Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Anonimo Veneziano by Nobile 1942: fragrance review

"I had removed my mask, and was drinking some coffee under the ‘procuraties’ of St. Mark’s Square, when a fine-looking female mask struck me gallantly on the shoulder with her fan. As I did not know who she was I did not take much notice of it, and after I had finished my coffee I put on my mask and walked towards the Spiaggia del Sepulcro, where M. de Bragadin’s gondola was waiting for me. As I was getting near the Ponte del Paglia I saw the same masked woman attentively looking at some wonderful monster shewn for a few pence. I went up to her; and asked her why she had struck me with her fan.
“To punish you for not knowing me again after having saved my life.”

From the memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

You open up your eyes to see she's not there anymore. You never had the chance to ask her her name...

Like Casanova (1725-1798), that "king of kiss and tell" (himself the author of this proverbial reputation)used to say: "nothing is surer than that we will no longer desire them, for one does not desire what one possesses."

Anonimo Veneziano is the name of a feminine fragrance by niche Italina brand Nobile 1942 that serves better than names as an evocation of a mysterious rencontre in the dark alleys of Venice during Carnival time.

It is coincidentally also the name of a rather melodramatic film from 1970 by Enrico Maria Salerno with a memorable music score and a plot line like "Love Story", featuring the alluring Brazilian-born Florinda Bolkan. Florinda also appeared in Visconti's "The Damned" (a long time favourite of Perfume Shrine) and she is the embodiment of the high-cheekboned mysterious dark woman. Not unlike the one whom Casanova might have rescued and never asked her name...

According to the Nobile 1942 promo:

Venice: her alluring womanly grace - let's get into all the brightness of gold.

ANONIMO VENEZIANO is the quintessence of womanliness - its mystery, its alluring ineffability. Its scent notes are tailored as to create a magnificent though delicate score.
A real masterpiece of equilibrium between naivety and sophistication.
It has no name - it is just time, place and dream

The predominant note throughout this oriental fragrance is the sensuous feel of labdanum enhanced by the crispness of hesperidic notes of a discreetly sweet character. Bronzed and pulsating with warmth, a sultry crackle; there is perhaps also a touch of the spice caravan that stopped in the Venetian port.
The delicate sweetness is further supported by the bouquet of ylang ylang and jasmine that later surface. The former is particularly noticeable with its intense, lush character.
I feel that Anonimo Veneziano is what I had hoped the original Coco by Chanel , with which they share common elements, would be on my skin. Smooth, erotic, delicately spicy and subtly leathery resting on a sweetish ambery base with soft woods that lingers and lingers. The mystery that is woven throughout the drydown is what lured you in and made you forget mere technicalities, such as names.

Official notes:
Top: bergamot, red mandarin, brazilian orange, light jasmine
Middle: Rosa Damascena essence, dawn jasmine from India, ylang ylang, lotus flower
Bottom: cistus, indonesian patchouly, sandalwood from India, powdery vanilla

Available in Colonia Intensa (eau de toilette) and Fragranza Suprema (eau de parfum)concentration. Both have great tenacity and smell rich.

Images uploaded on Flickr by sph/step into the mist and Kaykoeverhart/venetian mask.


  1. Of course you *would* pique my interest by quoting Casanova, one of my favourite authors (note to self: repurchase unexpurgated memoirs, lost in my divorce). Labdanum scares me, but the mention of a Coco likeness is very tempting...

  2. Oh D, if anyone would comment on that score (Casanova) it would be you! :-)

    I found the scent very wearable, it was smoother than Coco which can be a little harsh on me from time to time.
    Why the aversion to labdanum?

  3. My nose tends to pick up the labdanum/amber note prominently and it can make me queasy when too dominant. Just a matter of taste...

  4. A ha! Thanks for the clarification.
    I can't do many ambers either (something about them makes me queasy as well), but labdanum per se is very agreeable to me.


Type your comment in the box, choose the Profile option you prefer from the drop down menu, below text box (Anonymous is fine too!) and hit Publish.
And you're set!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin