Blog post by Gwen

Escale à Portofino – smooth and chic and elegant

Photo: Wikipedia - Portofino seen from the sea, taken May 2000 by Stan Shebs

How’s it going? Summer I mean. Going away somewhere? Coupla weeks at the cottage, maybe? Or, taking a road trip to visit family or friends? Or renting that villa in Tuscany again? Sounds nice. Sounds fun. You’ll have a blast – at least, I hope you do. Me, I’m staying in the city this summer. I have too many obligations to take time off, but I’m OK with it. No biggie. Really. No, not really.

I check online for flights to Paris, Venice, London, Rome – anywhere – daily. I look up restaurants, jazz clubs, and spas in cities, towns and resorts all over Europe. I hunt for hotel deals in places I’ve been to and places I haven’t. I check the weather everywhere. I am making myself miserable and just aggravating my cabin fever.

Somehow, during all this travel trawling, Portofino – that gem of a resort town on the Italian Riveria, comes up, and so does Escale à Portofino by Dior. Coincidence or omen? Doesn’t matter – it’s a ticket for a little armchair travel, and I’m gonna use it.

Escale à Portofino is one of Les Escales de Dior - the fragrance collection that was based on Dior’s Couture Cruise Collection. Inspired by the idea of casual cruise travel, François Demachy, Dior’s in-house perfumer, created a series of fragrances based on specific ports of call or ‘escales’. Launched in 2008, Escale à Portofino was the first fragrance in the series and is still my favourite. It is the essence of summer in Italy – just breathe it in.

It opens brisk and refreshing from bergamot, petitgrain and citron – that gnarly green-skinned Italian citrus fruit that people mistake for lemon but which is far more fragrant and much less sharp. Welcome to Italy! At the heart, orange blossom, well, blossoms and keeps the citrus going with a succulent orange note. Almond adds sweetness and complements the orange blossom perfectly, but it’s the juniper that is the surprise at the heart. It works well here, its piney note a counterpoint to the orange blossom, as it leads the way to a woody, green, soft, spicy base of cypress, cedar, galbanum, caraway and musk.

The drydown is smooth and chic with a base that gives it some body so that it has more presence than most summer fragrances but still stays light and summery.

I’ve come in from the ledge now. I feel restored and ready to enjoy summer and all the good things it brings my way, like wearing Escale à Portofino. 

It’s like I always say: when life hands you lemons, just enjoy the citrus notes.

Check out Escale à Portofino in our Shop.