Photo of Xerjoff Italica by Olya Bar
What would olfactory gluttony smell like? I find it quite fascinating that humans take such pleasure indulging in sugar that is otherwise almost useless to us. The feelings of ecstasy we derive from fantasizing and consuming sweet delights are equivalent to lovemaking for some. I am guilty of such obsession and I will confess that gourmand fragrances are my absolute favorite form of sugar debauchery – their makers apply thought and vivid imagination to create olfactory delights beyond what nature has to offer. From the house of Xerjoff and Casamorati Creative Director Sergio Momo who brought us the glorious Dama Bianca, the sun drenched Dolce Amalfi, the timeless Mefisto, recently re-issued of 2016’s Italic which is quite a treat. Warm and full-bodied Italica opens with luscious creamy almonds and milk; a pinch of saffron adds a much-needed counterpoint to the sweetness. Bake the whole composition on sandalwood enveloped by dark bourbon vanilla and you get a decadent rich gourmand that speaks of opulence, arousing senses and our imagination. It highlights the most side of sensual side of gastronomy, the pleasure of a delicious dessert as a perfect finale to a memorable meal.
Photo of Italica by Olya Bar
There is an ideal balance between crunchy almond cookie and buttery milky smoothness, a juxtaposition of flavor and taste. I was surprised to see that after the initial opening, it was not as it first appeared. The creamy toffee-covered almonds were architecturally sound, built on a salty, roughly textured crust; it had a restrained, mellow powdery flavor, carefully tempered with a woodsy, slightly smoky base. The drydown is mostly white musk, soft and delicate, a scent of skin with traces of flour. Xerjoff Italica is an extraordinary plated dessert; from the moment your eyes rest on the bottle, its velvety smooth texture promises olfactory delight. An almond toffee twist on traditional St. Honoré, named for the French patron saint of bakers, Italica is not a replica of the classic choux pastry you’d find at a patisserie. However, the dessert contains most of Xerjoff Italica’s key ingredients: the tiny puffs of choux with transparent halos of deep caramel and the dark pastry layered underneath. It’s presented as a gleaming entremet, a glossy, and miniature cake garnished with whipped cream and candied almond. Xerjoff Italica is served with a glass of cold milk in an otherwise cozy Italian bakery that fills the entire street with the most delicious scents of pastries, cakes and treats.
Italica is a decadent finale to a beautiful evening, you anticipate the impossibly airy and smooth taste of it, and when it finally arrives and at the table, the scent of caramel rushes out, together with any willpower you had left to resist losing yourself entirely. Squisito!!!
Notes: Almonds, Milk, Saffron, Toffee, Sandalwood, and Vanilla, White Musk
Disclaimer: I’d like to thank Europerfumes for providing me a bottle of Xerjoff Casamorati Italica for a review. The opinions are my own.
– Olya Bar, Contributor
Available to buy or sample at Beverly Hills Perfumery
Photo of Xerjoff Italica by Olya Bar
Thanks to the generosity of Europerfumes, we have a tester available of Xerjoff Italica in the US for one registered reader the USA only you must register here or your comment will not count. To be eligible, please tell us what you enjoyed or found interesting about Olya’s review and if you have a favorite decadent dessert.Draw closes June 3, 2021
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