Impotent spicy and sweet. Disgusting, too. Dry cedarwoods make up for an overall terrible, cheap scent.
Smalto is heavy, sweet, and leathery with an oppressively powdery dry-down. Absinthe can lend an interesting herbal note in some fragrances, but here it just is odd and sharp. The chamomile gives an unpleasant hay field note; I’ve never cared for that particular fragrance. Honey, vanilla and tonka bean are a combination that is too rich for me, and they out-muscle the faint wood notes. Don’t like it.
A rustic fragrance. The opening has a substantially dry edge to it dominated by clary sage and absinthe. Along with the dryness is an aromatic aspect with a lavender tinge… I like this opening; it is quietly bleak and masculine. The wood middle is somewhat reminiscent of Safari for Men because of the definite cedar / herbal accord in both fragrances, but, unlike Safari, the dryness gradually lessens with the shadowy addition of the honey / balsam notes: The sweetness never does grow very strong – my skin swallows it as so often happens with sweet notes in wood fragrances. The cedar heart of Smalto is quite soft and weak. There are supposedly floral elements in the mid accord, but I don’t really get any… I suppose the florals are also swallowed up by the black hole of my skin. The drydown moves toward another wood interpretation – this time with a moderately sweet, slightly mossy hay note – it’s quite nice in a rustic sort of way. The base retains the aromatic background that has been with Smalto from the start, but it tends to get rather loose and indistinct at its end.
Smalto is certainly not a strong scent, nor does it hold to a good longevity, but I think it is an interestingly unique scent that accomplishes its purpose . I enjoy Smalto’s dryness and its naturalness, but I would like it better if it had a little less lavender in it. My initial dislike of this fragrance has changed, and I often find myself choosing Smalto when I want a short-lived, arid, soft masculine fragrance. This is definitely a test-before-you-buy fragrance, but anyone who likes a stark, unsweet, masculine wear should give this a try. (Edit of 17 September 2006 review. Changed from a thumb’s down.)
17th September, 2006 (last edited: 24th July, 2009)
A nice casual chypre, very similar to Polo. I would say it's Polo with a drier edge. I see it all over the place at cut rate prices around the holidays.