If the popular ice princess Elsa from Disney's Frozen had a scent, Ginepro di Sardegna by Acqua di Parma would be it; the spontaneous eruption of icicles and snow flakes that come whirling at the flick of her hand is within the fragrance's intentional scope. There is one scene in the movie in particular that perfectly evokes for me the feel of the Ginepro scent: the other main character, Anna, alongside a comic snowman and the friend-who-will-dawn-as-boyfriend-material-in-the end (surely a time honored trope) enter a forest where ice curtains of icicles hanging from the tree branches tinkle in the frosty air like piano glissandos.
This goosebumps producing, intensely fresh yet at once highly spicy fragrance from Acqua di Parma feels like a slice of Iceland in the midst of a heatwave when wearing even a chiffon top over tap pants feels like too much. Perfect for the southern summers, then! The unisex fragrance is part of the mostly fabulous Blu Mediterraneo line which includes the unusual Mirto di Panarea, a personal favorite, as well as the ultra popular Mandorlo di Sicilia, the light-hearted Arancia di Capri and the nicely introverted woody scent Fico di Amalfi.
Ginepro di Saregna (Juniper of Sardinia) recalls the now discontinued Cipresso di Toscana from the same line and no wonder since its basic aromatic "note", juniper belongs to the family of cypresses, trees traditionally tied to the Mediterranean paysage, part of which is the isle of Sardinia/Sardegna. I'm not sure if this was a move to satisfy the lost customers of Cipresso or a plea to new ones who are attracted by new, new, new.
Ginepro di Sardegna is immersed in the vigorous gin & tonic feel of juniper berries, bitter aromatic and tingling on the tongue, coupled with the eerily cooling feel of peppery spiciness. The peppery effect is not unlike the one in Poivre Samarcande (in the Hermessences collection by Hermes) so I'm hypothesizing that the effects of a clever use of Iso-E Super perfume ingredient are harnessed for all their worth, especially since cedar is the main woody note to underscore the composition. The after-feel is quite powdery, a soft, dry talc impression (I suspect white musk).
Further than a mere parsing of smells nevertheless Ginepro di Sardegna feels the way a Brâncuși looks, seamless and polished. Not entirely novel, one might argue, but pleasing all the same.
It's perfect for a seaside holiday under the scorching sun, the same as it's perfect on a gray winter day when you look forward to the snowflakes.
Lovers of Angeliques sous la Pluie by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, Navegar by L'Artisan Parfumeur, Poivre Samarcande, Bang by Marc Jacobs, Juniper Sling by Penhaligon's and Piper Negrum by Lorenzo Villorezi should give Ginepro di Sardegna a try. More traditionally masculine feeling than feminine (apart from that powdery touch at the end), but who really pays attention when the back of your throat almost closes by the, welcome, dry frost?
Fragrance notes for Ginepro di Sardegna by Acqua di Parma:
Top: juniper berries, bergamot, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg
Heart: sage, cypress
Base: Virginia cedarwood
Interestingly the strength of Acqua di Parma is that although it was bought by LVMH as an existing company (and we all know what that means for historical houses) the basic core was developed post hoc and therefore great attention to detail and clever marketing paid off instead of backfiring. Bravo!
Related reading on Perfume Shrine:
Cool silken fragrances: Like Snowcapped Trees in the Ringing Winter Air
White Noise Fragrances
Acqua di Parma fragrance reviews & news