Coffee-Everyone loves the particular smell of fresh ground coffee and Sicily is awash in espresso machinery of all types. From the classic upended tank with an eagle on top to the modern computery looking ones, Sicilians adore everything about the process and the product. You can smell coffee everywhere in the mornings and afternoons in the streets of any Sicilian city. Coffee has found its way into perfume as well, and one of our most popular fragrances was a coffee based creation. The Sicilian Collection is no different yet I have used a light and subtle hand with coffee in a summer series, and you won’t smell it up front but it does insinuate.
Black Pepper-Nothing quite matches the pop and woody zizzle of black pepper. I put it in Sicily and it ads such a mad-good edge. Black pepper is found in a number of famous fragrances throughout the years and is considered a classic ingredient.
Pink Pepper-One of the most memorable meals I had in Sicily had the surprising feature of Pink Peppercorns in a sauce covering pappardelle noodles. A bit more aromatic in a plant way than black pepper, the pink variety must be treated delicately so as not to overpower a fragrance. It should be an enhancement to the background, not a foreground “announcer”.
Hay-The smell of drying hay or dry grasses in the hills is truly marvelous on Sicily. The weather turns hot and dry right after the verdant spring and that is when that wonderful smell of dried grass starts to haunt you. Again, this is a surprisingly strong element and best in the summer as an ornament rather than the star player.
Basil-The quintessential herb and hallmark of southern Italian cooking, basil is prized for its licorice-like scent and ability to conjure hot summer days. Basil is featured in the 100% Natural blend Triskelion to great effect.
Jasmine-May and June are the best times for that sweetest of flowers, Mediterranean jasmine. Everywhere the mad vine displays its small white flowers and creamy fragrance. Very different from the “stinky” varieties, this jasmine is so beautiful it can break your heart. I grow it at home. Since jasmine is so very Sicilian, I put it in my perfume called Mafia to great effect.
Fig-This has been a dark, syrupy summer favorite for many years. A natural partner for the heavier elements like patchouli, musk, and nag champa; fig can range from a molasses-like variety to a very green and light scent. Prestidigitazione and Scylla have fig in them and are luscious.
Cucumber-On a hot dry island, cucumber is bound to be a favorite treat, and the scent of it instantly signals coolness and wet. Arabic influence in cuisine can be seen in the liberal use of spices, a bit of hot pepper, and cucumber. The scent mingles deliciously with a great many elements and I have not used it as a central part of my Sicilian Collection but as a very effective piece of scenery.
Violet-The beautiful purple flower is usually associated with Parma but grows in the shady bowers of Sicily as well. A favorite among the aristocrats in the classic The Leopard, violet has enjoyed a renaissance in the 21st century among perfumers and their fans. I use it as a tribute to the glorious Angelica of that novel, and her perfume Bouquet a la Marechale.
This blog is brought to you by Possets Perfume which is featuring The Sicilian Summer 2014 Collection now. The Sicilian Summer Collection is loaded with glorious fragrances perfect for the heat and redolent with the rich beauty of the Mediterranean.