Aer smells like one of those movie shots where you get a rushing, bird’s eye view as the camera skims over tree tops and lakes. It smells like the infinitive verb “to soar”.
Lemon, mint, grapefruit, juniper berries, elemi, vetiver, patchouli.
Despite its flighty name, Aer by Angela Ciampagna, starts off closer to the ground. It opens with a really dense, thick, vegetative greenery dripping with water. Everything is damp and cool. It smells like walking barefoot through grass as evening falls.
An anise note creeps in next and, having reviewed several of the Angela Ciampagna line now, this feels both like one of their signature phrases, but also acts almost as a smell metaphor. It’s a calming, settling note, reassuring, but also acting as a symbolic signifier of the gathering dusk. You’re alone, barefoot in a meadow, as the night draws in. You can feel the dew drops on your toes, but yet you know you’re safe. This is your natural habitat.
In a way, Aer feels a bit like the day running backwards; the dusk turning back into daylight as the fragrance lifts away from the earth. In the heart of the scent, the earthy greenery recedes as a breeze lifts us from our feet and gently blows us along on a thermal current of air. Where once we were on the ground, now we find ourselves amongst the tree tops.
When we tested this fragrance, we kept thinking of those movie shots where the camera rushes along as if amongst the birds, the viewpoint skimming the trees and skittering across the water. This visual replayed itself insistently over several hours and several wears and it seemed to us to be intrinsically linked with the scent itself.
Somehow, there’s a sense of movement with this fragrance. It’s not frenzied and directionless, but is instead controlled and deliberate. Aer feels like a zephyr blowing across the countryside, the flow of a stream, the stretching growth of the grass underfoot. As with many of Angela Ciampagna’s fragrances, it feels as if something old, something natural is being given voice through the scent and that’s true again here.
If you stop to really consider the scent, you can pick out the notes of mint, juniper berries, and citrus, but why bother? Why not just drink it all in greedily, soul-nourishingly and experience the whole picture rather than just the component parts?
The green, grassy notes mellow and age into something akin to caramelised woods. The fragrance makes you feel as if you have witnessed the transformation of an individual plant, from blade of grass to mighty tree, in the blink of an eye. There’s a definite sweetness in the woody base, and the whole thing feels concentrated and intense.
Above and beyond the sweet woodiness, there is the depth of piney, green sap. If you only caught the briefest of whiffs of it, you might think this tone to the scent was something masculine and uncomplicated, but a more fulfilling nose-full tells the whole nuanced story and reveals these layers of wood, sweetness and verdant leaves.
If you work in the city but your heart is out in the countryside, wear this fragrance to help you feel closer to nature. Aer is the scent of sleeping outdoors, cool air, wet vegetation and something which is deeply real and honest. In their philosophy, Angela Ciampagna talk about being in close contact with the smells of nature and it is in this value that the brand truly excel. Angela Ciampagna fragrances smell like the best parts of the natural world, they smell honest and nourishing and like they are good for you to wear.
The other stuff
The longevity of Aer was very good, lasting a full day from an early morning application. It was still detectable in the evening, although by then it was mostly a skin scent. We found wearing Aer to be quite an intense experience, exhilarating though. It definitely made us want to be outside, in the middle of nowhere, joyful at the beauty of the world.
The projection of this fragrance was considerable – to beyond handshake distance at times. It seemed to wear well in warm weather, but cooler days enhanced the crispness of the opening notes.
We felt that Aer would appeal to customers on the more masculine side of the spectrum, but only by convention, as anyone could – and indeed should – wear this.
A word of caution though: we found that Aer smelled very differently on the blotter than it did on skin, so do try it on yourself before you purchase.
The more of Angela Ciampagna’s work we have the opportunity to experience, the more impressed we become. This is wonderful, impassioned work which evokes emotion abundantly, as if it is an easy thing to do. If you connect with their work you will fall in love, as we have done.
We’ve previously reviewed Miracula, which is one of the most perfect perfumes we’ve ever had the pleasure of trying, along with the also delightful Ignes, Materia and Liquo. We also had the pleasure of producing an interview with Angela Ciampagna herself as well.
Angela Ciampagna are a small, family run enterprise. They were originally situated in central Italy but have just relocated to Tenerife. They make small batch, numbered scents which have a focus on quality and craftsmanship. Their 100ml bottles are topped with a beautiful metal wheel, the presentation of which is both stunning and unusual.
Aer by Angela Ciampagna is available from Bloom Perfumery London, where it is priced at £160 for 100ml EdP (with the rosario bottle cap), or £95 for 50ml EdP (no rosario cap).
You can also buy Aer from the Angela Ciampagna web boutique.
We were very kindly gifted a no-strings-attached sample of Aer by Angela Ciampagna when we met them at Essence 2019. Thank you to them for their kindness.