Saturday, 8 August 2009

Farmacia SS. Annunziata: Patchouly Indonesiano

Call me silly but I have an urge to make the world better. (1) It's demonstrated in various ways but regarding perfumery, I'm spreading the glory of several of those who are not known and who in my opinion deserve it. (2)
Lately, I've travelled a bit and met several other perfumistas and on that occasion, I got a test pack with me, to have them smell what I have. Some of well-known but harder to find fragrances... and then those of which nobody had heard before I hammered it to their heads and noses.

Patchouly Indonesiano is one of those hidden treasures. It's a soliflor, and it's patchouli. Now, people hear the name and expect another variation on the wet soil theme as in Encre Noire by Lalique or something neatly oriental as in Coromandel by Chanel.
Nope. No wet soil, no fruity-oriental variation with decadent undertones. This one will hit your nose and keep you entertained for two days with colourful images of tigers and parrots and snakes in a jungle full of interesting flora, trees that would make terribly expensive furniture and, admittedly, wet soil.
Two days; the stuff is rather difficult to wash off. And, it develops all the time. It starts as very strong bitter, the one kept at the back of the liquor cabinet only for the worst cases of sick stomach but very soon, it smoothens into honey and herbs. Lots of honey, for that matter, and for some unknown reason, cucumber. After a while, the cucumber recedes a bit but the metallic, adstringent tone remains for long.
I wondered for long what the scent reminds me of - cucumber and honey and spices, that's Le De by Givenchy, eau de toilette in the old version, damn. Extrait is pure honey and flowers but EdT has the cucumber-metallic-spicy tone too.
After a few hours, metallic cucumber gives way to an expensive pharmacy. It is not a medicinal scent in the way of Knize Ten, which smells of sweet cough pastilles and rubber gloves, Patchouly Indonesiano is herbs that would kill any parasite up to the size of a weasel. (3)

To sum it up, this is a fragrance that takes no hostages. Imagine yourself drinking a bitter in which the last few remaining specimens ofgentiana verna root was soaked while sitting at a fireplace in which bits of a cupboard made of expensive tropical woods are burning. No hostages, I said.

Notes for Patchouly Indonesiano:
Top notes: Indonesian patchouli
Middle notes: Indonesian patchouli
Base notes: Indonesian patchouli

It is available only as extrait, 100 ml for 95 euros at Farmacia Santissima Annunziata at Via de' Servi in Florence and possibly somewhere in the internetz.

(1) How long will it take until some commenter who knows me well makes a snarky remark that my favourite method is kicking people's shins?
(2) For the perfumes, not for the information value of their websites.
(3) Yes, if you ask, then I do think that it might be better prevention of moths than mothballs. In fact, anything is better than mothballs, anything smells better than mothballs. And this strong shit would probably not only kill them but make them want to be born in another universe.

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