Cuore di Pepe Nero
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Fragrance family: Woody Spicy
Gender: For men
Concentration: Eau de Parfum (EDP)
Perfumer: Egisto Bertozzi

Launched in 2012 by Italian fragrance line Erbario Toscano, Cuore di Pepe Nero translates as ‘Heart of Black Pepper’.

The Erbario Toscano website cites the inspiration for the fragrance: “At dawn during a walk on the docks of a sea facing the Orient, among the scents of spices brought by the wind, black pepper fills the air of life and energy…"

Cuore di Pepe Nero opens with fresh, vibrant notes of lemon and grapefruit. It feels invigorating. The citrus is soon joined by rose hips, which add a floral fruitiness to top.  It’s not long before black pepper seeps in, spicing everything up with a voluptuous warmth. As it blooms, sweet, indolic, jasmine makes an appearance, stirring memories, real or imagined, of foreign lands. Magnolia echoes the lemon at the opening, while adding a lushness. Cedarwood gives Cuore di Pepe Nero a gorgeous woody spine for the flowers to rest on. And then there’s the black pepper, strong and spicy, it radiates through the fragrance. Combined with the woodiness of the cedar, it could drag the whole works into darkness, but the lemon/floral presence keeps it on the bright side while the pepper to provides a hum of sensual, spicy warmth. At the base, the woodiness is carried over by patchouli, vetiver and oakmoss, while amber sweetens it just so. But that spiciness? It lingers on the skin through to the drydown.

One of the things I like most about Cuore di Pepe Nero is how it isn’t over processed and with the notes smoothed out beyond recognition. It smells real, and really, really good.

Notes: lemon, grapefruit, rose hip, jasmine,cedarwood, black pepper, magnolia, patchouli, vetiver, amber and oakmoss.

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