Saturday, October 27, 2012

Etro Vicolo Fiori

Vicolo Fiori by Etro - also available as deodorant spray

I could be the only one in the perfumed blogosphere who thinks of this as a Green Floral, but in my mind, the powdery-musky-fruity bluebell-water lily composition can resemble in a quick whiff the crisp greenery of Calandre. In fact the other day, I found an unlabeled sample vial of this scent, and struggled to remember which perfume I had decanted to put in my purse, until it dawned on me it was simultaneously too powdery and aqueously clean to be either Calandre or Ivoire. With its almost aldehydic powdery consistency, I almost pegged it vintage Nina; thank goodness my scent memory prevailed, leading me to a Vicolo Fiori match.

Etro Vicolo Fiori is actually a complex perfume for something so seemingly fey and simplistic. When the salesperson at a favorite boutique suggested it to another customer, supposedly a bride-to-be, and bypassed showing it to me, I'd felt momentarily miffed. In retrospect, I realized I usually preferred crisper, more straightforwardly sweet, less powdery and musky "rain" type fragrances anyway. As beautiful as I thought it was (enough to eventually buy), I didn't wear it as often as I wore Spring Flower, the perfume I'd gone to the store for in the first place.

As Spring Flower became my glamorous everyday go-to perfume, Vicolo Fiori became the quieter, less charismatic sister floral that got delegated to functioning as a "mood scent." The complexity of tangerines with green florals, a rose-jasmine traditional floral heart, ambery woods and vanilla, all with a hint of violet, sharpened by sporty aquatic top notes rounded out with a sweet white peach, sometimes smelled cloying, and overwhelmed me. When I realized the resemblance it had to Laura by Laura Biagiotti, a dainty and quietly powdery aquatic rose and vanilla floral, I lost interest and set it aside for years.

It was such a pleasant surprise to rediscover the scent of Vicolo Fiori again in the form of an unmarked vial. It gave me the opportunity to analyze it without bias, and appreciate the lush greenery I couldn't smell over the other muskier notes before. It is my new go-to fragrance for this fall, an intricate weave of notes ranging from porcelain cold to snuggly warm, like a fragile piece of vintage lace, easy to dismiss as "dowdy" until you learn to appreciate it by finely tuning into its intricate nature, never expecting it to assert itself to you.