Saturday, April 21, 2012

Profumum Roma Soavissima: fragrance review

Her presence still lingered.
Her petticoat had left unequivocal traces.
Trails of intense scent that lit boundless fires.

This is how Profumum Roma presents Soavissima. Profumum is a niche Italian brand founded in Rome in 1996 and Soavissima was launched in 2006. The official accords talk about amber, white flowers, animalic and powdery notes, but of this only the powder and ambery stuff comes through distintcly. And that, not quite, as one would be accustomed through various incarnations of resinous, sacerdotal ambers circulating in niche perfumery for years: The powderiness in Soavissima comes through heaps of heliotrope, a soft iris accord and that rosy nuance of goose-down puffs heavy with powder in which a bit of amber is felt, like the whisper that is left on the skin when you apply an ambery perfume several hours before. It's a sweet ambience, perhaps a tad intense for some. It can also veer into "baby powder" territory, that vat of Johnson's talc, aromatized with vanilla, hints of lavender and orange blossoms. Its feminine, motherly embrace is its predominant trait, a quality that can be polarising. More than a slipper-footed dame in her boudoir powdering her face, it recalls gusts of powder going on 18th century wigs; an element of excess and theatricality is built within the scent.

Soavissima firmly belongs to the sweet powdery realm where Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi and Keiko Mecheri's Loukhoum rule. On the other hand it has some of the inedible sweetness of the aldehydic soapiness that Chanel No.22 and White Linen by Lauder possess. It also approaches Profumum's own Confetto with its similar base of fuzzy heliotrope-ambery powderiness. The sillage/projection of Soavissima is tremendous so go easy on the application and the lasting power quite satisfying for the price.

The Soavissima line is complimented by a body lotion, a shower product and a room fragrance. Sold at boutique sites, such as Luckyscent. (and in brick and mortar in various countries, even in Thessaloniki in Xeen Ltd)

photo of Lord Mortimer/Bedlam v ia and of makeup brush via


  1. MariaA13:34

    Lovely review, I will give it a try next time I go visit my mom in Thessaloniki! I have visited their shop it is called Stemma and is located in Chrisostomou Smirnis str. I bought my Gilded Lily from them and snifed many Nez a Nez and Nasomato's there. Quite a lovely shop be sure to visit if you are ever near.

  2. M,

    thanks for stopping by and commenting! :-)

    Be sure to like powder before trying. It's quite potent!
    The shop I mentioned is on Christostomou Smirnis str. too IIRC!! Seems like they have turned the street into a veritable treasure chest for niche perfumery. How nice! I last were in Thessaloniki two years ago, must come back again soon!
    Thanks for all the info and the recs.

  3. annemariec00:38

    I love the powder in Habanita but there is nothing edible about it. But even in Habanita the powder does remind some people of the Johnson & Johnson. It does no bother me but I know others find it off-putting.

    Lovely review, thanks. I had not heard of Profumum - an amazing line, by the look of it. Not cheap. I'll stick to my Habanita!

  4. I see you don't follow the ancient latin spelling with v, Profvmvm ...

    Haven't tried this one. Others in the line were too loud for what they were. I wouldn't mind loud if it's particularly good and striking, but these weren't.

    I like the bottles and the latinized font, though.


  5. AMC,

    I was always puzzled why talc would be found off-putting. For children growing up cared for, it should be a pleasant distant memory. For mothers & fathers, it should be a good memory as well. What's so off-putting? (Wait, I know, but I find it totally ridiculous that someone would think of associating talc and perfume reminiscent of it as sexualizing children)

    Habanita is such a complex powder, with its odd vetiver, it's really something.

  6. M,

    after some deliberation, as in Bvlgari/Bulgari, I followed the most common transliteration on the net.
    It's nice to write with V, being an historian no less myself, and I appreciate the cultural heritage packed, but ultimately for the average American consumer it makes absolutely no sense (one of the most common questions on pronouncing)

    I like a couple of the Profumum scents; this one is so-so. It's really potent powdery in a loukhoum sort of way to me. If that appeals...


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