I always ignored Profumum Roma when in a perfume store for the simple reason that there were just too many bottles. Thirty identical flacons in a row – too intimidating, too much effort needed, too easy to pass up in favor of other things seemingly more accessible.
A lovely reader (Thank you, Isabeau!) has done the work of plowing through the line for me and sent me samples of the cream of the crop, so to speak. I loved going through these samples as each and everyone has some appeal and if my monetary situation were (a lot) different, I’d buy at least three of them.
As it is, I have to think carefully, since the perfumes only come in 100ml extrait concentration, which is not to put too fine a point on it, quite stupid. These perfumes last the day, one spray gets you enough sillage and weartime to make the most scent-swallowing skin happy, but you need to buy a vat of fragrance for a huge sum of money. Things like that do not make me happy…
So these gripes aside – here are my impressions:
Dulcis In Fundo:
Bright, creamy orange on top of delectably soft, but potent vanilla – this is a simple, but gorgeous mixture that is unabashedly gourmand, unapologetically decadent and therefore undoubtedly irrestisible. A huge hit with the 3-6 year old set, Dulcis in Fundo reminds me strongly of Guerlain Gourmand Coquin of which I own a bottle, so I’m all set in the sweets department.
Flügelschlag – the flutter of wings. For once I love the German word more, because it manages to convey in one compact little word what it takes the English four, the Italians three to say. Battito d’Ali, aside from the adorable name, is a lovely warm and cosy vanilla scent accented by cocoa powder, orange blossom and myrrh. It is delicate, tender, but has a definite presence. It is enveloping, but never smothers, it is warming, but not stifling. Soft, but tenacious.
A very soft and understated amber, Fiori d’Ambra opens spicy and softens into a warm vanilla-leaning amber accord. It lasts very well, but is not big on sillage. As ambers go, this one is of the tender, very wearable variety, not a killer amber like it’s cousin Ambra Aurea, which I find a bit hard to take – beautiful, but heavy.
Vanitas is another vanilla scent in Profumum’s line up. They sure love their gourmands. This one pairs vanilla with myrrh, giving the scent a cool resinous vibe in the beginning that is only slowly getting warmer and sweeter over time before giving in to full on vanilla about a half hour into its development. Vanitas is rich, very much so. It is too frothy, whipped and white for my idea of a vanilla scent, but I cannot deny that it smells good. It is rich and has depth, even if I wouldn’t wear it, smelling it now and again is a very restorative experience. Vanitas has the soothing powers of an experienced nanny. To smell it is like a good hug when you need it and then, when all is well again, you run away to play.
Interestingly enough it is very similar in the drydown to another Guerlain, Myrrhe et Délires, that I compared to an innocent child in my review. So we now have child and nanny happily united in these two perfumes.
Acqua e Zucchero:
A marshmallow scent that is tooth-achingly sweet. Very similar to Kilian’s Love but even more sweet and sugary, if that is possible. It feels like living in a cloud of spun sugar. A bit much for me and more of a novel experience than a wearable fragrance. But still – well made and lasting forever and a day.
Alba was the one perfume from the line I tried in a store, because I was very attracted by the description on Luckyscent:
“The perfect antidote to a stressful day. This incredibly comforting scent takes rich, warm woods – almond wood, hazel wood and sandalwood — and blends them with powdery amber to create a cashmere soft fragrance that caresses the senses. Alba means dawn, and this is sunrise in a pristine forest – hushed and tranquil. Pine needles cover the forest floor; there is a circle of ancient oaks and a pile of moss covered stones. The cool gray mist slowly melts away as the hazy sunlight begins to filter in at the edges and touch the forest with rose and gold. Reassuring and subtle – the woods and powder warm together on the skin like the trees in the sunshine. Peaceful and cozy.”
That is hard to resist, isn’t it? My experience with Alba was interesting to say the least, and warrants a deeper exploration for sure, but I still wanted to mention it now. It opened with a horrible accord of old pleather in the sunshine, motor oil and the general idea of riding on a very old bus, feeling nauseous. Now that I didn’t expect after reading the above. Did you?
But after having dismissed it as a complete failure on my skin that to my chagrin even proved to be unscrubbable, I was unexpectedly rewarded with an amazingly beautiful smell that emerged over an hour after application. Here was the cosy, comforting, warm and sweet perfume I had expected. But am I willing to wait an hour for it to come out of the bus? Will that happen every time or was it a fluke? Have you tried it? Questions upon questions. I’ll let you know how it goes soon…
What about your experiences with Profumum Roma? What are your favorites? What do you think of the line in general?