Gelsomino

Pooka sniffing a micro Borsari 1870 bottle with pale bow and amber eau.

Gelsomino is Italian for jasmine.
This vintage beauty from Borsari 1870 is a good reference–I’ve reached for it often this week as I attempt to retrain my nose–first formulated in 1930.

Jasmine is the soprano of the white flowers–the violin, while neroli is the viola and tuberose a cello–gorgeous when on pitch, shrill when off.
Jasmine can be milky, too–lactonic–with clouds in the tea that make everything soft, and also very indolic with skanky “Pollinate me, Baby” invitations.

I usually find elements of apple, matcha, and the top lemony opening of roses here, bright cheerful nectar–and I finally do again, though they’re muted. I have to shove my face into my wrist, when I remember it being loud as a struck bell.

So yay, my sense of smell is coming back intact, just slower than I’d like. But hey, I’ll take what I can get. Baby steps.
And sinus medicine.

Borsari 1870 Fragrance Collection, packaged in a gold edged black tome that holds 24 mini bottles`. A gift shop gem from the 1970s, this Italian floral sampler makes a great reference library.

*

We learned the traditional Chinese “Jasmine Song” in elementary school. The amazing Song Zuying is joined here by Celine Dion, who takes it to Vegas.
(More sopranos.)

Acqua di Mughetti

Acqua di Mughetti edgy
Borsari 1870 micro bottle with pale blue ribbon and label with a night sky and moon.

Pure Lily-of-the-Valley, first released in 1920.

The first notes are clean lemony florals, then the tune centers on delicate sweet white flowers with a creme fraiche texture.
Settles into gentle soap aldehydes at the end.

This might be a soliflore, but I get a tiny hit of orange blossom that curbs the usual green edge under the lily bells.
Lasts a pretty two hours close to the skin.


Another Lily-of-the-Vally.

Acqua di Rosa Thea

Aqua di Rosa Thea edge
Mini bottle (it stands about an inch and a half tall) with orange bow and label with a (…tea cozy?) (…woman in a huge hoop skirt?) illustration in black and orange.

Vintage rose from an antique reference set.
(Perfumeintelligence suggests this one was first formulated in Parma, Italy, in 1880.)

So how do you define what a rose smells like? This one does a pretty good job of it–

Opens with airy pastel buds, lemony with sugar in the tea, then ripens with earthy green leaves and bright fruity rosehip wine. The dry down is exactly that, dried petals–dusty, musky and spicy sweet with a hint of powdery cloves.

So top notes to bottom, a good illustration of rose that would hold its own against Perfume Workshop’s Tea Rose and Annick Goutal’s Rose Absolue–though it doesn’t quite have the luxe of Fort and Manle’s Harem Rose.


Everyone’s favorite pizza delivery tune, Funicul√¨, Funicul√†, came out in Italy at the same time. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, so here’s some Sting.

Zagara

zagara edgy
Yellow bowed bottle with golden eau, and an art deco label of two ladies’ faces.

Orange blossom.

Starts out sugar sweet, the dust on marshmallows,  then turns jasmine-like, with a touch of honey.
Finishes fruity-juicy, more gourmand than neroli’s greener woody-spice edge.

It’s the floral note easily found in the opening of Coco Mademoiselle, and tastes delicious in Italian Cream Cakes.

This one was bottled for a mini collection for tourists from the Borsari 1970 Museum in Parma, in the seventies–the caps are hideous plastic, but they’re effective–it’s quite well preserved for being so old.


Honey sweet erotic tune from Princess Nokia–

Glicine

glicine
Micro bottle with pale purple bow and forties graphic label.

Vintage Wisteria, by Borsari 1870.

The middle of a Venn diagram of all the purples–where violet and concord grape and lilac overlap into a unique creamy/fruity/floral, with a hint of clove to spice it up.
A sharp leafy green at the bottom keeps it from going gourmand.

A nice reference–it’s the architecture of Nest’s Wisteria Blue, and the shaded garden of Azzaro 9.


Here’s another sweet Glicine.