I have been itching to try some perfumes by La Via del Profumo, an Italian company under perfumer Abdes Salaam, since reading about his creations on Suzanne’s Perfume Journal. I was lucky enough to win Milano Caffe in a draw on Australian Perfume Junkies, so today’s review truly comes from the bounty of the perfume blogosphere.
If you’re a regular reader, you know I have sought out coffee scents for years, without finding one that is truly my ideal. The reigning favorite is Coffee & Cedar, by what appears to be a defunct tiny Etsy operation.
As Suzanne noted, Milano Caffe can’t really be compared to any of the well-known coffee scents on the market. It’s richer and more “roasted” than Bond No. 9’s New Haarlem, and just plain richer than Jo Malone’s Black Vetyver Cafe. It’s not as one-noted as Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s coffee frag, and it’s more coffee-centric than, say, Bell Antonio or L’Eau de Navigateur.
The opening of Milano Caffe is, to me, overloaded with several natural molecules that I am familiar with from other fragrances—but particularly several by Neil Morris. At this stage, it smells very much like a muddy and blurred-out patchouli, although patchouli isn’t a listed note. Milano Caffe isn’t as vaporous as Borneo 1834 (lacking the menthol that gives Borneo its amazing heavy lightness), but I agree completely with Suzanne that it hearkens a bit to Borneo. I also agree with Portia that wearers would be advised not to bury their noses in Milano Caffe for at least an hour after spraying.
After several hours, Milano Caffe does soften considerably, and I enjoy a few moments of a mellow, slightly sweet blend of coffee and spices before the scent fades. But unfortunately, the messy and muddy opening (far too typical of natural perfumes, in my opinion), spoils Milano Caffe for me. I have tested it many times, striving to experience the elegant and wonderfully complex scent that Suzanne and Portia describe, but it just doesn’t sing on my skin.
Have you tried Milano Caffe? What is your favorite coffee-based scent?
For reviews of La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe, see the links above or check Fragrantica.
Sample was won in a draw. Posts are never compensated or sponsored. Image courtesy Fragrantica.