Category Archives: Farmacia SS. Annunziata

Video: SMELLYTHOUGHTS’ Fragrance Starting Lineup 2013

A new video here!
Please excuse the unflattering stalling towards the end of the video :) x

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Vaniglia Del Madagascar – Famacia SS. Annunziata & Memoirs Of A Trespasser – Imaginary Authors

Madagascan Vanilla.

I have trouble with vanilla fragrances, often finding that they fall flat on my skin in a neutral layer of sweetness that is both boring and unappetizing. The thing is, I do love the scent of vanilla, so struggle to find one that works. Although they’re not always to my taste, here are two solid vanilla’s :)

Vaniglia Del Madagascar opens up with a recognizable, sweet vanilla. I struggle to use the word “rich”, as I said, I just don’t get that plush feeling I crave from most vanilla fragrances. However, there is some slight depth to this, and also a bizarre citric, salty accord that rests over the vanilla in a translucent layer. The ever-so-slightly candied lemon and some quiet, almost unidentifiable floral notes (orchid?) sit on the vanilla adding a minimalistic but necessary alternate dimension.

The vanilla from start to finish is the leading player without a doubt, and it’s all down to whether you like the simple aroma of Madagascan vanilla as to whether you’ll like this. There is a subtle amber in the background adding a tiny bit of depth – but Vaniglia Del Madagascar goes on light as air, but gradually gets denser and more potent as time goes on – which is an unusual development. On the skin, the vanilla gets better and better which is one thing I find really appealing about this fragrance.

It is undoubtably comfortable to wear which is surprising for me finding most vanillas turn cloying and clammy on my skin – they gain a dense, almost clotted texture with a dirty, breathy note that I so often bring up when discussing amber and myrrh – here however, that turn never happens. Instead it keeps its light and its translucency, whilst still remaining potent with a beautiful sillage – throwing back to my nose an almost almond-biscotti aroma, so maybe there’s some heliotrope in here giving off a subtle almond vibe?
Anyway – it’s a straightforward, lovely soft vanilla that still won’t make it on my full bottle list but is nice enough to sniff.

Memoirs Of A Trespasser opens a little more bitter, a far more interesting beginning of almost soiled citrus, and a slightly diluted boozy accord. It smells like the sticky residue of a shot glass of whisky – the alcohol has evaporated but left behind is a slightly acrid but sweet vanillic liquer.

Underneath, the madagascan vanilla gets more and more prominent, showing a similar translucency to that of the Vaniglia Del Madagascar – only with a greater complexity underneath. There’s a smooth, sweet wood listed as guaiacwood (a note I have little experience with) – but it comes across as a lovely, delicately smoked support. A lightly-handled bundle of resins is grouped underneath, a slightly smoky and smooth myrrh and vanillic benzoin with an amber-y base, holds the still leading vanilla. It sounds dense, but Memoirs Of A Trespasser is completely translucent – these additional notes an extremely subtle edge.

Thanks to the resinous base notes, the vanilla is a little less sweet than Vaniglia Del Madagascar, but still – completely smooth and it doesn’t clot and congeal on my skin. The subtle trail of incense smoke throughout keeps the vanilla interesting and three-dimensional.
The vanilla that stays till the end results in the late drydown smelling extremely similar to the Farmacia fragrance, only a little de-sweetened and a little more subtle. Still, I find it the most interesting of the two, but preferring the sweeter drydown of the other (and appreciating it’s gain in strength as time goes on). However, Memoirs Of A Trespasser gets drier and dirtier as time goes on – resurrecting the slightly soiled opening of the beginning – that charred quality with a hint of smoke which I like – at this point I find it hard to decide which vanilla I prefer, and am understanding how a vanilla soliflore can have different personalities.

In honesty, I have sampled Memoirs Of A Trespasser numerous times and never thoroughly enjoyed it – or understood it. As a result, I ordered some samples of other vanilla fragrances – and as proves in this review – it made me appreciate the fragrance a lot more. The perfumer (in recent conversations) suggested I may be anosmic to the ambrette seed musk in this, and I can totally appreciate that, as I don’t detect a note-worthy muskiness in this, at least not until the late drydown. If it is a prominent accord, then it’s likely I can’t smell it – but there we go, that’s what makes these things so much more interesting!

Both vanillas I find easily wearable and comfortable, which is a rare find for me – still, I haven’t yet found the vanilla for me… Mona Di Orio’s came close – that was before it started to smell like egg shells :|

Vaniglia Del Madagascar 100ml Parfum Farmacia SS. Annunziata – $160 Luckyscent
Memoirs Of A Trespasser 60ml EDP Imaginary Authors – $85 Imaginary Authors

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Ambre Precieux – Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier & Ambra Nera – Farmacia SS. Annunziata

Two ambers here, samples given by the lovely Amber King Steve over at The Scented Hound.
I have always felt like I’ve found “my amber soliflore” – L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme by L’Artisan Parfumeur. I’m always open to discovering something new, but have never really explored other amber soliflores out of choice because of this reason.
Well, the hound challenged me with a bunch of ambers and some of them have been quite something. I’ve been missing out.! Here’s two of ’em :)

A little something medicinal opens Ambre Precieux. Listed is lavender, maybe that’s the herbal boost. Of course piled on top of that quickly after is the leading amber. The amber I find very similar to that in the L’Artisan, however this one is more herbal, bitter and resinous – it doesn’t have the plush, creamy coziness of L’Eau D’Ambre Extreme – ANYWAY – enough comparisons already, back to this.

Ok so I actually get the lavender for a good while underneath the amber. It’s herbal and camphorous – how I like it, but without the dewy freshness that could have really made this opening good! There’s a bit of a resin overload with the amber. It’s bitter, almost crumbly, with just a scattering of pillow soft powder, sweetened with a hint of vanilla.

In the heart is a little crackling of spice, and a tiny hint of incense, but mainly this is all about the amber, and, a pretty good amber it is. I wouldn’t define it as even remotely sexy as many do, I find it quite stern and uptight, that herbal edge like a razor blade expression *desperately trying not to include my reference Tilda Swinton picture here…*.
The vanilla keeps this fragrance just about cuddly and comforting – as with all amber soliflores, it is a perfect winter scent – it practically smells like a sweater.

In the drydown the incense turns a little myrrh-y which puts me off a tad, myrrh + amber is like a breath attack (I always say both notes have a “breathy” quality which can gross me out), thankfully here it’s quite tame and maybe is that little “animalic” edge people talk about.
As for me, I’ll stick with my safe ole’ powdery fav :) Onto the next one…

Oh shit! Yes! This is better :D Brilliant opening. A rich animalic amber, bitter-sweet, not a smidge of powder yet – with the consistency of thick syrup. There’s a complicated herbal element in there, a much more prominent camphorous accord up top – almost mentholated (I’m glad I reviewed this one second or the MPeG may not have been so pleasantly written!).

A bitter greenery cuts underneath the amber, and it smells almost as though there’s a big shred of leather underneath. It’s aromatic and smoky, the leathery aroma turning almost musky – still very animalic to my nose. Lots of different things going on to a point where my sentences are getting a little scrambled.

Unfortunately it tames a little quickly (not that the heart isn’t good – I just love that opening so much) – and brings to mind old books and buildings, similarly to how Dark Aoud conjures these images. There’s that vanillic benzoin with a papery texture, dusty woods, that patchouli and vetiver providing an astringent green, and the amber – a smoked caramel syrup.

The incense smoke turns almost metallic (which I love!) – an edge much more razor-sharp than the now wimpy lavender in Ambre Precieux. The vanilla sweetens even more underneath, but never overpowering – the amber restrained, and definitely not taking the leading role as I expected. The resins, the sweetness, the metallic smoke, the leather – it all combines into something that makes me both go “MMM” and “EW!” – the perfect combination.

The drydown brings the rich caramel benzoin from the heart and entwines it with the vetiver – an unusual combination that brings to mind the vanilla/vetiver pairing of Fat Electrician by ELdO, only with smoky liqueurs and resins above it. The leather/vanilla remains papery, and Ambra Nera quietens into a shadow. A big dose of civet keeps it feeling rich and slightly sour, with a pungent animal presence. I really like it.

Ambre Precieux 100ml Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier – $120 Luckyscent
Ambra Nera 100ml Farmacia SS. Annunziata – $160 Luckyscent

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