Friday, June 12, 2009

Caprissimo by Carthusia: new fragrance

Carthusia, the Italian niche brand on Via Camerelle with the smallest perfume laboratory in the world, inspired by the Mediterranean and the island of Capri in particular, has been providing us with fragrances to cast our mind to summery thoughts for a while now: from the citrusy masculines Io Capri (George Clooney's choice) and Mediterraneo to the lyrical Aria di Capri and the carnation-fused Fiori di Capri, there's something for everyone.
Legend has it that in 1380, the prior of the monastery was surprised by the news of an impending visit of Queen Joan I of Naples. He therefore amassed large flower bouquets with the most beautiful blossoms. When, after three days, he wanted to dispose them, he noticed the wonderful smell of the water and he called the alchemist, who discovered the origin of the fragrance in the “Garofilium Silvestre Caprese”, later tweaked and adjusted becoming Capri’s first perfume. In 1948, the formula was rediscovered and it was given to a chemist who owned the world’s smallest laboratory called “Carthusia”. To this day, production methods follow those used by the Carthusian monks of yore.

Now comes the melodic sounding Caprissimo (the superlative of Capri, if you like!) which aims to capture the flowers, sun and la dolce vita of the famous exotic locale. Focused on the lemon tree, it interprets the hesperidic and fizzying notes of the south, adding piquant and subtle accents of greeness to open up its floral heart that is redolent of "blue" jasmine, frangipani and osmanthus. Caprissimo ends on intense notes of wood and myrrh.

This comes as a reissue of the discontinued Caprissimo which was a green chypre in the vein of a lighter Ma Griffe. (The Carthusia line used to include other scents that are now unavailable like Gelsomino di Capri, Carthusia Lady etc.) The official site is experiencing technical problems right now, but hopefully they will be back on soon.


  1. Oh dear, dear, dear.....
    Dear me.

  2. Rappleyea14:27

    Funny, I saw another reference to this line just this week, and my interest was piqued. Now after reading your beautiful descriptions, I've put it on my ever growing list!

    I was a little sad to read "WAS a green chypre".... I'm holding out hope that some of these lines will re-issue one day with the new non-allergic oak moss material, even if it is expensive!

    Have a wonderful weekend~

  3. It does sound nice...I am almost hoping these days they won't be nice, so my wallet can be spared.

  4. D,

    thanks honey for your wishes and glad it piqued your interest. I like Fiori di Capri quite a lot, wear it when I want a rich, dense, indolic carnation.
    This reissue sounds interesting, it remains to be seen what they make. The drama of reformulation is least this time they're clear it's different.

  5. I love Fiori di Capri, as well as the "legend" of its creation. Why does the water in my flower vases always smell like swamp?

    What a great word to say ... "Caprissimo." Looking forward to this appearing in stores.

  6. I want!
    I wonder where they sell Carthusia stuff - I've never seen it around.

    (I hate you, you're an evil enabler. Just now, I'm searching the internetz for Flora Nerolia while wondering whether I'd be able to blend a neroli soliflor.)

  7. M,

    this aporia has left me wondering as well....why indeed?
    I love the sound of it as well. Like Prestissimo or something from music.

  8. L,

    I haven't seen them either in actual stores, although I know they're available online in UK and German stores which ship within Europe.

    LOL on the FN! It's a good one, isn't it? Told you, it's not a simple neroli and it has a nice background.
    I think simple, plain neroli essence, which you can extract yourself easily in spring by first immersing the flowers in fat and then alcohol is heavenly as is ;-)

  9. This scent sounds charming, helg. Thank you for the notes!

  10. Helg,
    what surprised me, most of the lighter floral and/or citrusy fragrances change to crap on me in higher temperatures - not FN. It does have some background that tends towars spices.

    Now excuse me, I need to find and plunder some orange trees:D

  11. You're most welcome Mary!
    I know you're another fan of Fiori di Capri :-))

  12. L,

    there is a certain vulnerability of light notes, they volatilise so easily and they can tend to sour if certain factors are there.
    FN has lots of jasmine to bulk it up and soften it and also some incense in the background, maybe even a little elemi for the lightly peppery touch? (hypothesizing here)

    Bigaradiers are not safe from you now! :-)

  13. Ciao, Gelsomini di Capri sarĂ  presentato a Pitti Fragranze il prossimo settembre quindi entrerĂ  a breve nella linea export.

  14. Anonymous21:42

    First purchased Gelsomini di Capri in 1974 on my first trip as a teenager. I purchased it again in 1979, and a student of mine purchased it for me in 1985. Always, it was in the solid wax pot. I love it. I was so excited to think I could make this purchase on line instead of having to travel. Unfortunately, they no longer make it in solid. Wish they would bring it back. I am afraid the perfume might be too strong. Guess I will have to spend the money to find out.

  15. Anon,

    if you do find out, please let me know.
    Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!


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