Reviewing the current formula as of 2012, the top starts soapy, with bergamot projecting affluently for the first 5 minutes. This gradually recedes into the background to leave a rather tame and not particularly original fougere-like base. It smells clean and reasonably civilised, but that's about it.
Often, Silvestre is compared to Pino Silvestre BUT, Silvestre was definitely richer smelling. This was launched by the house of Victor of Milano (Acqua di Selva, Fresca, and Victor). I used this way back in the 60's when I was still living in Milano. It was one of my favorites. To this day, I can still remember its wonderful scent in my head. Unfortunately, the house of Victor was taken over by another company and they have definitely "watered down" the original formulas. In actuality, when companies do this they are eventually going to "water down' their own profits, too. Never change a good thing !!
I was determined to sample this; it sounded like the "holy grail" of pine scents...boy was it to be disappointed...
Cheap, sneeze-inducing, and very "household cleaner-like".
Aqua di Selva is far superior, even though I would personally award AdS nothing more than a neutral, and considering it's lack of lasting power, almost bordline with a thumbs-down.
On the other hand, I think the pervasive lasting of Silvestre was part of its downfall.
Spruce, Sandalwood, Cistus and Galbanum, a bit of Basil,and perhaps some Marjoram and Mint, with less Pine, could have balanced this perfume out more effectively.
Even if I this was marketed by Chanel, in classic Chanel bottle, with $170 put on the price tag, I would have declared loudly, to all in the perfumes department of David Jones, "This is abhorent, and smells cheap!"
Revised review -- and a point to be made in light of subsequent reviews. My comments are based on a vintage bottle. This is the real deal, a charming relic of an earlier sensibility.
A charmingly old-school scent. Definitely a 1950's vibe but still vibrant, classy and pleasing to wear.
Starts with a very green, aromatic opening. Very coniferous notes are attained through perky, gin-like juniper combined with pine needles. Minty notes from the oregano add to the crispness. The oregano really becomes a dominant feature, changing into a rubber--herbal chord which incorporates a rather dense rose note. Some powerfully weight woods appear. For a brief period, the scent struggles to reconcile these rather different notes, and in the end retains them all in a rather amazing way. At times in the dry-down there is a smoky note from the vetiver, almost like an old ashtray (a very minor note, however). Ultimately, the dry-down is smooth, distinctive, and persistant.
Quite an amazing scent -- and a point to keep in mind is that it predates the more well-known Pino Silvester by 9 years. I love PS, but this is smoother and classier.
Finally, here's a vestige of my earlier review -- I wrote a little 1950's story to accompany the scent.
Iím Marcello, dressed in a casually elegant suit. Having applied Silvestre, I go to meet Sophia for lunch at a charming Roman cafe. I'm driving a Bugatti, a sporty little convertible. I go through twisting cobblestoned streets. A lovely Italian song, with mandolin and a heart-felt male voice, is playing in the background. It is a sunny, warm day. I see Sophia at the cafe and she smiles at me, eyes flashing. She is lovely and very confident. As we discuss our latest film project with Frederico, time freezes into one perfect moment.
21st February, 2007 (last edited: 30th September, 2015)
This definitely lives in the same forest camp, if not exactly in the same tent, as those other sylvan soldiers Acqua di Selva, Pino Silvestre and Agua Brava. My provisional ranking: Acqua di Selva: Captain Calm; Victor's Silvestre: Lieutenant Worthy; Agua Brava: Sergeant Strange; Pino Silvestre: Private Dull but Brave.