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„Recordate lo juorno
ca stive a me becino,
e te scorréano, ‘nzino,
‘e llacreme, accossì.
Deciste a me: “Non chiagnere,
ca tu mio sarraje”.
Io te voglio bene assaje
e tu nun pienze a me.“

Te voglio bene…assaje! I love you very much. Sounds familiar? It’s Napoli, Italia. One of the songs that make me shiver, gives me goosebumps, and one of the first things that come to my mind when you mention Naples.

The famous Neapolitan songs, and my olfactory impression of the city: almost bitter marine scent of the Bay of Napoli when scirocco wind is blowing, the black pepper scent of the typical salami from Naples, blossoming lemon and orange trees, and fried calamari. Or this:

There’s another thing characteristic to Naples: the biggest concentration of high-end handmade menswear in the world. The tailoring, the shirt making, hundreds of tailors in the city and thousands working, hand-sewing: bespoke garments at Sartoria’s. One of these fine houses is Luigi Borrelli Napoli and I must admit I was very pleasantly surprised by their new Discovery Set featuring three Royal Collection fragrances (2016.), telling us a story about fine fabrics, scented embroidery, and sartorial lifestyle.

To understand them better, let’s go back in time to Naples in 1928. Things were different then. Tailoring was something done with great care and dedication, for known customers and upon order. A craft you could make a good living off, provided your supply of materials, cuts, and stitches were done with great care and passion: hours and hours would be put into the making of one single suit.

Anna Borrelli, after a long experience in her aunt’s shop, decided to open her own business in 1928., a small workshop for a small number of customers – connoisseurs. Like the tradition obliges, she made sure that her story and family business goes on.

Luigi Borrelli, the son, inherited the love for a needle and thread and in 1957. founded the House of Luigi Borrelli. The business grew, times were better than when his mother started the business and Borrelli’s became famous for their quality clothes. Never growing too big, never dwindling down.

They were appointed as the official supplier of the royal Savoy Family („Supplier No16.“), offering bespoke shirts, suits, jackets, and ties: all handmade, unique by hand stitching: the collar of the shirt will give your neck a pleasant caress, buttons sewed on by the age-old traditional stitch only expert hands can produce, embroideries at the sleeve vent, buttonholes: details, details matter!

The third generation, Fabio Borrelli, Luigi’s son took over in 1987. and the renowned master embroiders, manufacturing according to old tailoring techniques made this company grow further.

The relationship between perfumes and fashion designers has a long history, so in a way, the House of Luigi Borrelli made not a very surprising move: creating perfumes to match their brand’s personality and image, the DNA of the company. They do not disclose the name of the perfumer signing these three perfumes, it is kept a secret (alas!), but these are finely blended and well-executed olfactory stories: although their garments are made for men, the perfumes are gender-neutral (as all perfumes are!).

I packed the luxury Discovery Set (3x10ml EdPs)in my suitcase for a weekend getaway to explore them further: I realized later on that I made a good decision. These three perfumes covered all my needs/moods during those three days spent at the seaside:

The first sniff of each perfume on blotters made me raise an eyebrow. Smooth. Well-crafted. Deeper than the first impression of elegant simplicity, much more complex and intriguing. Bergamot is the connecting red thread among these three fragrances.

Yet, each one has its own story and personality and each one affected me differently. Only later did I realize that the motto of the House is: „Going back to the past is the secret behind moving forward.“ (Ricercare nel passato – il segreto per andare avanti). As I did, as they developed on my skin:

Cotton

I chose it as my SOTD early in the morning, on a bright sunny August day. The view from my room? Spectacular:

It felt comfortable, classic, soft and fresh at first. Then I froze in my footsteps: that scent was familiar. That sparkle of bergamot, a whiff of lavender and powdery iris roots? It took me instantly to moments I worked hard to forget: once upon a time I was heartbroken.

A romance is broken off, gone with the wind. A twin flame, lost. I went through all the stages of loss, but one of them I remember in particular.

There was a time when I was in pain, overwhelmed with grief so much that I couldn’t cry anymore.

Broken inside, curled into a fetal position, I found a way to help myself: I ironed, pressing my clothes and linen meticulously and precisely, straightening out wrinkles in cotton and my life.

I ironed like crazy, sometimes even washing full machine loads just so that I would have enough to iron when I felt bolts of emotional, turning to physical pain.

That comforting scent and warmness of freshly ironed cotton helped me get back on my feet. It soothed my pain, made me feel safe, and besides having the neatest wardrobe ever, that scent lingered in my olfactory memory as something that pushed the pain away and made me feel protected.

Is it the green clary sage that accentuates the whole composition with its energy, or is it the musky and herbal aftermath? Vetiver being lifted up by the warmth of my skin? A promising feel of anise in the opening? The unobtrusive union of vanilla and iris?

I am not certain, but I know one thing: this perfume doesn’t bring back memories of evaporating tears that dropped on my cotton shirts as I ironed them (how things can sound funny after you’ve survived them?). It smells like a sanctuary, a comforting safe place I created when I felt waves of pain rolling in. A clean, freshly pressed cotton shirt: so common, seemingly simple, yet so powerful. Very reassuring…I could wear it all year round! This perfume, of course: my heart on my sleeve – not likely.

Top notes: bergamot, rose, lavender
Heart notes: orris, clary sage, oakmoss
Base notes: amber, cedar, musk, vanilla, vetiver

Cashmere

This is what I want to smell like. Complex. A bit mysterious. Showing different facets, self-assured, determined but gentle, fluffy, soft and tender. Emotional. Like a warm smile, spreading from your lips and reaching your eyes, a quick touch of a hand, a sideways glance.

There’s nothing like a touch of cashmere on your skin, impossibly soft yet quite resilient. Its fibers are strong. The duality of this perfume is what attracted me. It is a fine mix of Europe and the East. Of bergamot infused freshness and dry incense – present but not too „churchy“. Of soft vetiver and warm labdanum…

Serious and playful at the same time. Subtle luxury. It is gentle, soft-spoken but quite powerful in a non-obtrusive way, leaving a very lasting impression.

The brand notes that this perfume brings out the idea of respect for power: to me, it signifies respect for all those little dualities that make us simply human. Strengths and weaknesses. The divine complexity of sense and sensibility…very attractive.

Top notes: black pepper, bergamot
Heart notes: incense, labdanum, guaiac wood
Base notes: vetiver, soil, musk

Vicuna Wool

It surprised me: I wasn’t very impressed on first wearing. Maybe it’s because I was still under the impression of Cashmere or it just didn’t fit my current mood. Wrong place, wrong timing: it felt kind of odd on me while I strolled along the beach in a long summer dress and flip-flops, walking around on +36C…I decided to give it a second chance later that evening.

I wore it. Again and again. As this perfume developed on my skin on multiple wearings, I realized that its apparent modesty is, in fact, the strength of its character: it has all the traits of an Alpha male. Or female. People with notable presence, not afraid to stand out, with no need for external validation or lack of confidence – it’s their inner strength and perseverance that you feel even when no words are spoken. This is what this perfume made me feel.

Vicuna Wool is a quite traditional combination of vetiver and citrusy accord, but from the beginning ambery-leather- vetiver vibe is present and strong. In my opinion, it is the most masculine one of the three, yet I wear it with no second thoughts: the more I wear it, the more I feel the sweetness of Cedar and soft Amber in the dry-down.

This perfume is definitely „almost a Chypre“, and that surprised me in a very good way! It always does: I am a big fan of classical Chypres. The so-called „modern“ ones I sometimes struggle to understand, but Vicuna Wool is quite close to the idea. It smells classic, refined, reliable and trustworthy.

The brand states that this perfume refers to a brilliant celebration, but to me, it’s more about feeling assertive, kind, with cultivated skills and a genuine sense of value in this world. Attention worthy, very promising. If a celebration this is, then it is a celebration taking place in an intimate place, with chosen food and fine wines, champagne glasses sparkling in the candlelight.

Top notes: lemon, bergamot, black pepper, elemi
Heart notes: nagarmotha, lily-of-the-valley, oakmoss, leather
Base notes: vetiver, amber, cedar, musk, patchouli

Now, sing along with me: Vide ‘o mare quant’è bello…Spira tantu sentimento… and then the part we all know: Torna a Surriento! Famme campà…!

The Plum Girl
Elena Cvjetkovic

Discovery Set provided by Luigi Borrelli Napoli, opinions of my own.
Photos: Vanja Roller, The Plum Girl archive
Disclaimer

I got the mail. I cried. I laughed. Danced. Simultaneously.

My first reaction? A blast of emotions! (I can’t keep calm, I’m Croatian!) Of such intense that I emailed Ms. Linda G. Levy, the President of The Fragrance Foundation in reply, saying something like “OMG, wow, faint, swoon, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
It took me a whole day (and a sleepless night) to reply properly, blaming my SOTD for this outburst of emotions 😀

Let’s do the official part first. Later on, I will let you know my thoughts on the subject of prizes, awards, game-changers, players and newcomers.

Here it goes:



The Fragrance Foundation Awards (formerly named the FiFi awards) & Celebration is an annual event hosted by The Fragrance Foundation that honors creative excellence and achievement in the fragrance industry. The Awards events have been held annually in New York City since 1973 and are attended by around 1,000 members of the international fragrance community, designers and celebrities from the fashion, theatre, film, or television industries.

These awards are known as the “Oscars of the fragrance industry”!

The Fragrance Foundation announces The 2018 Top 10 Finalists For The Fragrance Foundation Awards as follows.

The Top 5 Finalists Of The Top 10 Will Be Unveiled At The Annual Fragrance Foundation Finalists’ Luncheon On Friday, April 6, 2018, At 538 Park Avenue In New York City.

Winners Will Be Unveiled For Editorial Excellence, Social Media Campaign, and 360-Degree Marketing.

“The Fragrance Foundation is pleased to have an impressive array of compelling fragrances in Luxury, Prestige, Popular, Indie and Consumer Choice categories,” said president Linda G. Levy. “Our member companies continue to inspire all of us to discover the artistry and passion of fragrance.”

Winners in all the other categories will be announced at the Fragrance Foundation Awards, to be held Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

Here are the 2018 Top Ten Finalists For The Fragrance Foundation Awards:

Editorial Excellence in Fragrance Coverage
Feature

• ALLURE – The New Fragrance Frontier
• ELLE MAGAZINE – This Is Your Brain On Vetiver
• MARIE CLAIRE – Into The Wild
• MARIE CLAIRE – Popping Bottles
• MARIE CLAIRE – Something’s In The Air
• NEZ –THE OLFACTORY MAGAZINE – Critical Effects

Article
• ALLURE – Going Rogue
• ELLE MAGAZINE – Dream Catchers
• ELLE MAGAZINE – Scent-Sational
• MARIE CLAIRE – In Her Own Words: Haley Bennett
• MARIE CLAIRE – In Her Own Words: Jennifer Aniston

Online
• ÇAFLEUREBON.COM – Elizabeth and James Nirvana French Grey “Shades of Grey”
• ÇAFLEUREBON.COM – Opium Den: Studio 54 and the Launch of Yves St. Laurent Opium
• ÇAFLEUREBON.COM – Perfume, Poetry and Rock: The Scented Intersection of Transformation
• COLOGNOISSEUR – The Scent of Christmas Past
• ELLE.COM – Notes From Underground: Can a Fragrance Help Us Embrace Mortality
• FRAGRANTICA.COM – Gold As a Parfumistic Concept
• HARPERSBAZAAR.COM – How I Fell Back In Love With An Old Perfume
• THECUT.COM – It Took 150 Tries for Dior to Make Their Next Hit Perfume for Millennials
THEPLUMGIRL.COM – The Scent of Slavic Melancholy – Elena Cvjetkovic
THEPLUMGIRL.COM – Cuir de Russie – Elena Cvjetkovic

Fragrance Of The Year
• ARMANI/PRIVÉ NEW YORK – Giorgio Armani
• BYREDO VELVET HAZE – Byredo
• CLÉMENTINE CALIFORNIA – Atelier Cologne
• GABRIELLE CHANEL – CHANEL
• JASON WU EAU DE PARFUM – Parlux
• LTDMISS DIOR EAU DE PARFUM – Christian Dior
• TIFFANY & CO. EAU DE PARFUM – Coty, Inc.
• TOM FORD FABULOUS – Tom Ford Beauty
• TWILLY D’HERMÈS – HermèsParfums
• WOMAN IN GOLD – By Kilian
Men’s Luxury
• ACQUA DI PARMA COLONIA PURA EAU DE COLOGNE – LVMH
• DIPTYQUE VETYVERIO – diptyque Paris
• ENGLISH OAK & HAZELNUT COLOGNE – Jo Malone London
• GOLD KNIGHT – By Kilian
• L’ENVOL DE CARTIER – Cartier
• MYRRH & TONKA COLOGNE INTENSE – Jo Malone London
• TOM FORD OUD MINÉRALE – Tom Ford Beauty
Women’s Prestige
• BLACK TULIP – NEST Fragrances
• CAROLINA HERRERA GOOD GIRL – PUIG
• DOLCE & GABBANA LIGHT BLUE EAU INTENSE – Shiseido Fragrances
• GOLDEA THE ROMAN NIGHT – Bvlgari
• GUCCI BLOOM – Coty, Inc.
• JUICY COUTURE VIVA LA JUICY GLACÉ – Revlon
• NARCISO RODRIGUEZ PARFUMS-FOR HER FLEUR MUSC – Shiseido Fragrances
• TERRE DE LUMIÈRE EAU DE PARFUM – L’occitaneen Provence
• WOMAN BY RALPH LAUREN – Ralph Lauren Fragrances
Men’s Prestige
• AZZARO WANTED – Clarin’s Fragrance Group
• COACH FOR MEN – Interparfums
• DOLCE&GABBANA LIGHT BLUE EAU INTENSE POUR HOMME – Shiseido Fragrances
• GENTLEMAN GIVENCHY – LVHM
• BOSS – HUGO BOSS
• BOTTLED TONIC – Coty, Inc.
• JOHN VARVATOS ARTISAN PURE – Revlon
• MISSONI PARFUM POUR HOMME – Euroitaly
• PRADA LUNA ROSSA CARBON – PUIG
• SALVATORE FERRAGAMO UOMO CASUAL LIFE – Salvatore Ferragamo Parfums
• Y BY YSL – YSL Beauté
Popular
• DIAMONDS BLUSH – Jafra Cosmetics International
• ELIZABETH ARDEN WHITE TEA – Revlon
• GLOSSIER YOU – Glossier Inc.
• NAVIGO OCEAN HOMME – Jafra Cosmetics International
• ORIGINAL PENGUIN ICONIC BLEND – Falic Fashion Group
• PERRY ELLIS FOR MEN – Falic Fashion Group
• SHAWN MENDES SIGNATURE –Revlon
• VICTORIA’S SECRET LOVE – Victoria’s Secret
Perfume Extraordinaire
• CHANEL
• COSMO INTERNATIONAL FRAGRANCES
• FIRMENICH
• FUEGUIA 1833
• GIVAUDAN
• INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES
• MANE
• ROBERTET
• SERGE LUTENS
• SYMRISE
Breakout Star
• CHRISTIAN SIRIANO SILHOUETTE – The Fragrance Group
• COMMODITY GOLD – Commodity
• DIOR SAUVAGE – Parfums Christian. Dior
• INDIGO – NEST Fragrances
• MAISON MARGIELA REPLICA BEACH WALK – Maison Margiela Fragrances
• MIU MIU EAU DE. PARFUM – Coty, Inc.
• PEONY & BLUSH SUEDE – Jo Malone London
• TORY BURCH EAU DE PARFUM –The Estée Lauder Companies
• VODKA ON THE ROCKS – By Kilian
Packaging of the Year
Women’s
• CAROLINA HERRERA GOOD GIRL – PUIG
• GABRIELLE CHANEL – CHANEL
• JASON WU EAU DE PARFUM – Parlux, LTD
• KENZO WORLD INTENSE – KENZO Parfums
• LES PARFUMS LOUIS VUITTON – Louis Vuitton
• TIFFANY & CO. EAU DE PARFUM – Coty, Inc.
• TWILLY D’HERMÈS – Hermès Parfums
• VICTORIA’S SECRET LOVE – Victoria’s Secret
• WOMAN BY RALPH LAUREN – Ralph Lauren Fragrances
• WOMAN IN GOLD – By Kilian
Men’s
• COACH FOR MEN – Interparfums
• GOLD KNIGHT – By Kilian
• GUCCI GUILTY ABSOLUTE POUR HOMME – Coty, Inc.
• JOHN VARVATOS ARTISAN PURE – Revlon
• ORIGINAL PENGUIN ICONIC BLEND – Falic Fashion Group
• PERRY ELLIS FOR MEN – Falic Fashion Group
• PRADA LUNA ROSSA CARBON – PUIG
• SALVATORE FERRAGAMO UOMO CASUAL LIFE – Shiseido Fragrances
• Y BY YSL – YSL Beauté
Home Collection of the Year
• CIRE TRUDONLES BELLES MATIÈRES MADURAÏ, REGGIO, TADINE– Cire Trudon
• COMMODITY HOME and BODY – Commodity
• DIPTYQUE 34 BOULEVARD SAINT GERMAIN – diptyque Paris
• MAISON MARGIELA REPLICA CANDLES – Maison Margiela Fragrances
• MOONLIGHT IN HEAVEN SCENTED CANDLE & SOAP – By Kilian
• SUGAR COOKIE COLLECTION – NEST Fragrances
• TOCCA VOYAGE HOME FRAGRANCE COLLECTION – Tocca
Bath & Body Collection of the Year
• AROMATHERAPY COLLECTION FROM BATH & BODY WORKS – Bath & Body Works
• BYREDO ROSE HAND CARE COLLECTION – Byredo
• CLÉMENTINE CALIFORNIA TREATMENT LINE – Atelier Cologne
• DIPTYQUE DO SON FRAGRANCE GESTURES – diptyque Paris
• ELIZABETH ARDEN WHITE TEA BATH AND BODY LINE – Revlon
• JOMALONE LONDON EXFOLIATING SHOWER GEL – Jo Malone London
• MAISON MARGIELA REPLICA BEACH WALK BATH LINE – Maison Margiela Fragrances
• VICTORIA’S SECRET ANGEL GLAM COLLECTION – Victoria’s Secret
Home Holiday/Seasonal Fragrance Product of the Year
• LES CONSTELL¬ATIONS – diptyque Paris
• GREEN ALMOND & REDCURRANT CANDLE – Jo Malone London
• HOLIDAY LIQUIDLESS DIFFUSERS – NEST Fragrances
• HOLIDAY PAJAMAS –philosophy – Coty, Inc.

Indie Fragrance of the Year
• ARTIST – Phuong Dang
• EAU D’INITIE – Exemplaire
• EL COSMICO – D.S. & Durga
• LOS HUMOS SAGRADOS – Fueguia 1833
• MAISON TRUDON PARFUM IN BRUMA
• MAISON TRUDON PARFUM IN II (DEUX)
• MAISON TRUDON PARFUM IN MORTEL
• OUD DU JOUR – Amouroud
• PELARGONIUM – AEDES DE VENUSTAS
• POTENTIA AMBER GOD – House of Potentia
• THAYS – Fueguia 1833

Social Media Campaign of the Year
• GUCCI BLOOM – Coty, Inc.
• KATY PERRY’S INDI – Coty, Inc.
• KKW CRYSTAL GARDENIA – KKW Fragrance
• MISS DIOR EAU DE PARFUM – Parfums Christian Dior
• TOM FORD FABULOUS – Tom Ford Beauty
• Y, YSL– YSL Beauté
360-Degree Marketing Campaign of the Year
• CAROLINA HERRERA GOOD GIRL – PUIG
• GUCCI BLOOM – Coty, Inc.
• EMPORIO ARMANI – Giorgio Armani
• MISS DIOR EAU DE PARFUM – Parfums Christian Dior
• VICTORIA’S SECRET LOVE – Victoria’s Secret
Media Campaign of the Year
Women’s
• CAROLINA HERRERA GOOD GIRL – PUIG
• GABRIELLE CHANEL – CHANEL
• GUCCI BLOOM – Coty, Inc.
• MISS DIOR EAU DE PARFUM – Parfums Christian Dior
• TWILLY D’HERMÈS – Hermès Parfums
• VICTORIA’S SECRET LOVE – Victoria’s Secret
Men’s
• ARMANI CODE COLONIA – Giorgio Armani
• ETERNITY CALVIN KLEIN – Coty, Inc.
• PERRY ELLIS FOR MEN – Falic Fashion Group
Consumer Choice Awards Finalists
Fragrance Hall of Fame
• CUCUMBER – Bath & Body Works
• CURVE FOR MEN – Revlon
• PHILOSOPHY AMAZING GRACE – philosop¬hy–Coty, Inc.
• TRÉSOR – Lancôme
Fragrance Vlog of the Year
• 5 REASONS TO WEAR FRAGRANCES – Jeremy Fragrance
• 10 FRAGRANCES YOU NEED IN YOUR COLLECTION WHEN STARTING OUT | MEN’S DESIGNER – Sebastian Jara
• HOW TO BE MORE ATTRACTIVE | 4 LIFE HACKS THAT WORK! – Edward Zo
• TOP 12 FORMAL OCCASION FRAGRANCES WITH REDOLESSENCE – Carlos J Powell and Steven Gavrielatos
Women’s
• AT THE BEACH – Bath & Body Works
• CAROLINA HERRERA GOOD GIRL – PUIG
• KATY PERRY’S INDI – Coty, Inc.
• KKW CRYSTAL GARDENIA – KKW FRAGRANCES
• LA VIE EST BELLE L’ECLAT – Lancôme
• VICTORIA’S SECRET LOVE – Victoria’s Secret
Men’s
• COACH FOR MEN – Interparfums
• HUGO BOSS, BOSS BOTTLED TONIC – Coty, Inc.
• PRADA LUNA ROSSA CARBON – PUIG

Congratulations and good luck to all the top ten finalists, in all categories!

The Plum Girl

Elena Cvjetkovic, Editor-in-Chief

Source: The Fragrance Foundation, Cafleurlebon, Fragrantica