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Eau D'Italie – Living in Italy - July 29, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

Photo: Wikipedia - Part of Positano, Italy - Jensens, June 2008

It seems that I’ve decided to live in Italy because for the past little while whenever I reach for a scent, my hand seems to go to the Italians – Sicily, Venice or Acqua di Colonia. Don’t ask me why. I’m not a psychiatrist, just a simple woman who enjoys sniffin’ perfumes and writing about them. I’ve decided not to fight it. Nope. I’m just going to enjoy it. I’m going to live in Italy and right now that means wearing Eau D'Italie.

Eau D'Italie is the signature scent of La Sirenuse the five-star hotel and spa located in Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. What? Never been to Positano? Me neither, but here’s what I’ve learned about it….

Part of Amalfi’s maritime republic, Positano was a wealthy mercantile power until the steamship came along. After that it went into decline and by the mid-19th century Positano had become a forgotten fishing village. That all changed thanks to four Neapolitan brothers and one American writer.

After the war, four Neapolitan brothers from the Sersale family settled in Positano. Looking to make a better living, they turned their family home into a hotel and opened La Sirenuse in 1951. In 1953 American writer John Steinbeck stayed at the hotel and in an article published in Harper’s Bazaar wrote: "Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone." That article has been credited with bringing tourists to Positano, making it the number one attraction on the Amalfi coast. And La Sirenuse kept pace with the change, evolving from a modest hotel to a fabled luxury destination.

Today La Sirenuse is run by Marina Sersale and Sebastien Alvarez Marina. In 2004 they wanted to do something special to commemorate the 50+ years of the hotel so they launched the Eau D'Italie brand with Eau D'Italie being the first fragrance in the line. Working with Bertrand Duchaufour they wanted their signature scent to be of the place – ‘elemental’ they say on their web site – smelling of sun on skin, shrubs that grow along the coast, warm terracotta tiling, incense from the church on the hill and the salt sea air.

That’s quite a wish list, but they chose the right nose for the job because M. Duchaufour delivers all they asked for and more in an original, evocative FBW fragrance that coils itself around my heart like a lover every time I wear it.

Eau D'Italie opens with a surprise – frankincense, usually used as a base note, but here it’s at the top shouldered by brisk bergamot and fruity, green black currant buds. Resinous, citrusy and green - right here is where I acquiesce and let the fragrance take over. At the heart, there is the smell of clay tiles warmed by the sun – no kidding! I don’t know what chemistry or magic is involved and I don’t care. There is also a watery, metallic note which Duchaufour coaxes from tuberose that does give Eau D'Italie a salty skin/sea scent. It’s nearly too much – too sharp, too acrid, until magnolia shows up and gives it a floral soul. Citrusy and sweet, it prevents Eau D'Italie from becoming unpleasantly odd or weird while preserving its character. But the real magic is at the base where lichen, cedar, honey, patchouli clover and musk combine to make the drydown sensuous and enticing – you know, like a siren call.

Eau D'Italie is a chic scent that smells of summer by the sea, which is one of the things I like most about living in Italy.

Ciao baby!

Eau D'Italie is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.