Maria Candida Gentile

A selection of perfumes from the Italian perfume house Maria Candida Gentile.

🌶 Mood Scent 4 Spice It Up!🌶🌶

It’s is time for our monthly Mood Scent 4 post! Where Portia (on A Bottled Rose) , Samantha  (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In Sainte Maxime) and I write about a different subject linking perfume to mood or occasion.This time we chose to write about precious spices in perfumes like cardamon, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, ginger or anise seed. Warming, energizing, uplifting or ethereal spices are used to create an interesting contrast in a perfume or as part of the fragrance. Flowers like roses or lilacs can have a spicy note as well.

Spices in perfume (and in food too) can be challenging to me personally but this might be different for you, let me know in the comments how you feel about spicy perfumes. I chose some of my favorites starting with Réglisse Noir.

Réglisse Noir 1000 Flowers

Réglisse Noir was the first release from the perfume house 1000 Flowers. 1000 Flowers was founded by Canadian perfumer Jessica Buchanan in Grasse. Réglisse is liquorice in French. Liquorice was made from the glycyrrhiza glabra root (not sure if it still is!) and has a spicy anisidic scent. This root is not botanically related to anise or star anise. In The Netherlands these liquorice roots, also called sweet wood (zoethout) are sold in health food stores. Liquorice is a very popular sweet here and sold in salty, sweet and even sour varieties.

Ethereal star anise is the main player of Réglisse Noir for its soft liquorice like scent. Jessica Buchanans treatment of this fragrance is masterful in adding smooth vanilla. Creating a languid lazy mood of long sunny Summer afternoons sipping a glass of cold Pastis with water on a tranquil terrace in a peaceful quiet little village in Southern France. Pastis is a French aperitif traditionally made of star anise and liquorice.  Réglisse Noir is adorned by pungent black pepper, refreshing mint and shiso adding an interesting modern touch. These spices are like flavoring a dish with some black pepper to making it far more interesting and uplift all its different flavors.

Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre

Cinabre smells of a blossoming grand red rose with large velvet petals. Maria Candida Gentile added elegant touches of pungent black and pink pepper creating a very special floral fragrance. The dry down feels like a warming blanket of vanilla powder and opoponax, a spicy warm resin used in incense blends as well as in perfumes. Cinabre is an incredibly energizing rose scent which I would not recommend using before going to sleep as you will probably stay up the whole night as I did once unless you want to. If you like spicy roses like Amouage Epic Woman and Majda Bekkali Mon Nom est Rouge give this spicy bright red rose a try.

The spiciness of the black and pink pepper in Cinabre is like adding a touch of the perfect red lipstick shade to a bare face completely changing your image. The black and pink pepper make this velvet red rose extraordinary.

Amouage Memoir For Women

Memoir smells of the once forbidden highly alcoholic anise flavored drink absinth. Imagine opening a large ancient black wooden box left in the corner of a very old attic in a very old deserted castle in a fantasy desert, the box is full of small glass medicine vials with mixed spices like lemony cardamon, black pepper, cloves. Little leather sachets with frankincense, dried roses, fragrant jasmine flowers, oakmoss and dried castoreum from the beaver gland are hidden and tucked away in a secret compartment of this box too.

Wearing Memoir feels like wearing something dark and forbidden maybe due to the anisidic wormwood herb found in absinth. A drink once very popular amongst French writers like Charles Baudelaire and featured in several paintings of Vincent van Gogh. Absinth is traditionally made from the herb wormwood, also one of the perfume notes in this fragrance.

Gallivant Perfumes and Colognes Amsterdam

Another spicy and warm fragrance I really like is Gallivant Perfumes and Colognes Amsterdam. It has the interesting spice note of chinese Szechuan pepper, which is not found in many other fragrances. The bottle on the photograph is on a tray with the arms of the city of Amsterdam. You can find my full review of Gallivant Amsterdam here.

These are the spicy fragrances I picked. Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog  Megan in St. Maxime  and Portia on A Bottled Rose! I love to read their picks and see what they chose. Sometimes we choose the same fragrances which is great as we don’t know the scents we will pick.


Over to you: Do you like spicy perfumes? What are your favorite spicy perfumes ?


Disclosure: All fragrances mentioned in this article were bought by me or a gift with purchase. Bottles which are sold now, might be different from the ones shown on the photographs. All the photographs were made by me personally and are an artistic expression. The aim of the photographs is to portray personal impressions of the fragrances.





Mood Scent 4 : Frankincense and Myrrh Perfumes

It’s Mood Scent 4 time again! Our monthly blogging project where Portia, (on A Bottled Rose) , Samantha  (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In St Maxime) and I write about a different subject linking perfume to mood or occasion. This time we picked frankincense and myrrh perfumes.

Frankincense is often associated with church by those who visit or used to (Catholic) church.  I used to go to a Dutch Catholic church as a child but frankincense was not used in this very modern 1970s church. I have only fairly recently started to appreciate frankincense when visiting churches as a common visitor. All my choices here are my personal favourites and not meant to give a list of the ‘best’ frankincense fragrances. I only included one myrrh perfumes as these are not easy to find and I wanted to include a fragrance which is still sold for a decent price.


Maria Candida Gentile Exultat and Sideris
Exultat brings a feeling of awe and wonder by combining dry frankincense with sweet violet candies. Imagine yourself as a small child sitting at the back of an old empty Mediterranean church, the priest has left a faint trail of frankincense hours ago and now you are eating violet candies secretly next to your grandmother who is visiting the church to pray. My Spanish grandmother was fond of visiting the cinema together instead of going to church with me, so this image was a mere fantasy, but I love these two fragrances combined: the violet candies and scent frankincense in a Catholic church. They make this a special fragrance while light powder and dust give it a more worldly aura.

Sideris, another creation from perfumer Maria Candida Gentile takes the frankincense to different territory by adding pungent pepper, very dry Mediterranean herbs, light sweet rose and balsamic benzoin. The fragrance was dedicated to a poem written by Cesare Pavese and inspired by walk along the Mediterranean Sea in the North West Italian area of Liguria. The frankincense is liturgical in both Italian creations, reminiscent of the smell a Catholic church hours after the priest has wafted a barrel on a chain of smoking frankincense. While Exultat is sweetened by violet confectionary, Sideris is adorned by sweet powdery rose petals, precious saffron and peppery spices.

Comme des Garcons:  Series 3  Ouarzazate
While Avignon gets all the attention from the Comme des Garcons Incense series, Ouarzazate is well worth a try. This incense series was inspired by 5 different world religions. The fragrance Avignon relates to Christianity and Ouarzazate to Islam. Mark Buxton was inspired by the fortress (kasbah) in this Southern Moroccan city. Ouarzazate is the gateway to the Sahara Desert and features in many series and films including Game Of Thrones (season 3) and Gladiator.

Ouarzazate is a sweet caramel like and spicy frankincense scent. Hints of black pepper, nutmeg and dry clary sage on a translucent olibanum/frankincense and dark woody base make it easy to wear. It is a little too light for my taste especially compared to the Ouarzazate incense sticks which I bought first but an interesting frankincense fragrance full of spices and well worth a try.

Caron Parfum Sacre Eau de Parfum
In Parfum Sacre lush dark red velvet rose petals are enveloped by pungent black pepper and warmed by cinnamon. Parfum Sacre feels like wearing a crimson long satin dress, the soft light fabric touching your skin. Resinous dry myrrh and soft vanilla add a comfortable sensation while rich orange blossom and a light cinnamic touch bring an overall feeling of smoothness. This velvety feeling reminds me of Guerlain Samsara which makes me wonder if sandalwood was not added as well.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer
In Passage d’Enfer perfumer Olivia Giacobetti combines the white lily flower, symbol of the virgin Mary in Christianity, with translucent cold frankincense and clean ‘laundry like’ musk. Passage d’Enfer translates as passage to hell and was originally created to pay homage to the first office of L’Artisan Parfumeur in the Passage d’Enfer in Paris in the 1970s. Lily flower is toned down here and transparent in true Olivia Giacobetti style leaving a light impression of its essence. Passage d’Enfer comes as an accompanying body lotion and shower gel as well.

Boujee Bougies Gilt Scented Candle
The recently launched Boujee Bougies scented candle Gilt plays with the idea of gold, guilt and confession. Golden sun rays shine through the stained glass lightening up a dark church and the metallic touch of golden leaves. Frankincense was burned hours ago still leaving its light smoky and pine tree trail, embellished by the cold scent of copper from the frankincense barrel. Gilt has amazing throw even for a small 60 g candle and burns evenly which is a great bonus as you use the whole candle until the end.

These are my frankincense and myrrh perfume and scented candle picks. Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog  Megan in St. Maxime  and Portia on A Bottled Rose,  to read they choices too!

I Love To Hear From You
What are your favorite frankincense and myrrh perfumes? What do you think of my choices? Do you know them?

Disclosure: All fragrances, candles and samples mentioned were bought by me personally. Photographs were made by me as well and are an artistic expression. Bottles which are sold now, might be different from the ones shown on the photographs.


The Fragrance That Helped Me During The Cremation Of An Old Friend – Maria Candida Gentile Exultat

Not too long ago I attended the ceremony before the cremation of an old friend and colleague. We had shared very good and really bad times together. My friend and I were the same age of fifty which made his death extra confronting and painful.

When you turn fifty and look at your life not all of us are where we had dreamed we would be. It can be disappointing. I know from personal experience although life has given me very unexpected gifts. In his life my friend had chosen to follow a bumpy uneven and at times difficult path to walk.

While dressing for the cremation it felt a bit frivolous to think about what scent to wear. I did not feel like wearing a fragrance. My lost friend was not interested in scent and I did not want to impose my fragrance on other people. But as perfume is not only an adornment to me, I decided to wear a calming, quiet and serene scent, Maria Candida Gentile Exultat. There was not a church mass but it felt like the right scent to wear due to its connection with the Church of San Lorenzo in Rome.  A visit to the Church of San Lorenzo during the hour of vespers inspired Maria Candida Gentile to create Exultat according to the official website.

Incense plays an important part in Exultat. As incense is used in mass to purify and sanctify, it felt like the right thing to wear. The combination of violet, woods and frankincense makes it both a spiritual and calming scent. It helps you stay in the moment and close to yourself. Scent can help us a little in coping with difficult times and Exultat helped me a bit on that particular day because of it’s calming qualities.

Losing a loved one can be devastating I know from experience as I have lost my mother not very long ago. I can only imagine what it must feel like for his family and other loved ones he has left behind. He and his laugh stay with us in our memory.

(Notes: Top Note: Frankincense, Orange, Bitter Orange, Lime
Heart Note: Violet, Violet Leaves Base Note: Woods, Vetiver, Texas Cedar wood)

A beautiful In Memoriam was written in Dutch by Peter Mabelus.