Carthusia Gelsomini di Capri, 2009

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(image source Lost Holiday)

(Laura Tonnato and Luca Maffei are cited separately as perfumers. does not name the perfumer.)

With so many floral elements I expected this to be a pretty fragrance, feminine in a perfume vernacular. A slight shift, it’s quite handsome. The floral notes (jasmine, orange blossom, ylang-ylang) are high-pitched but fresh in the top-notes, slightly sweet but not sugary by a a long-shot. A geranium note lends a little sweat to the proceedings. Actually, it’s the piece that sews the whole perfume together. Geranium’s affinity to greenery and woods gives the floral mix a breezy, uncomplicated disposition. It attaches to the jasmine and underscores the grassiness of the flower. Into the heart the sweetness of the topnotes fades and geranium’s sweaty side lines up perfectly with jasmine’s hallmark indoles to emphasize the perfume’s lived-in quality. The mood is more garden than bouquet and an earthy tone carries the day. While not a chypre, Gelsomini is ultimately a down-to-earth scent, finding a well-worn feel similar in tone to the green/leather chypres.


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