Tuesday, May 23, 2006

REVIEW: Santa Maria Novella, Citta di Kyoto (2005)

Notes: Iris, lotus, bergamot, orange, jasmine, hyacinth, rose, hawthorn, ylang-ylang, plum, peach, cinnamon, sandalwood, cedar, ebony, ambergris and vanilla.

Pros: A departure from SMN's typical single note scents; a woody incense composition that is light enough to wear in warmer weather without becoming overwhelming.

Cons: Difficult to track down; overall sillage could be better.Reminds me of: Comme des Garcons Avignon; Armani Mania for Women (original); Kisu.

Development: I love the vanilla and woods in the base, balanced by the lighter, sweeter topnotes.

Longevity: Didn't last as long as I had hoped, though slightly longer than some of SMN's single note scents. It remained detectable for about 1.5-2 hours.

Sillage: Minimal - stays close to the skin.

Where can I buy it? $84 for a 100ml edt at Aedes.com.

Bottleworthy? Try this one along with the CDG Incense series to get a feel for what works best for you.

The Bottom Line: Slightly less expensive than the CDG scents, with a similar feel and stunning bottle, Santa Maria Novella's Citta di Kyoto, or Kyoto City is the newest multiple note, layered composition (my favorite still being Nostalgia). It has a similar feel to Norma Kamali's Incense and Tan Rokka's Kisu, though remains much lighter than the former, and slightly more complex than the latter. The aroma is very well-crafted with some stunning moments, especially the leafy green nuances that float in and out of the beginning stages of the scent. Overall, Citta di Kyoto delivers a trail of floral-woody incense smoke that is very, very accurate. The aroma brings me back to standing in Higashi Honganji temple in Kyoto, bare feet pressed to woven tatami mats, o bosan is chanting up at front, and trails of incense smoke rise to the heavens. Welcome to the City of Kyoto.

Rating (out of 10): 7

What's your favorite Santa Maria Novella scent?


Prince Barry said...

I haven't smelled any of their more recent releases.

My favourites from their more traditional scents are Heliotropio in the wonderful extract and Peau d'Espagne.

Sali said...

Subarashii bottle. I haven't seen/smelled this SMN but I love Kyoto (the city) and its temples. It's been a number of years since I visited but I thought it was such an elegant, visually exquisite place. Just a bullet train ride away from Tokyo and we tether into Old Japan.

Sali said...

Oh, I almost forgot: My favorite SMN so far is Tuberosa: a gorgeous, buttery tuberose that packs a punch but smells good enough to eat. I don't really wear it anymore but I love to smell it...