Maria Candida Gentile

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

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.

Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre

imageSome perfumes should come with a warning as in a Thai restaurant saying how spicy it is.  If perfumes would come with 1, 2 or 3 peppers, referring to its spicyness, the eau de parfum Cinabre would have 3 peppers.

Cinabre is a spicy rose perfume made by Maria Candida Gentile in 2009. The combination of the rose with the black pepper in the beginning makes it very daring.  It gives the perfume a bite. This perfume is not a light tea rose but a strong powdery spicy hot rose. While wearing Cinabre, I feel daring and courageous. One would not think a rose perfume could do this.

Maria Candida Gentile is a female independent Italian perfumer with her own perfume house. She has developed 6 classic perfumes and 4 exclusive perfumes for her own line. All her perfumes are available online.

I have been wearing Cinabre for some days now and am struck by its beauty and originality. The bottle and perfume might look and smell very classic.  But the perfume has a very modern touch to it. Like a Burberry trench coat classic but modern at the same time.

At first I got a very powdery rose scent mixed with black pepper. After 15 to 20 minutes the pepper subdued and the scent became a light rose powdery perfume like smelling an expensive rose powdery soap. The soap scent subdues into a more creamy soft sweet rose after more or less an hour.

Notes according to the Maria Candida Gentile website are: black pepper, ginger, rose baies, Splendens rose, Moroccan Rose, benzoin, opoponax and vanilla. The perfume group is rich floral according to Michael Edwards.

The spicyness in this rose perfume brought to mind the image of being dressed completely in black and adding a very red bright scarf or wearing no makeup and adding red lipstick. Your complete image changes completely.

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According the official website of Maria Candida Gentile Cinabre means dragon blood, a crimson red resin from the Dragon Blood tree. Dragon blood was used for alchemy, health cure, for violins in the 18th century and used as lipstick.  The dragon blood tree is quite rare nowadays and grows primarily on an exotic island, Socotra in the Indian Ocean and is part of Yemen. The label of the very classic Cinabre perfume bottle is crimson red. Beautiful. For rose lovers, this eau de parfum is a must try. If you like Guerlain Nahema or Caron Parfum Sacre, give Cinabre a try. You could see Cinabre as a very distant little foreign niece of Nahema.

Coco Chanel said that women should not smell like roses but I think that even Coco would not mind to this modern interpretation of a rose perfume.

Origin of bottle my own

1. Photograph made by Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida (Miniam Food Creative)

2. Picture was made by Rene Gruau

3. Painting made by Henriette Hackenberg, www.henriette-hackenberg.nl A card from this painting is available on her website as well.

Originally published Octobre 2012

Updated and re edited: November 25th, 2014

The Maria Candida Gentile Collection consists now of:  the collection Flight of the Bumblebee with three fragrances which was introduced in 2014, 8 eau de parfum the latest being Noir Tropical, 4 pure perfumes and 2 home fragrances.