Ginger, pepper, sage/bay leaf, rose and violet, perhaps iris too, benzoin, other resins and perhaps patchouli. A blast of Far East. I also smell sandalwood (a woody-soapy soft note) and lavender, or more precisely, a somewhat harsh and camphoraceous lavender oil/linalool note, finally also something like olibanum, a bit resinous but also incensey. To be honest I personally don't like half of the most prominent notes here, so although I admit they are all good quality (not stunning, just good), I can not really come to like this. It smells somehow too pungent and slightly confused, there is a persistent odd feel of "floor cleaner" (think it's because of citral or citronellol and lavender oil and spices), weirdly blended with a massive and a bit cloying accord of pepper, ginger, resins, which are three notes each one with quite a bold personality, so they're kind of fighting and shouting to become each one the most prominent. Finally the rose/violet accord is nostalgically charming itself, but I don't like that very much either, mostly because to my nose it does not really "fit" there. I smell the three main notes, that this "spare" accord lying there as if it got into the wrong scent and it's waiting for someone to pick it up and take it away. Globally it's a pungent and peculiar rose-spicy-resinous Oriental scent, you may give it a try as I would not define it "bad", just somehow interesting although sadly also confused and a bit boring. The drydown is the best stage here, it's a discreet, warm and refined ambery-resinous accord with subtle woody-sweet notes – nothing new, but pleasant.
I find Cinabre simply stunning, really. A great, great take on the amber olfactory theme. The beginning is a terrific fist of aromatic ginger, pepper and balmy rose (more than a vague recollection about the Tiziana Terenzi Gold Rose Oudh's ambery/woody/musky rose feel). You can catch in the air a first splashing peppery and watery ginger in a while enveloped by a a sort of almost edible rosey feel somewhat unique in its genre. While the pepper recedes in a couple of minutes the (sweetly spicy) ginger holds on its run till the end with its radiant creamy and ambery muskiness. The combination of myrrh, luxurious amber and vanilla is almost culinary (and carnal) and I feel this blend marvellously resinous and barely oily/lymphatic. The mild spiciness is still operating and penetrating yet along the wonderful creamy/musky dry down and it is interpenetrated with en extremely natural sort of vegetal nectar or pollen utterly resinous and barely dissonant. I detect for long hints of muskiness and something more than vaguely soapy. In my opinion some fir resins are yet included in the recipe. The rose is Imperial and extremely syrupy, it seems like to layer on the skin a sort of oily extrait of natural rose. After a couple of hours the rose (still notable) decidedly recedes and a wonderful rosey veined amber keeps standing out proudly for us. The fragrance is not extremely complex or sophisticated but the rose becomes more and more subtle along the way hanging finally out in a light creamy (and dreamy) way. The long dry down tail performs an indolent, languid and evocative general effect and you keep figuring in mind young white dressed victorian damosels running cheerfully along the royal english garden tracks.
18th March, 2014 (last edited: 31st December, 2014)
A powerful opening where huge gusts of sweet rosiness blow through veils of pepper. A squirt of ginger juice keeps things lively. Gentile is, if nothing, bold with her roses – unafraid to make them intensely sweet. But somehow they do not get the syrupy, stewed quality that other concentrated rose odours can acquire – they stay true.
In Cinabre the resins (bezoin, oppoponax) grow more prominent as the perfume evolves, the purpose being to realize a perfect myrrh according to Gentile. This is a bit of a shame as the feel of the perfume ages dramatically, becoming somewhat powdery, a touch medicinal, the roses drying all the while.
I cannot resist a comparison with the heavenly Sideris where a plump sweet rose scent is balanced beautifully by a sharp and silvery incense, the combination strong, startling and yet easy to wear. Cinabre (which was launched in the same year) shares quite a bit of Sideris’s gene pool but cannot match its perfection. It leaves a fine trail which is somehow more floral than when smelled on skin and is pleasing in its own right, just not the first one to go for from this house if you’re a rose lover.
Severe and invigorating. I've to admit that despite I'm not among the biggest fans of rose-centered compositions, this is quite a fragrance. The astringent quality provided by pairing the peppery ginger and the rose is definitely interesting. Personally I find the initial phases of Cinabre to be the most compelling. Just like a burning whiplash, but I guess this type of severity is something that won't appeal to many. IMO the fragrance evolves into a slightly more conventional, yet incredibly satisfying, resinous-rose drydown with just a tad of sweetness...good stuff.