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Claudiae – New perfume, old friends (October 31, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)



“I’m going to Venice!” he said. “I’ve rented a great apartment, friends are coming along. I can’t wait to have dinner on the roof terrace overlooking the Frari and sip prosecco.” 

I was happy for my pal who was overdue for a great vacay. And besides, I had no right to be envious, after all, I was just in Venice a few months ago. I have my memories – shopping at the fish market, dinners on a quiet canal, taking in a set at the Venice Jazz Club….and sniffing at I Muschieri profumeria.

This is one of my favourite perfume shops anywhere. Rosa and Antonietta have a remarkable selection of niche scents. And it’s great to see familiar names like Tauer and Heeley and to be introduced to new lines like Sigilli, the überniche Italian perfume line.

Sigilli is a strong line and I like every one of their unique, well-crafted scents, but the one that I keep coming back to is Claudiae.

In the booklet that comes with the bottle, perfumer Enrico Buccella says that Claudiae is “dedicated to simple elegance; to a free spirit, to somebody that can love and be loved for the strength of their beliefs. To every person who is a little bit special. This fragrance is dedicated to my wife, my irreplaceable companion throughout life’s journey”

It opens with tomato leaf – green and pungent balanced with poppy, dry and nutty. An unusual and enticing beginning that leads to a heart of rich, luxurious, lush rose. And just when you get those first rosy whiffs, galbanum appears, adding a complex green note that is evergreen, herbal, bitter, spicy and woody all at once and which perfectly complements the rose.

The rose and the galbanum shimmy side by side, perfect partners in perfect balance until they come to rest on a base of earthy patchouli and animalic musk sweetened slightly by Tonka bean. Here all the elements lose their individuality and evolve together into a deep, dense sensuous siren call that is irresistible.

There is nothing strange or weird about Claudiae, but it is unique. An elegant, beautifully crafted women’s fragrance, it is indeed an olfactory dedication to the free-spirited, those who think outside the perfume box.

My good friend asked me if there was anything he could bring me back from Venice. So I gave him I Muschieri’s address and a short list.

A few days after he returned home we met up for a glass of wine and he told me all about his trip, what a great time he had being with his good friends and their excursion to I Muschieri.

“That is one small shop” he said, “But the people there couldn’t have been nicer.”

I got the lowdown on what they saw, what they sniffed, what samples they got and then he handed me the bag with my frags.

I opened the bag, took out the bottle of Claudiae and over a second glass of wine we spritzed, sniffed, talked and laughed the way old friends do.

Claudiae is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.