As a follow-up to my review of two Hilde Soliani fragrances, Una Tira l'Altra and Conaffetto, I've been sampling two more offerings from this line: Sweet Home and Il Tempo delle Mele. Both are gourmand perfumes, and both were inspired by specific chefs and dishes that left lasting impressions on Soliani's palate and nose.
Sweet Home is an olfactory tribute to a dessert Soliani enjoyed at Lido 84, Riccaro Camanini's restaurant overlooking Lake Garda in northern Italy. It includes notes of chestnuts, sugar and vanilla. Sweet Home is sweet indeed, but not in a predictable way. It opens with a surprising note of warm, salted butter with hints of dough underneath, like a freshly glazed crust about to enter the oven. The sugary notes emerge at a leisurely pace and very gradually turn Sweet Home into a soft, clinging blend of vanilla bean and slightly nutty cocoa powder with excellent staying power. Unlike the buttery opening, which has a bigger presence, the rest of the fragrance stays fairly close to the skin. It doesn't give me a strong impression of chestnuts, but then again, I'm only familiar with roasted chestnuts; maybe I should try Soliani's Castagna Salata next?
Il Tempo delle Mele ("the time of apples"?) is dedicated to Igles Corelli, chef at the Tuscan restaurant Atman, and to torta di mele ferrarese, a traditional dessert from the Emilia Romagna region. Based on what I've read about this homey-looking apple cake, Il Tempe delle Mele is an appropriate tribute. It includes notes of apple, milk and vanilla, starting with the apple: the fruit is juicy and just-cut, with a slight "bite." I don't normally like wearing perfumes with detectable apple notes, but this one feels natural and non-cloying. In any case, it's just the prelude to the vanillic-lactonic heart of the perfume, which has the scent and airy "texture" of freshly whipped cream.
Hungry yet? I enjoyed wearing both fragrances and I'll be using up my sample vials. They're surprisingly wearable for perfumes inspired directly by desserts. They're a must-try for gourmand-lovers, but they definitely avoid "cupcake" sugar-musk territory, so if you're undecided about sweet scents, you may want to give them a sniff too.
Hilde Soliani Sweet Home and Il Tempo delle Mele are available at Luckyscent, $160 each for 100 ml Eau de Parfum.