Maison Berdoues is well known for their classic violet fragrance, Violettes de Toulouse, as de rigeur retro as a finicky collector would demand of their collection. But modernization, and Scorza di Sicilia is part of that project, is the name of the game for an old company to survive the times. Berdoues have been busy producing a collection of colognes, called grand cru to reflect wine phraseology, in order to catch the attention of the niche buying perfume lovers with an eye to heritage.
There's a dearth of fragrance reviews in the year that has been put between the original release of the grand cru colognes, 2015, and today, so I took it upon myself to write some on them having tested the line in detail recently. And so I'm beginning with Scorza di Sicilia, i.e. Sicilian rind.
Contrary to the gorgeous sliced citruses painted on the columnar bottles (truly nice in person as well as in the photos) Scorza di Sicilia is not about citrus per se, even though the citrus is perceptible throughout. In fact the scent's character is quite floral indeed, taking lily of the valley as the sharp floral note that assembles the references that an Italian summer fragrance would normally evoke: the sun, the breeze, the lightness, the clarity...We all need a slice of sunshine in our lives, don't we.
Lily of the valley with its sharpness, clean aspect and green underpinning can act as an effortless bond between the bergamot top note (a Calabrian, if not Sicilian, reference) and the grassy-woody coolness of the vetiver of the base. I suspect white musk makes for the same cohesive glue, giving Maison Berdoues Scorza di Sicilia the starched, fresh aura that makes it so very amenable to a hot day somewhere where the houses are white-washed and the roofs tiled rather than thatched.
A note on terminology: Though "cologne" might evoke either short lasting power (and citruses are notorious for that) or a masculine effect I assure you that neither is applicable in this case. It's a rather decent eau de toilette duration scent that could be worn by either men or women in warm weather (I suspect it'd get drowned in the cold).