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  1. #1

    Default Italian vs French...

    I am familiar with some French fragrances, and with the popular reputation of 'French perfume' as very fine, classy, soignée, just as French cuisine has a similar repute.

    Being half Italian, I'd like to try some Italian frags. I'm wondering if their classics are like Italian cuisine, a bit rougher, with the natural ingredients more in evidence, less mixed into a purée?...or perhaps the analogy is false...

    I've heard of Acqua di Parma, would like to try it. What about some other great characteristic Italians???

    Also, are the Italian scents made in Italy? Azzaro and others are called Italian but made in France.

    P. S.--- Since stumbling on Basenotes a few months ago while researching a scent-related question I have lost myself for many many hours reading discussions and and reviews here, and have renewed a very old passion. And I've come to know your website as just the most wonderful living, vibrant, welcoming online community, bar none, as well as an encyclopedic reference source. I hope in some small way to participate.

    Sincere thanks,

    Boiek
    BOIEK::LAPISHCHIN
    Tsar::0f::The::Samovar
    Paco Rabanne pour Homme
    Yatagan
    Eau d'Hermès and Habit Rouge
    Eau de Rochas Homme
    Carven Vetiver
    Gucci Envy and his bad brother Le Mâle
    English Leather (Dana) and Agua Lavanda (Puig)

  2. #2
    Hoos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    I Profumi di Firenze is a house in Firenze that I'm just discovering.

    The Agrumi di Sicilia from them is a fantastic lime scent. It smells very natural to me and has a wild element (as compared to French scents - Anna Magnani vs. Sophia Loren) that I enjoy. Several samples from their line are expected next week and I'm looking forward to trying them.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  3. #3

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Welcome to Basenotes!

    Let me start by offering this link to Michael's Edwards Fragrance Directory: http://www.fragrancedirectory.info/u...ory/Index.aspx

    You can search specifically for Italian fragrances, but as you noted some are manufactured elsewhere.

    I would think, however, that if a perfume house is Italian their fragrances would reflect that heritage irrespective of where it is manufactured.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  4. #4

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoos View Post
    Several samples from their line are expected next week and I'm looking forward to trying them.
    Hoos,

    Who should I contact to get these samples?

    Lucius

    .

  5. #5

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    The fragrance industry is even more of a melting pot than the USA. It's nearly impossible to align a fragrance with a nationality these days. Creed is founded in Britain but made in france by a British perfumer who fancies himself as French. Santa Maria Novella I suppose could be identified as Italian and Molinard as French but the "pedigrees" grow thin.

    Kiton made by Aramis (American) for an Italian designer but made in the UK. The you have the Puig brands (made in Spain but not for Spanish designers always). Yohji, a Japanese designer's juices are made in France at one time by Jean Patou (French) but now by P&G (American). Do you credit the ethnicity of the the fragrance to the perfumer, the designer or company it represents, or the theme of the fragrance?

    Is a movie the directors,' writers', producers,' or actors?' Is my cat my property or am I hers? Questions we will never have answers too.

    But we do know who's better at soccer.

    Cheers,
    Ali

  6. #6
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    petruccijc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Etro fragrances are made in Italy.

    I am particularly fond of their Lemon Sorbet cologne.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  7. #7

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    How about Carthusia Uomo and Carthusia Numero Uno?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    Etro fragrances are made in Italy.

    I am particularly fond of their Lemon Sorbet cologne.
    Sounds yummy. Have Italians allowed vanilla to creep into their perfumes too?

    Serously, I'll look it up to get an idea of it.

    thanks, bl
    BOIEK::LAPISHCHIN
    Tsar::0f::The::Samovar
    Paco Rabanne pour Homme
    Yatagan
    Eau d'Hermès and Habit Rouge
    Eau de Rochas Homme
    Carven Vetiver
    Gucci Envy and his bad brother Le Mâle
    English Leather (Dana) and Agua Lavanda (Puig)

  9. #9
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    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapishchin View Post
    Being half Italian, I'd like to try some Italian frags. I'm wondering if their classics are like Italian cuisine, a bit rougher, with the natural ingredients more in evidence, less mixed into a purée?...or perhaps the analogy is false...
    So based upon your comments above Lapischin, it sounds like you have not smelled anything by Lorenzo Villoresi (an Italian perfumer par excellence)?

    Please do.

    Villoresi scents are known for their 'rough' top notes that lead to amazing middle and base notes. I love many of them. Three that come to mind immediately are Vetiver, Spezie (spice, herbs and more spice) and Yerbamate.

    Perfumecritic.com interviewed Villoresi last year - here's the BN thread where we discussed it and a link to the interview: http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=198306
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 19th April 2008 at 02:32 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    My thanks to anak for the notes on the perfume world melting pot, and to all who gave suggestions.

    I look forward to sampling Italians, including Etro, Profumi di Firenze, Carthusia and Villoresi.

    Boiek

  11. #11

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Please add Santa Maria Novella, Domenico Caraceni and Profumum to your list.

    Tabacco Toscano by SMN is a very nice vanilla tobacco leather scent.
    Last edited by TwoRoads; 19th April 2008 at 03:09 PM.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  12. #12

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    I've just got to give a huge second to Mike's Lorenzo Villoresi recommendation. He's my favorite perfumer. Mike listed some of my favorites in his posting, but to that list I'd definitely add Piper Nigrum.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Quote Originally Posted by anak View Post
    The fragrance industry is even more of a melting pot than the USA. It's nearly impossible to align a fragrance with a nationality these days. Creed is founded in Britain but made in france by a British perfumer who fancies himself as French. Santa Maria Novella I suppose could be identified as Italian and Molinard as French but the "pedigrees" grow thin.

    Kiton made by Aramis (American) for an Italian designer but made in the UK. The you have the Puig brands (made in Spain but not for Spanish designers always). Yohji, a Japanese designer's juices are made in France at one time by Jean Patou (French) but now by P&G (American). Do you credit the ethnicity of the the fragrance to the perfumer, the designer or company it represents, or the theme of the fragrance?

    Is a movie the directors,' writers', producers,' or actors?' Is my cat my property or am I hers? Questions we will never have answers too.

    But we do know who's better at soccer.

    Cheers,
    Ali
    Brilliant post. Thanks, Ali.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Please add Laura Tonatto fragrances to the list.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    I just thought of two more Italian frags that I like that don't get a lot of love here on basenotes:

    Fendi Uomo. If you're manly enough to pull it off, it's a great scent. Lots of leather and musk. If you're a young thin guy with no hair on his chest, I'd say this one is almost certainly not for you.

    Salvadore Ferragamo. Fresh and woody. Honestly, it smells like dill in a cedar chest to me. Cool twisted glass bottle, too.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    You mentioned Acqua di Parma, I highly recommend it. Now my No. 1 scent is Colonia Assoluta. But some argue the original Colonia is better, so try both.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    The thing about all the Italian niche scents that have been recommended to you, is that they're niche. Most Italians stick to designer scents. When I was there three years ago, some shop owners were somewhat astounded that I knew more about Lorenzo Villoresi scents than the locals did. None of my numerous cousins had ever heard of him.

    There seemed to be a lot more niche scents available there when I visited six months ago, but they were obviously still greatly outnumbered by the shops selling designer scents.

    If you went there you'd find heaps of Sergio Tacchini, Gai Mattioli, Krizia and Mariella Burani designer scents that aren't generally available in other parts of the world. And Versace, Laura Biagiotti, Gian Franco Ferre, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo scents are sold everywhere there. For me, these ones have always had a more Italian feel to them than those of other Italian designers like Gucci and Armani.

    I've always also had a soft spot for some of their cheaper brands made by Mavive (Nautilus, Pino Sylvestre, Police) because they're usually pretty well constructed and have very good longevity - especially the Nautilus range. If you want to wear what the greatest number of Italians are wearing, get a hold of the vetiver scent Malazia Uomo which is as ubiquitous as Brut over there (and sells pretty cheap down here in Australia as well)

    The other big Italian label that most everyone doesn't think of as Italian, is Diesel. I was astounded to learn in the Emirates inflight magazine on the plane trip back home that where Diesel formed and is still headquartered is in the town of Bassano Del Grappa - the very place I'd just been living next to for 2 months.
    Renato

    P.S. - I forgot the other relatively cheap but nearly always interesting house - Benetton. And how Dolce & Gabbana escaped me, I'm unsure.
    Last edited by Renato; 20th April 2008 at 11:34 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    I hate to generalize, but I'm not overly fond of Italian fragrance houses - that said, I am a big fan of the Etro line. Shaar Nil, Messe de Minuit and Vetiver are three of my favorites. They have that Italian way of keeping their notes identifiable, but transcend the citrus/herbal/country-side cliche, that so many Italian houses fall prey to.
    Santa Maria Novella fragrances get a little tedious in their need to cover all the classic/basic themes. Villoresi was an early fave of mine, but I think they lack a certain animalistic quality that leaves them a bit too stiff for me.
    I find Armani to be too safe, except for one or two from the pretentious Prive collection.
    Dolce and Gabanna, again, stuck in that other Italian cliche riddled world of saints and whores, gays and straights. Too much Catholic guilt for me.
    Versace is often too much of a parody of itself, like Donatella herself.
    Carthusia is like just like Capri, too beautiful, too boring.
    If some Italian house could come up with a sexy juice, in a Sicilian way, let's say, that would combine freshness and filth, Catholic and Arab, black and blue, I would be the first on board.
    Until then, I'll stick with Etro's Messe de Minuit as my de facto Italian scent .
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 21st April 2008 at 09:30 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    I want to add Laura Biagiotti, Romeo Gigli and Salvatore Ferragamo.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    WOW!!! You all have really given me what I asked for.

    Hoos, petruccijc, LuciusVorenus, TwoRoads, anak, OmegaMan, Mikeperez23, Tonyprince, Strollyourlobster (!), frank06, Sandy, Renato, Ruggles and Boal,

    Thank you all very much.

    I have a lot here to go on and wiil be refering to this thread for a long time; glad to have all the mentions and hints, both the niche and mainstream scents.

    This line of inquiry may just nudge me to take that trip to Italy I've wanted.

    Boiek

  21. #21

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Renato and Ruggles - thank you both! A copy of your recommendations together will make my new 'reference book' (it arrived!) more complete! Mavive is news to me, and your comments on Diesel give this brand an interesting aspect, Renato. And Ruggles Carthusia comment will stick in my memory as the one on Turin and Venice recently. I can never get enough of boring beauties.
    Last edited by narcus; 20th April 2008 at 01:53 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  22. #22

    Post Re: Italian vs French...

    There are numerous less known italian niche houses; Mazzolari is fantastic, Eau d'Italie is very unique. I have not tried many of the Profumo di Pantelleria line, but it also seems to be worth looking into. New line, Odori is also very interesting, it's creator, Enzo Galardi created Bois 1920 line few years ago.

    Famous tailor Gianni Campagna also created a fragrance line of his own, I'm going to order some samples next week.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    Renato and Ruggles - thank you both! A copy of your recommendations together will make my new 'reference book' (it arrived!) more complete! Mavive is news to me, and your comments on Diesel give this brand an interesting aspect, Renato. And Ruggles Carthusia comment will stick in my memory as the one on Turin and Venice recently. I can never get enough of boring beauties.
    Hi Narcus,
    Check Mavive's website at
    http://www.mavive.com/
    and click on Nautilus - I think there is something special in each of Aqua, Black Marlin and Blazer, though the latter two don't strike me as being as marine-like as the site suggests. I recollect Scentimus was quite intrigued by Blazer too. Which makes two of us on the board who like it. Black Marlin kind of reminds me of A*men in terms of effect, but it's apples instead of chocolate.

    I recollect posting here about Sergio Tacchini's Stile late last year. I got a total of zero responses - which leads me to suspect that most of the numerous scents by him and numerous other designers that I saw over there don't make it out of the country.
    Renato

  24. #24

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    And you forgot Nasomatto, guys! Although Alessandro Gualtieri's business is presently based in the Netherlands, he's 100% Italian.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sniffing around
    I'll stop wearing black when they make something darker

  25. #25

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    I have both Tonono Lamborghini EDP and Tonino Lamborghini Chrono. They are made in Italy. I find EDP an Italian Boucheron PH. I find Chrono similiar in a way to Chanel Allure Homme Sport.

    I don't have Titanium, but from sampling it in the store, it also smells great. It's a modern style scent.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    If I think of Italian perfumes, I think about sun and Aqua di Parma, Cartusia, Santa Maria Novela, Etro, LV.
    In these scents you can smell some predomenant herbal notes.
    the best example is sandalwood scent from Santa Maria Novela - you san smell sandalwood and thyme. Very nice.
    "PLAIN LIVING, HIGH THINKING" O.W., De Profundis
    Real beauty: 1) Frederic Malle 1-20 2) Chanel Egoiste 3) YSL Opium pour Homme edp 4) TF Noir de Noir

    Noses: 1) Jacques Cavallier 2) Maurice Roucel

  27. #27

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamerII View Post
    If I think of Italian perfumes, I think about sun and Aqua di Parma, Cartusia, Santa Maria Novela, Etro, LV.
    In these scents you can smell some predomenant herbal notes.
    the best example is sandalwood scent from Santa Maria Novela - you san smell sandalwood and thyme. Very nice.
    If you want herbally type scents, don't forget the granddaddy of them all, namely Aqua di Selva from 1941. It still seems to be selling pretty well around the world.
    Renato

  28. #28

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Renato, you're SO right! It's astounding how Italins don't know Italian parfumeurs... every time I wear Etro's vetiver here at school there's somebody sniffing me and asking what the heck it is smelling so good, when I explain it's vetiver they look at me like if I were an alien because "It's not like malizia/Guerlain!"(if you're able to find someone who knows Guerlain's vetiver, obvously...)
    Anyway, I stick to those who came before me and say absolutely try Villoresi and Etro, Ferragamo, ADP, etc, just one thing: avoid diesel plz, I don't find their juice that good, but it's just MHO, obviously.
    Last edited by Maolo; 22nd April 2008 at 05:19 PM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maolo View Post
    Renato, you're SO right! It's astounding how Italins don't know Italian parfumeurs... every time I wear Etro's vetiver here at school there's somebody sniffing me and asking what the heck it is smelling so good, when I explain it's vetiver they look at me like if I were an alien because "It's not like malizia/Guerlain!"(if you're able to find someone who knows Guerlain's vetiver, obvously...)
    Anyway, I stick to those who came before me and say absolutely try Villoresi and Etro, Ferragamo, ADP, etc, just one thing: avoid diesel plz, I don't find their juisce that good, but it's just MHO, obviously.
    Hi Maolo,
    Yes, I got the feeling the people in the shops had the "here-I-go-again-trying-to-explain-that-these-scents-are-special" attitude to most people that walked in - which was why they were always surprised when I said I knew Lorenzo Villoresi well, or that I owned six Creeds already. They were always surprised when I told them that Lorenzo Villoresi scents which cost around 100 Euro over there, equates to $165 Australian dollars. But in Australia they cost around A$280.

    I've got two bottles of Etro's Vetiver - it's probably the rawest one I've tried. The other good one which I picked up very cheap in Rome was the Roccobarocco Vetiver, which was sort of in between Etro's and Lorenzo Villoresi's.

    For some reason, I've always been one of the few who liked Diesel here. Diesel Plus Plus is very much like Nikos Sculpture plus the added milk note. It has great lasting power and works very well in hot Italian summers. Diesel Zero Plus was an interesting and intriguing spicy oriental scent, which I don't wear very much. But it is wearable to work in the office, which most newer spicy orientals aren't. Diesel Green was a lively little ambery fougere scent, quite unlike most of the other "green" ones that came out at the time. The only one I haven't liked much is Fuel for Life.

    The other really interesting Italian scent which is available in the odd shop over there - sometimes designer, sometimes niche - is Aqua di Portofino. It reminds me of YSL Pour Homme, but lasts about three times longer.
    Renato

  30. #30

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    this isn't quite finished yet, so i havent made it public yet, but it's a start

    http://www.basenotes.net/company/it
    http://www.basenotes.net/company/fr

  31. #31

    Default Re: Italian vs French...

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    They were always surprised when I told them that Lorenzo Villoresi scents which cost around 100 Euro over there, equates to $165 Australian dollars. But in Australia they cost around A$280.
    I am surprised too! They're a lot cheaper here, about 110 euro as you said, gosh that's a lot of marking up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    I've got two bottles of Etro's Vetiver - it's probably the rawest one I've tried. The other good one which I picked up very cheap in Rome was the Roccobarocco Vetiver, which was sort of in between Etro's and Lorenzo Villoresi's.
    I don't know Roccobarocco's vetiver (I'm quite new to this world and have still a lot of fragrances to sniff) but with Etro it was love at first whiff and I finally bought my first full bottle last saturday

    About the diesels, the only one I enjoy is Diesel Green, I really like that fougere note.

    Unfortunately I haven't tried yet Acqua di Portofino, so I can't say...

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