Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sammarco Vitrum: fragrance review & introduction to the Sammarco brand

Sammarco is an artisanal line based in Appenzel, Switzerland, founded by Giovanni Sammarco, a genuine lover of fine perfume and premium quality raw materials who set up his own shop and now caters to all those who want a very special, bespoke fragrance or to get their hands on some of the choicest and less available perfumery materials for their own blends or scent education. I have been fortunate to have sampled some of the wares of Sammarco, both finished fragrances and raw materials, and I'm impressed by the quality; real animalics, precious ingredients, everything shining and awing with the sheen of natural, genuine essences, heaps of real jasmine, gorgeous cacao absolute, authentic orris butter, smooth osmanthus, lovely liquerish rose….

Right now Sammarco offers three ready made perfumes: Alter (a gorgeous jasmine floriental to which I will revert later on), Bond T (a real dark chocolate gourmand that was conceived after a visit to a chocolatier in Pisa, Italy) and Vitrum, a vetiver woody made for a journalist friend of Giovanni, named Federica. They're all lovely, with Vitrum perhaps spanning the spectrum on gender specifics best. So I'm starting with that one today.

Vitrum belongs in that class of fragrances that are immediately likable by everyone, exactly because it focuses on a beloved material which although always intensely itself it hides nuances of talent beyond its recognizability and genre factor. Like a Vincent Price of a character, it has the drama of its coolish and smoky demeanor, all rugged and beautifully boomy voiced, but it is softened by the magic of sentiment; rose and pepper bring forth antithetical virtues, much like a soft fairy tale of Edward Scissorhands can bring a tear in our eye and a smile in our heart. It's as surprising to find a gentler side to the craggy profile of the master of sinister as finding out he was an art historian and an avid cook who started his career as the romantic lead, which is totally true.
Likewise, we're conditioned to view vetiver woody fragrances as perfect for the heat of summer (and indeed vetiver is used in India for its cooling properties) but I find that the smokiness and bold spiciness (with a hint of a wintery, tempest petrol green sea spray) makes an overcast, brumous winter day feel like a precious gift.

Vitrum is available on the Sammarco e-shop for 130CH. (There are several paying options and you will have to contact the company to see if there are any shipping restrictions if you're worried).

To tie this all up and conclude. Regarding the bespoke fragrance option, it's all fine and dandy as an idea, and if you have been following Perfume Shrine you know we have touched on the subject here and there, but the major stumbling obstacle for most is the initial cost: one can't just have a formula made and only order a single bottle with most perfumers offering this special service. Giovanni cleverly thought about this and bypassed it in one fell swoop as he offers the Sammarco Mini-Bespoke service. For just 600CH you can have one bottle of your specially made perfume, created for you and with you! I call this genius, don't you?

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