Monday, 17 August 2020

VIA VENETO by Strada Parfumerie

How often have you fallen in love with a city and thought, “I wish that I could bottle the way I’m feeling?” Well, this is exactly what perfumers try to do when they use places as the inspiration for fragrances. The success of this style of scent depends upon your having a connection with the city or, if the location is new to you, the perfume simply being fantastic. Many companies have attempted this and unfortunately many of them have been less than successful, but that hasn’t stopped more trying. The latest to pick up their passport is Strada Parfumerie, and it’s time to head to Rome to experience Via Veneto.

The ability to travel and explore new places is something that we often take for granted, and it’s really been highlighted with the current restrictions on where we can go. Remember the joy of experiencing new cultures, mooching around the backstreets of famous capitals, or even people watching whilst sitting in a local cafe? These are the memories that companies try to bring together in travel inspired scents. Obviously the actually fragrance itself has to be good to warrant wearing it, but using cities as inspiration can really open up the creativity of the perfumer and allow them to flex their creative muscles.

When Mishal AlMarzouqi launched Strada Parfumerie it was with the goal to capture “the unique identities of world-famous locations.” He was following in the footsteps of Guerlain, Gallivant, and even 4160 Tuesdays, but his company’s debut collection of four scents comes at it from a slightly different angle. Being based in Dubai meant that the aroma of oud plays a large part in daily life, and this has definitely influenced at least part of the quartet. However, adding in his Italian heritage helps you to understand why his creative direction is pulling in fragrance facets from many styles.

To realise the scents he enlisted Cyrille Carles, grandson of the famous Jean Carles, Christian Carbonnel, and the Italian based firm of Moellhausen. Cyrille created the Parisienne inspired and macaron-esque Avenue Montaigne whilst Christian was responsible for 5th Avenue and Sloane St. With the latter two both being oud based, the first has an almost dirty money quality to it whilst the second adds in touches of Bentley leather upholstery. However, the star of the collection has to be the gloriously sophisticated and suave Via Veneto by Moellhausen, which brought back wonderful memories of Rome.

The fragrance seems to bypass the regular citrus opening and instead immediately presents a beautiful combination of jasmine, rose, and neroli, although it is airy rather than cloying. It’s the latter ingredient that helps to give an initial vibrancy to the scent and sets up the unisex green quality. A note of ginger arrives to add a piquancy to the development, along with a liquorice-faceted myrrh, but both work in harmony with the floral aromas. A delicate amber accord provides an aged sweetness to the fragrance but, for a change, the animalic side is firmly constrained. A touch of patchouli helps to suggest some of the city’s history and, with a refined Italian elegance, proves why Rome is undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Via Veneto is available from the Strada Parfumerie website at stradaparfumerie.com priced at £95 for 30ml. [Sample provided by Lauren MacAskill]

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