There are some Villoresi's fragrances I do like a lot. This one isn't one of these. I was intrigued by the name, "Spezie": it made me think of a spicy, oriental and bitter EdT. I wore it, and in fact the first notes seemed an indistint bouquet of powdery spices ; but after one hour I felt like if I was going out from a kitchen after cooking tomato sauces with celery for a whole day . I tried it some other times, but the result was the same: unweareble. That's what I think about it.
08th September, 2012 (last edited: 08th October, 2012)
I like herbs in general. They make excellent partners, not just in cuisines but also in fragrances, typically by enhancing citrus or green notes. I enjoy my spices too. So why-oh-why am I finding it difficult to enjoy SPEZIE?
Perhaps it reminds me a little too much of the kitchen spice rack / herb drawer, full of earthy and fragrant condiments capable of adding magic to the simplest of dishes. Unfortunately with SPEZIE, the cook had left out the main ingredient. And it's a little too late in the evening to be driving back to the store to get some. The herbs and spices thus had nothing to work with. Let's face it. As intriguing as this herbal stew is, there is nothing in there for you to really sink your teeth into. Be prepared to go to bed hungry and unsatisfied.
If I were judging Spezie on the top notes alone, I would be offering a revolver to the person responsible, and suggesting they do the decent thing. It really is an egregious phase, and bordering on the unbearable. I can only attempt at conjuring up the olfactory effect by comparing it to a blend of new faux leather and the close proximity of a fishmonger’s apron.
Remarkably, the middle and late stages of Spezie are as wonderful as the early parts are awful. Warm, spicy and extremely comforting, it is absolutely everything I would expect from an oriental , and more.
At its best, it is by far my favourite Villoresi fragrance, at its worst, I feel like walking into the ocean.
Lorenzo Villoresi Spezie
We have a wonderful spice store near us called Penzey's and I love when I shop in there that first moment when I walk through the door. My nose is met with a melange of spices and it all smells different and unique every time depending on what is out for sampling and in bulk. I've always thought what a wonderful smell this would be if a perfumer could capture this. Well Lorenzo Villoresi must think the same thing because his 1994 fragrance Spezie does exactly this. Twelve of the 18 listed notes in Spezie are spice notes and they create the feeling of walking in that spice store near perfectly. The entry to Sig. Villoresi's spice rack starts with a mix of coriander and cardamom these are the most prominent notes but off on a far rack the aromatic jars containing eucalyptus and mint are noticeable. Another few steps deeper into the store and I encounter the section containing pepper and thyme which when I turn around on the other side of the aisle, the cinnamon and nutmeg also appear. Underneath all of this floats a cumin note that is exquisitely balanced. Cumin is the note that could have pushed all of the spices to the side but Sig. Villoresi keeps it under control and instead it feels like an appropriate partner. The base carries the clasical mix of rosemary and smoky sage along with a more unusual accord of tomato leaves. This isn't an accord I would think I'd want in a perfume but in Spezie it fits seamlessly and appropirately. Spezie has excellent longevity and sillage. If you are a lover of spice notes in perfumery this is a must try, as along with Piper Nigrum, Sig. Villoresi has made two of the stand-out fragrances in this area of fragrance. Back in the 60's Alka-Seltzer used to have a commercial built around the line "Mama Mia That's a Spicy Meatball!" I'd like to update that line a bit "Sig. Villoresi That's a Spicy Perfume!"
Spices, in any shape or form, are not new or exotic to me. Being an Indian and having lived in India all my life, I've been fortunate be able to enjoy in abundance many substances, exotic or otherwise, which are desirable to the west in varying degrees. I had therefore never imagined I'd fall so hard for Spezie. I marvel at Mr. Villoresi's splendid competence and I'm eternally thankful to him for having brought us modern day sensations like Piper Nigrum and Spezie. I find it astonishing that a juice that feels so much "at home" for me is actually blended in Italy. I wonder what it was, that Mr. Villoresi envisioned when be created Piper Nigrum and Spezie. What was his inspiration? I'm now going to make a feeble attempt of reviewing this magnificent juice, and in doing so, i'm going to mostly abandon my typical method of mentioning identified notes and accords, the whole shabang. I'm going to review it purely on the lines of the sensations it has ignited within me as I write this, with my both wrists and chest silling of Spezie.
To begin with, I must give a nod to one of Spezie's facet, nostalgia. This is pure nostalgia in a bottle for me. It reminds me of my grandmother who has long passed away, it reminds me of some of my best times with her. One such memory is from when I was a kid, about 8 years of age? I was a good kid, and would assist her in carrying grocery bags et al, so she used to tag me along as we made our monthly trip to the spice market for spice supplies. Among the black pepper, fennel, fenugreek, cinnamon, dry red chillies etc, we used to buy turmeric sticks. Dirty yellow in color, they have a very soothing smell. She used to be able to tell if the Turmeric is of a certain quality or not by simply holding a stick in her palm and letting some of the turmeric powder stick to her palm in the process -- and inhaling her palm after that. Being the curious one, I'd always want to smell her palm after that. Some accord in Spezie smells very much exactly like that. I'm sure it's a combination of some notes, the sum of parts -- rather than any singular note.
Another thing it reminds me of is the uber delicious whole raw mango pickle my Grandmother used to make. Lightly spiced and dipped in oil, it's packaged carefully and left to marinate for over 2 years until they soften up completely and taste delicious as hell *wipes drool from lips* damn...... Once again, the key spice here is a light hand of turmeric powder. I get a lot of turmeric vibe from Spezie as I mentioned above.
Spezie is definitely a high quality composition. The abundance of spices with their herbaly undertone never clash with each other, they come together in a perfect amalgamation instead. I'm forced to comment, if there is any scent out there most reminiscent of an "Indian spice market" vibe -- this is "it". And I mean that in a rather positive manner.
This is a "so hot, it's cool" kind of scent. Beautifully warm and rather dry in the opening with the coriander, cardamon and oregano-ish spices, firmly backed with mint and cloves and Nutmeg. Matter of factly, I believe it's the Nutmeg contributing to the entire "cool" vibe more than the mint or cloves, which probably add but a finishing touch. I haven't taken a look at the notes listing, but I'm sure there's more than what I've identified so far. I've yet to reach the drydown on it, though. To conclude, I don't really find this similar to any other scent I've smelled so far, and that includes the Incense Series [all 6 scents] by CDG.
23rd July, 2009 (last edited: 20th August, 2009)