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  1. #1

    Default About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    ..... or a bit of both, just like how Lorenzo Villoresi Spezie is a little bit of both : herbs and spices. Admittedly, the title of this thread is a holler to Trebor's cannibalistic review of Spezie

    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. 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.

    Do any of you find it similar to any other scent? It's worthwhile to mention that by "similar" I mean smelling atleast 80% similar, instead of scents that have but a note or two in common.


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  2. #2

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    excellent review Amit! as always.

    and oh our off-line debate has surfaced here huh simply re-stating, i find Spezie and Zagorsk quite similar in the use of spices (just for reference).

    EDIT: i must also state that Spezie came almost a decade before Zagorsk.
    Last edited by jenson; 23rd July 2009 at 08:11 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    excellent review Amit! as always.

    and oh our off-line debate has surfaced here huh simply re-stating, i find Spezie and Zagorsk quite similar in the use of spices (just for reference).

    EDIT: i must also state that Spezie came almost a decade before Zagorsk.
    Thanks

    I wouldn't call it a debate though -- It's just us stating our own respective opinions, nothing more nothing less.


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  4. #4
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    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    What vivid memories you've shared Amit - I love reading about olfactory associations tied to ones childhood. I bet your grandmother smelled lovely.

    I loved Spezie as soon as I smelled it, it was actually a decant that supermarky (who used to be a BN member here) threw in as a freebie, when I bought a decant of SMW from him years ago. When I smelled it, it blew me away. It was my first Villoresi scent and I remember honing in on the cinnamon aspect of it before my nose became accustomed to the overall aromatic element of it. Of course, now, that's ALL I smell when I smell it.

    More recently, I have fallen for Eau Lente by Diptyque and I actually prefer it's dirty and slightly carnal take on spice just a tiny bit more. I wouldn't call them similar, but I think they share many similar elements and I credit DustB for helping me link that connection.

    I found that I wasn't wearing it quite as much as before, which is why I'm selling my bottle. Nonetheless, the scent will always have a warm place in my heart.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 23rd July 2009 at 08:26 PM.
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  5. #5

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    What vivid memories you've shared Amit - I love reading about olfactory associations tied to ones childhood. I bet your grandmother smelled lovely.

    I loved Spezie as soon as I smelled it, it was actually a decant that supermarky (who used to be a BN member here) threw in as a freebie, when I bought a decant of SMW from him years ago. When I smelled it, it blew me away. It was my first Villoresi scent and I remember honing in on the cinnamon aspect of it before my nose became accustomed to the overall aromatic element of it. Of course, now, that's ALL I smell when I smell it.

    More recently, I have fallen for Eau Lente by Diptyque and I actually prefer it's dirty and slightly carnal take on spice just a tiny bit more. I wouldn't call them similar, but I think they share many similar elements and I credit DustB for helping me link that connection.
    Thanks Mike. Isn't the mind a wonderful thing? It stunned me to notice how easily Spezie reminded me of of my grandmother and the memories associated with her. One sniff of Spezie was all it took to bring them back to life, memories which I wouldn't recall otherwise.

    Thanks for the Eau Lente suggestion too, i'll be trying to get a hold of a sample


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  6. #6

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Nice review! Spezie is great fun.

    Though it's different in what spices it focuses on, I'd really recommend giving Diptyque's - sadly discontinued - L'Autre a try. It's darker and more aggressive than Spezie, with cumin dominating, among others. It's almost like a richer, spicier version of Eau D'Hermes.

  7. #7

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Spezie was my SOD today and I was just talking to my partner about how much I love it when i logged onto basenotes and lo and behold, there was your review! Spezie wasn't one of my first Villoresi purchases, but it has steadily risen in my estimation over the past couple of years and is now one of my favorites. Great review and a great fragrance! What you said about turmeric was particularly interesting. I've never really thought about it in relation to Spezie.

    To answer your question about anything similar, the_good_life has commented (accurately it seems to me) that Spezie shares some common traits with LV's own Incensi. Although I like Incensi, I must say that I much prefer Spezie.
    Last edited by Tonyprince; 23rd July 2009 at 09:04 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    @Galamb : Thanks! It's interesting as to how the scents both you and Mike recommended are Diptyques. Gotta hunt for samples

    @Tonyprince : I may or may not have mentioned this in any thread, but I completely agree with the Incensi comparison. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it myself as I wrote my Spezie review -- I was just too consumed by memoirs I guess. Matter of factly, my nose detects a "turmeric" like accord in Incensi as well. Sillage whiffs of Incensi remind of of a locally available Turmeric based beauty creme called "Vicco Turmeric" by Vicco Labs. This creme has an International market too, and you just might find it at any pharmacy or any large enough store that carries beauty supplies.

    And yes, I have and love Incensi too.


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  9. #9
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    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    OOPS, Amit I just realized I posted the wrong name of the Diptyque above - like Galamb said I meant to say L' Autre. Eau Lente is not really like Spezie at all - it's mostly an opoponax prominent scent.
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  10. #10

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    OOPS, Amit I just realized I posted the wrong name of the Diptyque above - like Galamb said I meant to say L' Autre. Eau Lente is not really like Spezie at all - it's mostly an opoponax prominent scent.
    I see -- in any case that makes things somewhat easier, for now I only need to lookout for one scent, instead of two. L'Autre it will be


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  11. #11

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amit View Post
    I see -- in any case that makes things somewhat easier, for now I only need to lookout for one scent, instead of two. L'Autre it will be
    Unfortunately, I think that one is out of production. There is a 50 ml bottle on ebay now for $75, though.

  12. #12

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Spectacular review, Amit - thanks so much for sharing!! I don't believe there's anything that triggers nostalgia more for me than fragrance. I prefer Incensi to Spezie, but only by a small margin - and only because Incensi is a bit easier to wear.

    I believe Mr. Villoresi has traveled extensively and is a purveyor of all sorts of exotic spices. A scholar and a gentleman too, I've been told.

  13. #13

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Thanks Anthony

    I can imagine that about Mr. Villoresi's travels. His interpretation of all those spices and herbs is so realistic, it's almost scary!


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  14. #14

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    I'm a huge fan of Villoresi as a whole and regularly wear, and adore several of his fragrances. Spezie however was one that I could never warm up to enough to add to my regular rotation. I have to say that the tomato leaf note though is really cool. Just not for me.

  15. #15

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    Amit, I appreciate a review where the author defines the experience much more than a simple articulation of notes, so I thank you for sharing your experience with spezie so well! You really made me want to go out and find a bottle.

    I've had a similar experience with Ambre Narguile where I was vividly reminded of my grandmother baking sweets at Xmas.

    Cheers
    Last edited by jathanas; 24th July 2009 at 03:01 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: About to be eaten alive -- shaken or stirred?

    @PaulG : Now that I've looked up the full notes listing, I must agree with you about the Tomato Leaf. And you should post more regularly, I think!

    @Jathanas : This is the first instance I took a different direction than usual when writing a fragrance review, and by the looks of it, it has paid off! Thank you for your kind comment

    Ambre Narguile has been on my To Test list for quite a while now, it's about time I did something about it!


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




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