Being a dog-centric person, I became aware of Trussardi through its advertisements in L’Uomo Vogue. I loved the Trussardi greyhound logo, and even, blush, wanted a Trussardi walking stick with the dog’s-head handle. (I’ve always had a bad back, so this “wish” wasn’t purely a dandy-ish whim of a 20-year-old; when my back went out, I’d have an interesting and beautiful “aid,” wouldn’t I?)
Trussardi began as a glove-making company in Bergamo, Italy, in 1911 and has since branched out into clothing/accessories, fragrance, design, entertainment/culture and hospitality/food. Trussardi fragrances are not easy to come by in the U.S. (Like many other European perfumes that never make it to stores here, Trussardi perfumes can often be found at online U.S. discounters within a year of their European release.) From the moment I first read about Essenza del Tempo, I wanted to try it, and I finally got around to buying a bottle online last week.
Essenza del Tempo was “inspired” by the slow food movement in Italy. Perfumer Sophie Labbé developed Essenza del Tempo, and it contains fragrance notes of bergamot, amber, ambrette seed, carrot seed, ginger, iris, “sun-drenched” flowers, coffee, balsamic vinegar, and cedar. Essenza del Tempo’s opening notes (with juicy bergamot, carrot seed and musky ambrette/cumin) smell like a chilled platter of antipasti (yes, there’s a slice of cold meat on the plate). This food-y opening is sheer and light, like an Eau de Cologne, but things warm up and intensify quickly.
In mid-development, Essenza del Tempo enters an “aromatic” stage that, at first, fooled me into thinking it was turning into a ‘vintage’ men’s aftershave aroma. Essenza del Tempo’s heart is bracing, with a hint of ginger-vinegar, a few “fresh”/bold flowers (not recognizable as any particular flower) and an accord that conjures the scent of olive oil. Essenza del Tempo’s base offers a ‘shy’ coffee bean note that leads to the finale: incense-y, spicy cedar (wood-burning stove?)
Essenza del Tempo provides amusing twists and turns but it’s not a “weird” perfume at all (if that worries you). The vinegar, olive oil, coffee, and carrot are handled subtly and remain close to skin (those around you will NOT think you smell like a ristorante or “lunch”). I wish Labbé had upped the ante(pasti) and highlighted the unusual (risky) food notes, but no doubt such a treatment would have alienated Essenza del Tempo’s intended audience (IS there a “weird” Italian perfume on the market? has there ever been?) As it stands, I still enjoy wearing Essenza del Tempo; it’s a good year-round, casual fragrance with just enough “strangeness” to keep me interested.
Essenza del Tempo Eau de Toilette has very good lasting power and reasonable sillage; it’s marketed as a unisex fragrance but, to me, it has a masculine vibe. Europeans should have no trouble finding Essenza del Tempo, but if you live in the U.S. chances are the only way you’ll smell it is to buy it. Essenza del Tempo comes in a handsome, hefty bottle on “legs” with a leather strap that connects the cap to the bottle — and Trussardi to its leather-goods past. Essenza del Tempo also comes in body wash, aftershave balm, body lotion, and deodorant.
Note: top Greyhound image [altered] via Wikimedia Commons.