A few years ago I'm taking a shower in my (then) girlfriend’s family home in Italy. It’s time to lather up and I notice this tall, plastic bottle in the shampoo rack that looks like a giant pinecone. Cool. Intrigued, I flip open the cap. Wow! By the time I'm done showering, the whole bathroom smells like a Christmas tree. If you, like me, have deep, nostalgic Christmas memories, you can imagine the thrill. Also, I never felt so clean in my life.
So, I go into the kitchen where my gf is preparing a massive lunch and I ask her what that ‘pine cone’ in the shower is. “Pino Silvestre, my father’s shampoo," she says. Then she tells me it’s also a cologne! With a maniacal gleam, I insist she help me find some as soon as possible, to which she (rather coolly) responds that she’d rather I didn’t smell like her father. Okay, fair enough –but I had discovered how to smell exactly like a Christmas tree and I was going to get my hands on this magical elixir whether she liked it or not.
A day or so later, we’re in this large, chain supermarket and…there it is! In fact, it’s everywhere. And cheap! Genuinely baffled at how excited I was about this clearly prosaic scent, this was for her like someone flipping out over, say, Old Spice. Okay, I can appreciate that. But I reiterate: Christmas tree. Promising never to wear it in her presence, she happily bought me an inexpensive gift box (frag/shampoo combo). The shelf was PACKED with them. Every guy in Italy is wearing this, I thought. But I didn't care.
Over the next couple of years, she indulged my Christmas smell-alike mania by sending me a small bottle every now and then (I couldn’t find it in the US anywhere). Considering that at the time I tended to wear fairly expensive designer frags or exotic, Eastern oils, my enthusiasm for lowly Pino Silvestre must have seemed hilarious.
About a year ago, mourning over the pitiful dregs of that last, final bottle, I found Pino Silvestre online. Now, I do, however, agree with a lot of the other reviewers: there’s not a whole lot of projection (I always wonder how Engelbert Humperdinck manages to permeate an entire venue with this scent? Vats and giant fans?), fairly modest sillage, and longevity is maybe about two/three hours, tops. Then again, I’m not drowning myself in it. I think if you really want people to notice, you’re going to need at least ten healthy sprays. Maybe one day I’ll bathe in it, but at this point this is more of a ‘personal scent,’ something I wear after an evening shower before I go to bed (in fact, I’m wearing it right now). I love it, and that’s all that counts for me, ultimately. So, if you’re into taking a journey to a Santa Land where Engelbert Humperdinck croons mellow and bare-chested (think, ‘Winter World of Love’) amidst the snow-laden evergreen boughs of the Altopiano di Asiago, this is really for you.
On me, it dries down to a cozy and very masculine aura of pine, juniper berries, and a green, musky amber.
20th December, 2012