Italy has become one of the predominant perfume countries because of the originality which many of the releases display. Bois 1920 was one of the original Italian brands to embrace the creativity which seems endemic to any perfume from the country now. Bois 1920 Cannabis Fruttata is what I mean when I say that.
The owner-perfumer is Enzo Galardi who resurrected his grandfather’s perfume brand in 2005. For twelve years there was a consistent output of perfumes which took chances. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. I admire a fragrance brand that willingly takes this route. Although I wonder how it affects the bottom line. It had been since 2017 which saw the last new release. It made me wonder if the attitude had caught up to them. My answer came in seven new releases this year. All of which upheld what had come before.
Part of those releases were the two perfumes in the Cananbis collection. One fittingly named Cannabis is a straight soliflore style fragrance which smells like sticky green buds of cannabis with a dose of patchouli to boot. It is a Summer of Love flashback in a perfume. I liked it fine, but it was the other one, Cannabis Fruttata, which took the cannabis accord Sig. Galardi created for Cannabis and uses it in a modern fragrance.
Cannabis Fruttata opens with what I believe to be a sly wink. In the 60’s people were regularly ripped off when an unscrupulous dealer would sell a bag of oregano as cannabis. Sig. Galardi uses the sweet herbal quality of oregano along with rosemary and fig leaves to create a slightly milky herbal top accord. It was hard not to smile when the real thing replaced the oregano as the cannabis accord takes hold. Sig. Galardi has constructed a slightly bitter green accord which captures the real thing beautifully. He cleverly brackets it in the heart accord with the green floral of lily and the sweetness of blueberry. The blueberry is an inspired choice as it captures the resinous nature of a fresh bud of cannabis with its sweetness. This is a great use of the cannabis as part of something greater. The base goes woody with ambrox and cedar leavened with a bit of patchouli.
Cannabis Fruttata has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Cannabis Fruttata reminds me why I enjoy this brand so much. Sig. Galardi makes a contemporary interpretation of cannabis in perfume by rolling his own.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample I purchased.
One of the fun things of owning too much perfume is discovering something I haven’t worn in a while. It’s like finding something new all over again except since I bought it I must have liked it. This summer I reacquainted myself with Bois 1920 Agrumi Amari di Scicilia.
Bois 1920 is an Italian heritage brand. While the idea of heritage brands has expanded greatly in the last couple of years; in 2005 it wasn’t common. The story from the brand says Guido Galardi opened his perfumery in Florence in 1920. It was not a roaring success and would close just five years later. It also didn’t inspire Guido’s son Renato to want to give it a second try. That would take eighty years and the grandson of Guido and son of Renato, Enzo to attempt. He still had the old family perfume recipes and wanted to give it a go in this new world of niche perfumery.
Bois 1920 opened with a debut collection of eight releases. In writing this I realize I own five of those eight. I was attracted to this Italian style of perfume making that Sig. Galardi was producing. It may not have succeeded in 1920 but in 2005 it was another reason for the expansion of niche perfumery.
Agrumi amari translates to bitter citrus. That is one of the things I never understood about citrus perfumes having grown up among citrus trees. They mostly exude a bitter fragrance. For Agrumi Amari di Sicilia Sig. Galardi embraces that bitterness.
That bitterness coalesces around a core of grapefruit. When you use grapefruit in a high concentration there is a slightly sulfurous quality present. Petitgrain provides guardrails for this grapefruit to travel down. Then what I love about the top accord here is the figurative pinch of cumin that is used. That elongates that sulfurous thread from the grapefruit as orange, and lime chime in to finalize the bitter citrus accord. The transitional note to the floral heart is blackcurrant buds in their sticky green incarnation. It is a bitter green all on its own. Lavender and jasmine make up the heart with the former on top. The base is a typical earthy patchouli and musk.
Agrumi Amari di Sicilia has 6-8 hour longevity and average sillage.
Sig. Galardi has already made it further than his grandfather as the brand enters its fourteenth year. I want to not only bring Agrumi Amari di Sicilia from Bois 1920 onto your radar but those other four from the debut collection I own are also worth seeking out. Those are Real Patchouly, Sandalo e The, Sushi Imperiale and Vetiver Ambrato. Give them a try.
Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle I purchased.