A good rice note, or any rice note at that, is hard to find in perfume. There are not many such fragrances around. I adore that note and when I find one it is mostly love.
Ormonde Jayne Champaca comes to mind, but that is dominantly a floral, I always longed for a stronger accent on the rice. Parfum d’Empire Equistrius has some too, but again the accent is somewhere else.
Enter Dolce Riso, a perfume of Silvio Levi’s line Calé Fragranze d’Autore. Rice is in the name and rice is in the perfume, along with many other ingredients to make the perfect fragrant dessert.
But let us take a look a the brand first.
Fragranze d’Autore is a Malle-style line of perfumes created mostly by perfumer Maurizio Cerizza and edited by Silvio Levi, founder of the line and owner of the Milanese perfume distributor and store Calé. There are currently ten fragrances in the line.
Dolce Riso is an Eau de Toilette with very good sillage and longevity. Notes include apple, lime, mugwort, rice, cereals, white pepper, musk, vanilla and tonka bean.
Dolce Riso is a delight from first sniff. It makes me smile and sigh with pleasure. It starts fruity, a bit of apple, a lot of lime, but both sit on the gorgeous note of steamed rice that is present from the start.
This rice is a bit sweet, a bit nutty/wheat-y and very peppery. The pepper is strong throughout and makes what could have been an overly sweet and bland dish into a masterpiece. Yes, I realize I said dish, and this perfume is very foody, but it balances perfectly on thin line between edible and non-edible. It is a perfume, not merely a good smell.
The base is warm and comfy, a soft melange of tonka and musk, with rice and cereal notes holding on and even a hint of pepper staying until the very late drydown, pepping things up, keeping it interesting.
I am glad to having discovered this line and will certainly take a closer look.
Dolce Riso is available through First in Fragrance, where I bought my sample.