sicily: 2 posts

The Italians

Some of the most interesting artisanal brands I’ve recently discovered come from Italy. I won’t venture to generalize about this trend, if it can be called so, although what strikes me about the new Italian creations is the freshness of their approach. They pay tribute to classics, but not self-consciously so, and they stay au courant while avoiding the pitfalls of style versus substance. In my new FT column, Italian Perfumes, I focus on two fairly new niche houses, Antonio Alessandria Parfums and Rubini Profumi, and explain what makes them stand out.

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Wearing their perfumes reminded me why I love the Italian take on elegance. It has a sense of humor.

“Classic Italian perfumery has a reputation for flamboyance – embodied by the Cinecittà glamour of Sophia Loren, as well as the gold tan and bleached-blonde aesthetic of Donatella Versace. It may be a cliché, but one need not be a marketing specialist to notice that Italians wear scents differently from the French or Germans. Women enjoy lush white florals with a touch of powder for an enveloping, lingering effect. Men aren’t shy about donning sweet perfumes and using them to make a statement. Encounter such a fragranced denizen cutting la bella figura at an outdoor café some place in Rome or Palermo, and you’ll understand better Italy’s penchant for the baroque. To continue, please click here.”

Do you have any favorite Italian fragrances? Apart from the bottled sort, mine would be the wet vetiver and iris smell of Milan, freshly baked pizza bianca with rosemary, lemon groves off the Amalfi coast, and the shamelessly lush Sicilian jasmine.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, all rights reserved

Boudoir 36 : Sicilian Perfume Destination

Boudoir 36 is a perfume boutique based in Catania, Sicily. Catania, a city at the foot of Mount Etna, is a sensory roller coaster by itself, but Boudoir 36 was one of the highlights of my visit.  Boudoir 36 carries an impressive collection of perfume brands and boasts an excellent customer service. Antonio Alessandria, the creator of Boudoir 36, works as an engineer by day and operates his boutique in the evening five days a week. Talk about passion for perfume! This unique place is the subject of my article for The Financial Times Magazine, October 26th issue.

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“Spend a day in Catania, a baroque jewel on the east coast of Sicily, and you will understand why Boudoir 36, an artisanal perfume boutique, is such a great fit for this exuberant city. Every scent, taste and color seems more intense—jasmine draping the building facades, oranges piled into ziggurats on the sidewalks, and even the blue of the sky framing Mount Etna. The perfume selection at Boudoir 36 rivals the finest boutiques in Paris and London, but its flamboyance and opulence are uniquely Sicilian.”

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