Beautifully crafted, this timelessly elegant scent has a nostalgic tone that will have you applying sepia filters to your photos each time you wear it.
Aqueous flower (cyclamen), pink pepper, blue ginger, nutmeg, complex rose accord, modern leather accord, Haitian vetiver, carrot seeds, iris, benzoin, rum, white musks.
Mendittorosa Odori dAnima (Scents of the Soul) are an Italian brand that take their inspiration from the active volcano of Stromboli. Their Talismans Collezione Preziosa (Talismans Precious Collection) is themed around the idea of perfume being a talisman to protect the wearer, deliver them from harm and bring them good luck.
We’ve already reviewed their sensuous Le Mat, which is a gutsy, brooding rose just shot through with enough darkness to make it interesting.
The brand is high end, offering ‘very small production’ and ‘selective distribution’, so expect to pay a decent amount if you want to smell like Italian chic.
The Talismans collection of scents have, so far, managed to intrigue and delight us in equal measure and, true to form, Nettuno starts with a strange smellscape opening. An initial spritz brings to mind oilskins that have been stored in the back of a cupboard for years, a grandma’s house, the inside of a tent that you have just pitched on a damp day – slightly grassy and un-aired.
We couldn’t easily pick out what components exactly we were smelling in the top of the scent, but this isn’t a criticism at all. Scents that begin with these wide smellscapes that paint a picture of some sort for the wearer can be really exciting and we definitely found that here where you get the big picture at first, rather than the individual details.
Nettuno’s beginning is a close, slow sort of start that draws you in and makes you wonder what is going to happen next, and that is an absolute delight. It’s the perfume equivalent of getting to the end of the first chapter of a book and getting that delicious shiver of anticipation down your spine; what’s going to happen next, is the rest going to be as evocative as the start has been?
What actually happens next in Nettuno is a nostalgic shift in gear. From the wider landscape individual notes begin to step forward: leather, predominantly, and then the gentle heat and warmth of the ginger and pepper. Interestingly, this had the effect of the perfume becoming even more evocative. In our testing notes we wrote ‘smells of the post war years’, and indeed that’s what it conjured up for us. That late 1940s sense of elegance that was frugal , classy, yet to erupt into excess. This is reinforced by the leather notes which although they are described in the listed notes as ‘modern’ in fact, to us at least, had a very vintage scent about them. This is worn, warm leather, not something crisp and sterile and new.
If we were to pick a favourite moment in the scent then it would have to be this moment, right in the heart. There is something so gloriously, powerfully restrained about Nettuno here and it is just so damn classy. Put this on with something retro and tailored and you will feel like Greta Garbo or James Stewart. So often nowadays, we see excess as a sign of power and yet Nettuno, in staying true to it’s character and holding back from bombarding the wearer with too much, shows us that actually, the true power is in restraint.
And just for a moment, you may feel like you are actually wearing a good luck talisman!
The base of Nettuno is a pleasant balancing act between the leather that we met in the heart and a lovely, musky rose. The two do harmonise wonderfully, neither dispelling the nostalgic vibe that permeates throughout this scent.
The spiciness of the nutmeg also peeps through in the base gently adding a soft heat, and overall the scent becomes very warm and quite powdery. Finally, the rum and white musks add a beautiful roundness to the base and fill the scent out with little hints of sweetness. Typically though, Nettuno balances perfectly so it never tips over into actually being fully a ‘sweet’ scent, instead you just experience these little hints of it, all of which leave you sniffing your wrist all day when you wear it.
The other stuff
There is a beautiful complexity to the Talismans scents and they definitely offer a very different experience to wearing something like Gypsy Water by Byredo, but both the simple and the complex can definitely both have a place on a connoisseur’s shelf; it’s all about picking your scent for the right time of day, occasion and mood. Nettuno is the sort of perfume that has gravity and complexity and is great for wearing in the evening, to a fancy dinner, or some sort of function. That said, it isn’t very shouty – the scent projects from the body to a moderate, pleasant level, but it doesn’t ever seem to become overpowering or obtrusive, and we definitely liked that about it; one can smell it without becoming fatigued by it as the day wears on.
In terms of longevity, Nettuno lasted well into the afternoon after a morning application and it didn’t seem to dramatically decrease throughout the day. Once it was applied, it just emitted a lovely hum of scent throughout the wear.
We can really see Nettuno appealing to all genders, and especially to people who like PG5.1 Suede Osmanthe by Parfumerie Generale but want something a bit less soapy. Do get in touch if you find you like both scents!
For those of you who are interested in the presentation of the scents, the package of Nettuno is really interesting (and reflective of the price tag). The scent is presented in a French glass bottle adorned with hand cut mirror and mosaic pieces designed by Luisa Degli Specchi, an expert in mosaic creation. Each bottle is hand-decorated and then presented in a hand-made box.
So here’s the bit that makes your wallet wince: Nettuno is available from Bloom Perfumery London (who have it as an exclusive) and it is priced at £215 for 100ml of extrait. Before you cry at the price, remember that it is a big bottle and it is extrait as well, so it will last you for ages – probably years if you keep it somewhere cool and dark. Bloom kindly provided us with a sample of this scent.
You can also get Nettuno from the Menditorosa website directly, where it is €230 for 100ml extrait, but if you do that, you won’t get to experience Bloom’s excellent customer service.