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Fendi – Spicy floral powerful classic

A few years ago I wrote about Fan di Fendi Leather Essence, how my daughter and I had tried it, loved it, then each bought a bottle, although for different reasons. For her, it had the “Italian chic factor” which added to her enjoyment of a much-loved and used Fendi bucket-bag I’d gifted her. For me, the sensuous leathery waft of the scent stirred memories of that summer in Italy when I’d bought the Fendi bag and fallen in love with Rome and all things Italian.   

I mused that one day I might write about the very first Fendi fragrance, which was named simply Fendi, a fragrance I deeply love and wore a lot in the late ‘80’s and ‘90’s, when power-house scents were part of the workplace dress-code for women. Fendi has since been discontinued, of course, along with the fabulous Fendi Theorema– only the best die young in Perfumeland it seems - but I own a vintage bottle and I thought that at some time in the future I would share some of my precious Fendi EdT with our readers. Well, that day is now. 

Fendi is one of the “big hair and shoulder pads” designer fragrances of the 1980’s. Giorgio by Giorgio of Hollywood, Diva by Ungaro, Chanel’s Coco preceded Fendi’s 1985 launch, others like Boucheron and Balenciaga’s Rumba followed soon after. Unlike the others, Fendi has an earthy refined kind of chic glamour, a darkness that conveys luxury and feminine power without being overwhelming, which makes it the best of the bunch, in my opinion.

The design house, FENDI, started in Rome in 1918 and became known for its fur and leather designs for women. The floral chypre fragrance opens with sparkling aldehydes and notes of green citrusy bergamot which immediately morph into a dry mossy accord with notes of rosewood and smoke and a funky feral warmth, leather and fur, purring.  Is this chypre a pussycat or a wildcat...

The mossy sueded leather accord sweetens as Fendi moves into the floral heart, which is honeyed and warm, sweet with indolic wafts of white florals jasmine and tuberose, luxurious and rich with exotic spiciness from deep-scented rose and carnation. Orris and geranium add damp bitter green complexity, balancing the honeyed sweetness and opening the floral heart to release hints of leather and wisps of smoke. The heart is floral perfection, rich and enigmatic…the purring continues.

Fendi base notes weave into a deep dark silky smooth blanket. Resinous cedarwood and creamy sandalwood and earthy patchouli, skin-soft musk, caramelized amber, dark vanilla and benzoin, cradle the floral heart in baroque luxury. Mossy, spicy, floral, honey-sweet, woody, leathery, Fendi "floral chypre" has become Fendi "classic Oriental", warm, deep and complex, mysterious and exotic, decadent, elegant, intense, feminine, powerful and beautiful, and purring like a wildcat.

Fendi is a big powerful scent so a little goes a long way. I’ve always worn a single spritz on wrists and neck, which lasts for hours, and I don’t wear it often, so my late 80’s bottle is still two-thirds full. Some things just get better with age, like cheese, wine, whiskey, Fendi handbags. I'm not certain that perfumes smell better as they age, maybe it’s the fact that the person smelling them has aged, but more years of living has made me love and admire Fendi even more. 

Long out of production and extremely hard to find anywhere, here is the original Fendi for you to try. 

Fendi is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $10.00 for 1 ml.

Image - perfumeniche.com - Fendi 100ml EdT bottle, vintage.