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Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre ~ fragrance review

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Roman Widow, detail

I’m still exploring the Italian niche line Maria Candida Gentile, so you can imagine my delight and curiosity when I realized that the collection includes a rose-centered fragrance. Cinabre, one of the “Classic” scents in the line…

…creates the fragrance of a magic rose with a breakthrough formula. It blends the essences of the Moroccan Splendens roses, absolute of May roses and pure vanilla to recreate, by magic, the scent of the Ayrshire rose Splendens, an ancient rose well known for having exquisite and extremely rare notes of myrrh.

It was also inspired by an inscription on the Porta Alchemica in Rome and by the Dracaena tree, also known as “the dragon’s tree,” which produces a red sap (“dragon’s blood”).

All this scene-setting aside, Cinabre is an oriental rose that unfolds like a crimson satin fan…

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Maria Candida Gentile Hanbury ~ perfume review

Giardini Botanici Hanbury

When I first started out in perfume, it was possible to aspire to some level of “literacy”, as a consumer. That is, you could, if you spent a reasonable amount of time, energy (and money), acquaint yourself with the major brands — niche, mainstream and indie — and smell at least some portion of their products. It used to be fairly rare that a commenter (or contributor) at Now Smell This would mention a brand I’d never heard of, and I usually had at least a passing familiarity with any fragrance that came up for discussion.

These days, even determining which brands are “important” enough to bother with is a Herculean task. Commenters mention perfumes I’ve never heard of, much less smelled, every day (and I would not be at all surprised if many readers here smelled far more product than I do). When Jessica decided to review Gershwin by the Italian niche line Maria Candida Gentile, the brand was hardly even on my radar. I’ve now smelled two of their fragrances: Hanbury and Sideris…

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Maria Candida Gentile Gershwin ~ fragrance review

George Gershwin

How do I decide which perfume I’ll be reviewing for any given week? Sometimes my choice is inspired by the weather, by my mood, or by the timeliness of a new release. On the other hand, chance sometimes plays a role: last Sunday morning, I was looking over a handful of sample vials, trying to make a selection, when George Gershwin’s An American in Paris came on the radio. My eye fell on one of the samples in front of me: Gershwin, then!

Maria Candida Gentile is an Italian perfumer who trained in Grasse; her fragrances are all evocatively named and seem to contain an unusually high percentage of natural ingredients…

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