The mouillettes by Maria Candida Gentile have been lying on my desk for several weeks now, aromatizing the air with their delicious mélange, making me nostalgise about the mystical splendor of wintertime Venice. They all speak in mellifluous voices that you really want to follow into the echoing cobblestone alleyways, over the silent canals. Hanbury, arguably the most immediately feminine among the niche line, presented with no sex barriers, exudes the uniques of Calycanthus praecox, one of the few flowers in blossom during winter time in the North of Italy. (Indeed its other name Chimonanthus literally means "winter flower" in Greek)
The name of the fragrance derives from The Hanbury Villa in the northern Italy city of Ventimiglia, which lies by the blue sea that has seen pirates and sailors crossing it for millenia. As if it smiled through it all, its garden grows beautiful mimosas that scatter the landscape with yellow pop-pops of joy at the drawing of each winter into spring. The charming Dorothy Hanbury still gathers the flowers for precious essences production.
Signora Gentile uses a very high ratio of natural essences as a perfumer, no doubt thanks to her Grasse training which coaxes perfumers into appreciating the palette of superb materials produced there. These are vibrant, quality materials which bring on what the human nose can only recognize as richness, opulence, lushness and this is evident in her whole line, from the balmy woody amber of Sideris, to the spicy decadent rose of Cinabre all the way to the light-hearted vagabond heart with leathery nuances of Barry Linton, inspired by Thakeray's character. These fragrances shimmer and present rounded, masterful portraits, as if lighted from within.
The intensely femme blend of Hanbury, poised on mimosa and calycanthus, is taking honeyed facets, with a sprinkling of sweet hesperidic top notes and a tiny caramelic note, softly balsamic, kept in check by the deliriously happy, clean essence of neroli. Hanbury keeps the floral element into a lightly musky sostenuto, which persists for a very long time on the skin; almost as long as a Med garden is in bloom.
Notes for Maria Candida Gentile Hanbury:
top: lime, bitter orange and orange
middle: mimosa and white honey
base: musk and benzoin
M.C.G. besides her fine fragrances sold at her online shop is the creator of some really exclusive and rare fragrances. Among them the Pinede des Princes for princess Caroline of Monaco; the La Posta Vecchia signature fragrance for one of the oldest and most acclaimed hotels in Italy; Satine, a custom blend for the yacht of Tarak Ben Ammar (first president of free Tunisia) and a custom fragrance for the Eco del Mare resort.
pic via hortusitalicus.blogspot.com