Antonio Alessandria Parfums Éperdument review, first published in Cafleurebon.
“You tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
I brought you silence
(for I know silence)
you would say
This is not silence
this is another poem
and you would hand it back to me”
Gift, Leonard Cohen (from The Spice-Box of Earth poem collection, published in 1961)
Having recently moved on a quiet street, I am still trying to make peace with my new home soundscape that gives me some mild anxiety. I never thought getting re-accustomed to silence would be so hard, after years and years of constant and weirdly reassuring background noise composed of dissonant sounds of trams rolling on their tracks in the night, nervous motorcycle engines revving up, and all the joys of the “Stockholm syndrome” that come with living in one of Europe’s most traffic-congested capitals.
Last evening, widely opening my windows after the rain, to let all in the coolness I sought and sighed after, underneath the usual eerie stillness of the night, I heard music coming from my neighbor’s house. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that it was not a recording but a live voice, with a real guitar backing it up. It made me wonder what makes us immediately react and recognize when a song is being played live and why it just hits us differently. Maybe it’s the social connexion of experiencing music together with other people in real-time, perhaps it’s all the slight organic deviations and nano-seconds of idiosyncratic hesitations, the anticipation of unpredictability, or maybe it’s just the silence interwoven between the notes that we recognize as real.
Éperdument [epɛʀdymɑ̃], adverb, translates as madly, wildly, desperately, passionately, utterly.
“Living is breathing. We breathe, but not only to live. Our scent instantly transforms our aura into something more emotional. An aroma can trigger an elusive memory like a story in a series of frames. This is my own idea of a perfume: a memory, an emotion, a dream. My fragrances are stories of my life, my imagination and my secrets.” Antonio Alessandria
There is a sense of emotional voyeurism trespassing into Antonio’s fragrant world. His fragrances are deeply personal, giving you the guilty but giddy excitement of peeking over someone’s shoulder and the feeling that you are on the verge of unraveling more of the mystery than you are shown.
As I touched upon live music and its effects, compared to the studio versions, the scented memories Antonio bottles up feel more like theatre freeze-frames than movie stills. There is a sense of immediacy, intimacy, and a visceral and deeply atemporal quality to his fragrant constructions. Like a gifted set designer, he puts the setting into place for you – there is a story for you to enjoy (with just enough details to set the mood without rigidly constricting your imagination), a dynamic between the main (notes)
characters to create and build tension, hints for unfolding deeper layers of the riddles and enough ambiguity to keep you guessing and wishing for more.
The setting for Éperdument, the olfactory flashback: at the beginning of the twentieth century, Italy was in the middle of a massive migration – millions of Italians leaving the country to find better fortune over the seas. In the following years, the “arranged” marriages became the norm, and ships filled with brides would carry over to distant lands thousands of young women that would be promised to marry unknown (and usually older) men that were already living as emigrants. With a suitcase usually containing just the bridal dress and the photograph of the man they were supposed to marry, they embarked on the ships of brides and prepared for the marriages that were often celebrated immediately, at the port of arrival. The fragrance tells the story of the return home of a bride many years after her departure. After a happy life together with her beloved stranger, after his death, she decides to return back home, to Sicily, the same way as she left, by sea. Approaching the shore, she will stand on the deck of the ship, her suitcase filled with memories, re-awakening in the long-lost smells and colors of her motherland. Éperdument is the scented freeze-frame of that moment of silence and the beautifully intense reconnection to her childhood and younger self.
An airy, elegant floral construction with fresh green facets and a salty touch, Éperdument by Antonio Alessandria Parfums is an olfactive tale you should get lost in this summer.
The heart races in the first moments of the olfactive embrace: the wind mixes the salty air of the sea with the buzz of life and youth coming from the shore: citrus floral notes mixed in vegetal, crisp elements. There is a greenness that speaks of the spring of life, the fennel playing here a leading role, with its multisensorial facets: juicy spikes of sappy vegetal wetness, anise-like reassuring sweetness, and tactile woody nervures.
Floating on top of the gardens and bushes growing on Sicily’s shores, next, the perfume gathers a rich floral pallete and paints the memories of a life coming full circle. We have the innocence and fragility of infancy in the delicate lily of the valley, growing in the shade; the carefree laughter of the childhood days spending sucking the sweet juice from the base of the honeysuckle flowers; the promises of carefree lazy summer days to come spent daydreaming underneath the orange blossom trees; and the exploding sensuality of youth: the heady, rich and sweet jasmine.
Coming down from the waves formed on top, brought on by the winds hitting the shore, we descent into the deep, calm, steady waters of the sea to sunken treasures of softwoods, warm musks, and golden ambers.
So, if you want for a new companion for your summer- fresh but with more depth than a citrus, floral and sensual but with a melancholic edge, aquatic but only in the droplets of the ocean carried in the salty air, Éperdument by Antonio Alessandria Parfums could very well be your perfect silent side-kick.
Top: Green and hesperidic notes, wild fennel, marine and ozonic notes.
Heart: Orange blossom, jasmine, honeysuckle, lily of the valley.
Base: Softwoods, musky and ambery notes.
If you love florals, also try: Isabey Fleur Nocturne