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Fragrance family: Leather
Gender: For men
Concentration: Eau de Cologne (EDC)
Perfumer: Unknown


Launched in 2002, the Italian niche fragrance line Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia, inspired by odours associated with Mille Miglia race cars.

Nostalgia opens with a burst of citrusy bergamot that ushers in a note of gasoline. This is not gas pump stuff; this gasoline has been perfumed with herbal, fresh-smelling bergamot and sweetened by the vanilla undertones of styrax. The styrax is warm and balsamy and links to a note of singed rubber that hums with smokey warmth. It sparks the leathery smokey and woody aspects of the styrax that foreshadow what‘s to come later. At the heart, there’s a note of fragrant, resinous, woody cedar. At this stage, I get a whiff of tobacco that, combined with the cedar, adds richness and depth. Cedar’s camphorous facet links to a note of earthy patchouli; its herbal/green aspects echo the bergamot, giving Nostalgia a fresh, outdoorsy feel. At the base, a note of vintage leather comes to the fore, recalling the styrax. It’s supple, worn and sensuous. It’s countered with birch tar. It’s the smoky, tarry smell of a campfire, and it insinuates itself up through the fragrance, as its minty facet gives hints of green forests. Vanilla sweetens the mix that rests on a base of warm, sensuous amber.

Nostalgia dries down to a warm, smoky, elegant, masculine scent. To me, it's the smell of driving a vintage Ferrari along the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast, with its dramatic coastline and lush greenery. It smells of luxury.

It’s hard to explain how smooth and sexy it is when it has notes like gasoline, tar and rubber but it all comes down to proportion, balance and precision.

Notes: Bergamot, gasoline, rubber, styrax, cedar, tobacco, patchouli, leather, amber, vanilla and birch tar.


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