Sicilian cultural melting pot distilled here in a recherche du temps perdu that’s the essence of the most authentic and noble Italian elegance.

Topnotes: bergamot, fig milk, whisky accord
Heartnotes: geranium, iris, patchouli
Basenotes: benzoin, hazelnut, almond, cocoa powder, beeswax, cedarwood, musky and ambery notes

This review was originally published in collaboration with Studio Olfattivo

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