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quarta-feira, 16 de março de 2016

CUOIO FIORENTINO BY FARMACIA SS. ANNUNZIATA (2016)

Farmacia SS. Annunziata is among the very few Italian brands which keep offering good, sometimes brilliant products with a classy, humble, understated and totally appreciable attitude. Most of their fragrances are simple, maybe simplistic sometimes, but straightforward, very decently priced and with solid performances and quality. And most of all, they share a sort of melancholy, of distinguished darkness, which quite reflects their antique allure and their connection to their ancient roots (which for once, are real).


This new addition to their range got me intrigued from the name already, as I figured that a “Florentine leather” in Farmacia’s style would have surely been interesting to smell. And in fact, it’s quite like I imagined. It’s dark, gloomy, elegantly dry thanks both to the rusty, tanning, sharp and whiskey-infused leather accord, the subtle inky-woody smokiness, but oddly enough also to the sweet-tangy top notes of bergamot and elemi. They should be “bright” and fresh theoretically, but together with the resinous-ambery base notes, they create here a sort of powdery, dusty, sweet-candied and almost moldy “Guerlinade” evoking dusty furniture, vanillic aged paper, an overall sort of “moody Mediterranean” kind of inspiration as you would imagine if thinking of a Medieval Florentine pharmacist boutique. Which is quite a dark inspiration if you think of it, given today’s perception of the “dark ages” of Middle Age. Classy, gloomy, totally Italian. Foreign people tend to associate Italy to “freshness” and “joy”, but I think we’ve quite a dark-veined history and national attitude, and some fragrances did or do reflect that (think of vintage glories like Ferré for Man, Moschino pour Homme, Krizia Moods and so on).

Well anyway, back to the smell: leather’s surely the main accord here, especially in the central hours of the evolution of Cuoio, and it’s done perfectly. Leathers are quite tricky today, they often tend to smell very synthetic and predictable, either in a dry way or in a sweetish Tuscan Leather-like way. Here, you can clearly get the efforts to create a more credible, nuanced, compelling leather accord. It’s quite dry, dark and extremely sophisticated in its whispered texture, raw yet smooth enough, with a mature boozy touch, a very realistic sort of ashy-cedar frame, and some interesting Oriental nuances of saffron and pepper. Sweeter and more resinous at first, getting drier and spicier as hours pass, ending in a smooth, martially simple pure leather drydown still supported by a sharp, slightly salty cedar note.

Shortly a refined, moody leather scent infused with ashy woods and a clever touch of zesty-resinous powdery amberiness letting a lukewarm ray of evening Mediterranean sun in. Somehow restless and somehow laid-back. Subtler than I expected and definitely lighter than most of other Farmacia SS. Annunziata scents I tried, but not a skin scent (almost, though: that would be my only remark). Surely worthy a sniff.

8-8,5/10

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