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Sticky Fingers – Dangerously addictive, warm, rich, and racy

Things that feed the senses and bring feelings of pleasure and comfort are kind of essential these days. Thank god for books, music, cooking, and perfume, otherwise I’d be catatonic.

I read a lot about perfume and perfumers. No surprise there. I’m fascinated by the creative process in the art of perfume-making, and when I come across quotes by a perfumer about their personal likes and dislikes, the triggers, the memories or events that led them to create a specific fragrance, the experimentation, the frustrations of months or years in development, how they reached the final brilliant result, well, I have to stop and read every word. To me, it’s like hunting for buried treasure, and it can lead to perfume gold.

The newest release by independent perfumer Francesca Bianchi, is a perfect example. Francesca Bianchi is an Italian perfumer, self-taught, who lives and works in Amsterdam. She launched her artisanal brand in 2016 and was acknowledged three years later as an exceptionally gifted perfumer. CaFleureBon rated her line as Best Indie House in 2019. Most of her natural scents carry her signature accord of warm animalics, which give her parfums extrait an intimate racy depth – read my post about Under My Skin. If I could, I would own every single one of the ten scents she’s released to date.

Sticky Fingers was inspired by the 1971 Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers album which featured monster tunes like Brown Sugar and Wild Horses, in addition to the cover with the iconic rock’n’roll tight jeans crotch shot. 

From her website:

“Many intertwined reasons and personal mental associations led me to this creation and its title. One major reference is surely the iconic album from 1971. I love rock, and the 70s for what they brought in music, but especially, I love that album cover.

It accompanied me for a long while, as a vinyl record shop just around the corner was displaying it on its window, and I was exposed to it every day. That cover literally stuck to my mind, and when I started thinking about the mood of this perfume, I couldn’t help but thinking about that.

This perfume is conceived to be as tempting as chocolate stuck all over your fingers and you cannot help but licking them. Mind you: this is not a gourmand fragrance, and licking your fingers is a metaphor referring to other kind of irresistible temptations. Sticky Fingers sticks not just to your fingers, but perversely sticks to your mind.”

The opening accord is an intense pleasure, rich tobacco dusted with spicy cinnamon and coriander, sprinkled with with cherry-almond heliotrope, smelling boozy, rich and fruity. Then a refined chocolatey patchouli slides in slowly and smoothly, a dark chocolate and vanilla tonka mix, but “dangerously dressed in leather and playful…”  The scent so far is not gourmand, but is now deliciously warm and tempting, with a soft sticky sweetness from the heady mix of tobacco and patchouli.

In the heart, the opening sweetness is tempered as musk and castoreum add Francesca’s animalic signature, soon accented by the earthy oily complexity of iris butter. Sticky Fingers is beginning to get a little stickier as these sensual notes intensify into a sweaty and salty bad-boy leather accord that plays decadently against the tobacco and patchouli. The accord has a definite growl, now the sticky metaphor is beginning to become clear.

The delicious growl continues in the base, but in the far dry-down, the leather accord becomes less dangerous, tamed by the creamy resins of sandalwood and the soft almond notes of heliotrope. Dusty cinnamon, sweet tonka, buttery iris, warm tobacco, chocolatey patchouli flash up from my wrist as the hours pass, definitely addictive, yet perversely comforting as a velvety skin accord emerges in the final hours, a relaxed echo of the sensual undercurrents in the leather. 

Sticky Fingers is Francesca Bianchi’s vision of patchouli. It smells nothing like patchouli from the 1970’s, and it is definitely not a gourmand.

It is decadent and sumptuous, and for me, an irresistible temptation that I cannot stop wearing. As she predicted, it has perversely stuck to my mind. 

Sticky Fingers is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $7.00 for 1 ml.