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  1. #1

    Default Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I ordered samples of Santa Maria Novella's Sandalo, Patchouli, Musk, Vetiver and Hay fragrances. I'm really surprised by how good this house is... except for Sandalo, which came as a big surprise to me, nothing like I expected. I smell a strong medicinal tar note (birch tar?) and almost no sandalwood.

    The rest, however, are great. Patchouli is a great clear, light and raw straight patchouli scent. Vetiver is the best vetiver I've tried yet, so true to the real oil but with just the right notes to back it up (at first it smelled vaguely like hair product, but that settled down in a few minutes into olfactory bliss). Hay is really nice; it smells very much like high quality soap... but in a good way. It's not something I'd personally wear, but it's impressive.

    Musk, however, is the real standout. I'm definitely buying a bottle of this. It's my new favourite musk, and as far as I can tell it's all-or-nearly natural. Based on Sumbul root (musk root), the drydown is similiar to (a more pleasant) ambrette seed. It smells nothing like the synthetic musks that we're constantly exposed to in most musky fragrances. Pure gorgeousness.

    All of these fragrances are so smooth and don't "hit the nose", suggesting that they're as natural as Santa Maria Novella claims they are.

    I recommend this house to anyone wanting more old world style fragrances, the kind you can wear while hiking or gardening and not seem out of place. Nature in a bottle.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Have you tried SMN Nostalgia? That hits the nose pretty hard...a bit enjoyable too (in a weird way).

    Oh yea, try Melograno too. Nostalgia and Melograno .. sledgehammers, both of 'em.
    Last edited by zztopp; 5th October 2007 at 05:37 AM.
    -

  3. #3

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Patchouli and Musk are tremendous fragrances; and I agree, SMN's Musk puts all others to shame!

    Two other standouts are Marescialla (very dry spices) and Acqua di Cuba (not for the faint of heart!)

    Sandalwood was very gasoline-like to me, definitely like no other sandalwood I've tried before.
    ..."net", not "naut".

  4. #4

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    The SMN store is a half hour away and I still have yet to visit. Maybe some time soon!

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    i owned both cuba and musk and the wierd thing is thet smelled different to me when i purchased the bottles then when i tried them from the tester...i dont get it. I thought maybe my senses were screwed up, but no, aplication after aplication i was not gettting the scents that i had fallen in love with at the store....i know each bottle is hand labled and all that, but whats the deal?
    --------------------------------------
    im very curious about vanilla and gold musk though...anybody tested these?
    Last edited by jdnba; 5th October 2007 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  6. #6

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I tried several of their scents when I was in Florence in May. One in particular had lots of pepper in it and took quite some time to simmer down. Does anyone recall what that might be?

    Thank God for Italy!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I recently received SMN's Musk in a swap.
    YOWZAS is right -- this is the most wearable, buttery, almost edible musk I've encountered for daily use.
    (MR is just too sexy for everyday use, as is the cheap but virile Monsieur Musk.)

    On a creepy note: Santa Maria Novella is Hannibal Lecter's favorite.
    (Read the books -- he even takes Clarice there, I think.)
    Last edited by tvlampboy; 5th October 2007 at 01:30 PM.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  8. #8

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Yes, Santa Maria Novella has excellent fragrances. I own a number of them and I would agree that Musk is one of their best if not the best musk on the market. I do not find the Sandalo to be particularly tarry; it reminds me of sticks of Indian sandalwood incense. The one that is extremely tarry is Peau d'Espange - as dirty leather scent as you can imagine. Aqua di Cuba is a wonderful tobacco and leather offering while Vetiver is strong and almost pure vetiver. My favourite is Potpourri - a superb medicinal and spicy mixture of eucalytus added to a tradtional potpourri mixture. The basenotes of SMN are extremely distinctive and as recognizable as a classic Guerlain. I have been waiting for the website - they have had "opening soon" for some time.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I just read a review yesterday of Aqua di Cuba that said it smelled like...semen? They didn't come right out and say that but it was implied. Anyone agree? If that's the case I don't even want to try it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Sounds good to me!

    I wish there were a boutique here in town that sells SMN; unfortunately, the nearest one is 3.5 hrs. away in Dallas.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    *****
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame
    [/B]

  11. #11

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I tried Melograno,but found it a bit sharp for me.
    The Musk is very nice, but very erm, ..poutpoury, vegetable smelling.
    Acqua di Cuba and Colonia Russa were very,very nice ,but I wished they lasted longer.
    I'd love to try Nostalgia one day though.
    A very charming and interesting ,italian house
    Last edited by eric; 2nd February 2008 at 03:18 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Quote Originally Posted by eric View Post
    The Musk is nice, but very erm, ..poutpoury, vegetable smelling.
    I haven't tried Must but it could be because its a plant-derived musk, and not the animal variety.
    -

  13. #13

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    The drydown of SMN Pot-pourri and LV- Piper Nigrum are extremely similar to my nose.
    The top of Pot-pourri is nearly unbearable however. I have tried repeatedly to understand Melograno and have failed. I love it and hate it simultaneously.
    Last edited by Jock_With_Scents; 5th October 2007 at 02:05 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I have and love Melograno and Nostalgia, would love to try more of SMN scents but I'm afraid to: can't afford to get them all...
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  15. #15

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I love Melograno. What I love even more than the Melograno Colonia is the SOAP! Ugh - that is the best bar of soap any human could possibly use. I bought them both at the spring Sniffapalooza in Takashimaya.

    I need to pay more attention to this line at the Fall event - Peau d'Espagne, Iris, Hay and Carnation in particular.

    Nostalgia I also need to re-try - I didnt stick around too long to find out where it was going to go, but I did not like the opening.
    "To be irreplaceable, one must always be different!" - Coco Chanel

    visit: WWW.SNIFFAPALOOZAMAGAZINE.COM

  16. #16

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I'd forgotten about Aqua di Cuba, I've tried that one too. I liked it a lot, but it's not something I'd wear often. I've tried Melograno before (months ago) as well, and I definitely appreciated it, but it seemed a little too soapy for me at the time. I should try it out again, because I only smelled it on a test strip (shame on me).

    MarkDavid: I actually remember thinking at the time I sampled Melograno, "Wow, this would make an awesome soap". At this rate I'll probably be getting a lot of SMN soap... if you go to lafcony.com they actually carry the full SMN line, including toothpaste. How cool is that?

    Here in Portland, Oregon only Mario's department stores carry SMN. They don't have the full line, unfortunately, but I'm going there today hoping to pick up Musk.

    Whoever mentioned the difference between full bottles and tester vials: I'm hoping that the scent doesn't differ to much between batches... I might have to test the Musk bottle I get to make sure it smells like my sample vial.
    Last edited by Maxwell; 5th October 2007 at 05:08 PM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Yes, Lafco is the American Importer of Santa Maria Novella and Claus Porto.

    Their soaps are really incredible. Ive had a bar of Melograno in my shower since March. Its not the only soap I have in there - but I would say that Its only half its original size and I choose it at least twice a week.

    Im a big soap fan

    My current shower soap plate includes:
    Hermes Eau d'Orange
    Acca Kappa Sandalwood
    Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile
    Floris Elite
    SMN Melograno
    Claus Porto Mimosa
    "To be irreplaceable, one must always be different!" - Coco Chanel

    visit: WWW.SNIFFAPALOOZAMAGAZINE.COM

  18. #18

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I used to only wear Melograno as a layer with other fragrances, but when I started wearing it alone discovered its surface white noise quality belies a highly seductive evolution. It's very sweet, yet dry.

    To recapture your experience of sampling Cuba I suggest you apply very little. That'll probably do the trick.

    If you make it to an SMN store don't overlook the witchy, wonderful mace based Marescialla, the scintillating slightly Listerine like Frangipane, favorite of Ferre, the dial soap combined with moldy jockstrap weirdness that is Gold Musk, and the pure, savory Opoponax, a man's Opoponax, James Joyce's Opoponax (I like to think. He liked Opononax)?

    While the thrust of SMN in general is a sort of throwback, pre-parisian ancientness, as though an enfleurage process is used that filters out less from plants, nobody has a thing on this hosue in terms of ultramodern offbeat offerings.

    BTW the same perfumer for SMN today also does Nanedebarry.
    Last edited by supermarky; 6th October 2007 at 10:29 PM.

  19. #19
    Off-Scenter
    Guest

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    No kidding! Nothing "old world" about those two. Nostalgia is the interior of a new car, and Melograno has got to be one of the weirdest scents I've tried.

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    Have you tried SMN Nostalgia? That hits the nose pretty hard...a bit enjoyable too (in a weird way).

    Oh yea, try Melograno too. Nostalgia and Melograno .. sledgehammers, both of 'em.
    Last edited by Off-Scenter; 7th October 2007 at 12:01 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Have a decant of the only SMN i've ever tried...Peau D' Espagne. A very well done, no-holds-barred raw leather. Sexy stuff.
    Are you not entertained??? Is this not why you are here??

  21. #21

    Thumbs up Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Quote Originally Posted by knightowl View Post
    ...Peau D' Espagne. A very well done, no-holds-barred raw leather. Sexy stuff.
    Sounds interesting. I found myself quite disappointed with Cuir Mauresque and Cuir d'Arabie. I don't think I'll like Cuir Ottoman, Knize Ten or Creed and Chanel's Cuir de Russie, but this sounds like it might do the trick.
    Quote Originally Posted by supermarky View Post
    If you make it to an SMN store don't overlook the witchy, wonderful mace based Marescialla..
    Definitely want to try this. I like the name. lol

    The only frag I've tried from this house is Patchouli. I am a patch freak.. I've searched high and low for the ultimate patch. THIS IS IT!! I've tried Montale, L'Artisan, Jalaine, Profumum, Mazzolari... none can hold a candle to this. (IMHO of course)
    Caveat emptor: Apply sparingly. (Trust me on this one.) After I get this, I'm throwing away all my oils.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixotiq View Post
    The only frag I've tried from this house is Patchouli. I am a patch freak.. I've searched high and low for the ultimate patch. THIS IS IT!! I've tried Montale, L'Artisan, Jalaine, Profumum, Mazzolari... none can hold a candle to this. (IMHO of course)
    Caveat emptor: Apply sparingly. (Trust me on this one.) After I get this, I'm throwing away all my oils.
    The SMN Patchouli...I've also heard others say good things about it too...is the patchouli complemented by other notes? Quixotiq or anyone, what else do you notice in it...or is it just pure patchouli?

    As another leather fan, it's also fun to hear about Peau D' Espagne. Any comments on how it compares to the Spanish Leathers by Trumper and Truefitt & Hill? Thanks! By the way, my opinions of the two latter leathers are that the Trumper is kind of creamy/suede/saddlesoap, and the Truefitt & Hill is a little darker, a little more wood, more spice/pepper.
    Last edited by Spicemeister; 7th October 2007 at 08:10 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Spicemeister View Post
    The SMN Patchouli...I've also heard others say good things about it too...is the patchouli complemented by other notes? Quixotiq or anyone, what else do you notice in it...or is it just pure patchouli?
    It's basically pure patchouli, but it's cleaner, clearer and lighter smelling than pure patchouli oil. I'm sure there's other notes in very minute quantities, but they're not aparent.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Spicemeister View Post
    The SMN Patchouli...I've also heard others say good things about it too...is the patchouli complemented by other notes? Quixotiq or anyone, what else do you notice in it...or is it just pure patchouli?
    Like Maxwell said... its just pure Patchouli. About as pure as it gets actually. If there are other notes, I don't smell them at all. In contrast to all the other Patchouli/ys I've tried, SMN Patchouli is not loaded with amber, vanilla or sandalwood like Patchouli Leaves or Patchouli Antique etc. SMN's Patch is bitter, herbal and very earthy. In comparison, all the others actually smell quite feminine and "pretty" to me. SMN Patchouli has this whole "earthy, but clean" vibe going on that makes it entirely impressive to me. I almost get a halfy in my pants just thinking about all the layering possiblities. lol
    I can't stress enough about being skillful with application. It is VERY strong and lasts forever. (always a plus in my book.)
    "Yowzas!" is an understatement.
    Last edited by Quixotiq; 8th October 2007 at 12:19 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixotiq View Post
    Like Maxwell said... its just pure Patchouli. About as pure as it gets actually. If there are other notes, I don't smell them at all. In contrast to all the other Patchouli/ys I've tried, SMN Patchouli is not loaded with amber, vanilla or sandalwood like Patchouli Leaves or Patchouli Antique etc. SMN's Patch is bitter, herbal and very earthy. In comparison, all the others actually smell quite feminine and "pretty" to me. SMN Patchouli has this whole "earthy, but clean" vibe going on that makes it entirely impressive to me. I almost get a halfy in my pants just thinking about all the layering possiblities. lol
    I can't stress enough about being skillful with application. It is VERY strong and lasts forever. (always a plus in my book.)
    "Yowzas!" is an understatement.
    Yeah, SMN Patchouli is easier for a man to pull off than a lot of patchouli soliflores (which are usually marketed to women). It's not sweetened, like so many are.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Acqua di Cuba smells like cigar smoke and vetiver, with flowers intertwined. I don't care for the scent much, but it's simply my taste. The scent is 100% class, wellmade, and lasts forever. It's really a spectacular fragrance.. I do not believe it smells like semen.

    I also concur the Musk is astounding. It smells like a wet shower... all day; I mean this in a great way. It's truly in a class by itself. And PotPourri is my favorite thus far, but really, I have not been able to sample a lot of SMN.

    Another good one is vaniglia, for women. It's pure vanilla, but with spice. It's the vanilla you cook with, not the vanilla that you smell in fragrances.. some might wonder how this comes off, but it comes off extremely well. For women. It's smokey spice mixed with vanilla, and works very well. Pure class in a bottle.

    The more SMN I smell, the more I realize how great they are. I cannot wait to get a decant of Nostalgia..

  27. #27

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Thank you blah for resurrecting this thread, I hadn't seen it before.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I wish there were a way to get more SMN locally.. anyway, some great guy on here referred me to perfumedcourt.com..........

    I have ordered Nostalgia in a decant.. and plan on getting more SMN items.. just to see if I like them.

    The fact so many people are perplexed by items such as PotPourri makes me curious enough about them to try and see if I like them.. I respect people's opinions, but diversity regarding fragrances appeals to me.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    I did consider perfume court as well, but then I saw the prices they were charging along with the high cost of getting them posted to the UK, I just dismissed the idea.

    We only have one SMN boutique in the UK and that's down in London, I live 200 miles to the north of there, so a quick pop into the boutique isn't even an option. It's always the case though when it's a fragrance line that one would like time with to get to know better.

    Barry

  30. #30

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Nearly two years ago, a niche store was closing down here and I could have bought any SMN scent at half price. But despite sampling about a dozen, I was unimpressed with the scents themselves and with their longevity in particular. So I opted for the half price MPGs and Piver scents instead.

    I really have difficulty understanding what grabs people about this niche house. Though I have to give them an A++ for creativity with respect to Nostalgia, I don't like it much, but I have to admire anyone who puts out a scent of petrol, oil and rubber.
    Renato

  31. #31

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Quote Originally Posted by supermarky View Post
    If you make it to an SMN store don't overlook the witchy, wonderful mace based Marescialla, the scintillating slightly Listerine like Frangipane, favorite of Ferre, the dial soap combined with moldy jockstrap weirdness that is Gold Musk, and the pure, savory Opoponax, a man's Opoponax, James Joyce's Opoponax (I like to think. He liked Opononax)?
    Ginestra is also worth trying. Very unique. Not a lot of broom grass based scents in the market.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    you have to wear SMN to understand it, in my opinion. Like Potpourri, for example, changes as the day goes on. That's a fragrance. My opinion is you cannot judge any fragrance upon smelling in a bottle, unless it's not dynamic. I like Polo Blue, for example, in the bottle.. what you smell is what you get. With the SMNs I have tried, the scent changes a lot after you apply it.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    So is gold musk or regular musk better? What about Citta di Kyoto?
    Last edited by Scentologist; 23rd March 2008 at 04:16 PM.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jock_With_Scents View Post
    I have tried repeatedly to understand Melograno and have failed. I love it and hate it simultaneously.

    My experience too...ended up swapping it for something I always like.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Santa Maria Novella - yowzas!

    the first poster on this thread asked which is the peppery one, that'd be peau d'espagne

    cuba does not smell like vetiver and cigar smoke, nor semen, imo it has been discontinued and unlike some discontinued scents, it's unlikely you'll have much luck finding any. I guess the new toscano is its replacement. I sniffed it once but don't remember what it was like.

    some smn scents are like the perfume equivalent of listening to 78 rpm records, especially some of the florals, they are rather "rough"

    if you want to try them swap for samples on MUA you can find samples of just about any of them there

    personally I don't care for the musk which seems to be a hit here I am going to wear gold musk today though as a perfect antidote to having worn too many sweet things lately.

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