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Scents of travel

A fragrance redolent of pure holiday might just be the antidote for those too time-poor to take in the sights of, say, pleasurable Positano. Luxury scents evoking all the magic of some of the world’s most exquisite destinations mean heavenly olfactory time travel.
Scents of travel

Everything worth having – cars, couture, lovers – seems to be ‘Made in Italy’. Not least, idyllic holiday villas sheltered in hidden bays in a country known for its incomparable beauty. ‘Italy is a never-ending romantic love story,’ says Italian travel expert, Lara Casasola, owner and founder of Lara Travel. An Italian-South African, Casasola holidays annually on the Amalfi Coast with a view to retiring there one day.

To her, the area signifies unadulterated natural splendour. ‘The uniqueness of the Amalfi Coast and adjacent areas is well-rooted in the beautiful, fertile volcanic lands and climate.’ And thanks to the region’s diversity of botanicals with their heady aromatic profiles, says Casasola, beguiling fragrances have been skilfully created by locals for hundreds of years.

Today, scents conjuring up the enchantment of the fruits of this coastal paradise are more popular than ever. But as fragrance experts and journalists Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez will tell you, not all scents are created equal, especially those trying to capture a place far removed from your top-floor office in the city.

Acqua di Parma Chinotto di Liguria

A fragrant escape

Legend has it that Italian perfume house Carthusia’s Aria di Capri is part of a collection of scents reportedly based on centuries-old monastery recipes. In Perfumes, The Guide that she co-authored with Turin, Sanchez writes of this particular fragrance: ‘It reminds me of a delicious drink of Italian bitters called lavorato, which I had over ice with a view of the Duomo in Milan; each astringent sip shot through me with that invigorating sensation of increased clarity that only bitter food and drink will give. Original and well done.’

What Sanchez is so accurately imparting about the art of fragrance, is its ability to transport the wearer back to an exact moment and add another layer of fondness to that memory. And while perfumes and holidays mix so well, there are times when you just can’t have both. For those days, there is Acqua di Parma Chinotto di Liguria.

It’s a blend of fruity yet bittersweet top notes with jasmine and geranium forming the heart of the scent together with refreshing notes of cardamom and rosemary. Completing the journey are musk and patchouli, described as ‘reminiscent of an early morning stroll along the rocky coastline of western Liguria’. Now doesn’t that sound miles away and far better than a 10 o’clock with the acquisitions team?

Chanel’s Les Eaux De Chanel

Ciao Amore

Gabrielle Coco Chanel knew a thing or two about great vacation spots. And while hers were very much rooted in her French heritage, she did have a soft spot for one specific Italian destination: Venice. Chanel’s Les Eaux De Chanel collection is inspired by four of her all-time favourite getaways: Deauville, Biarritz, the Riviera and Venice (or ‘Venise’ as Coco called it).

Perfumer Olivier Polge explains his vision for Eau de Chanel Paris-Venise as drawing ‘inspiration as much from the long journey on the Orient Express from the French capital to the Italian city, as from the destination itself’.

While still citrus-laden, gourmand notes and aromatics play a commanding role – think a vanilla note and oriental scents that warm the skin. This is a perfect example of how a fragrance doesn’t have to be Italian – and riper than an orange from Nonna’s garden – to imbue that holiday feeling. Enter Atelier Cologne’s Clementine California. While you may feel the name gives the game away, this sparkling fruity unisex cologne is a hedonistic concoction of delicious ingredients from all over the world: juniper berries from Turkey and vetiver from Haiti. It’s goal? Basically an exotic summer in a flacon – whether you’re able to enjoy some actual sun rays or not.

By Helen Clemson

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