One Thousand Scents

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Outside Inside: Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Homme


Once I was reading an article about wine tasting and marvelling at the multitude of notes that oenophiles can detect in wine; it sometimes seems as if it must be at least one tenth bullshit (a concoction of fermented grapes smells like roses and toast and wet wool and cardboard?), but what do I know? I'm not a trained professional. I was amused by at least one description: "barny". I instantly understood what that means, having been in more than a few barns in my time (horse-racing: it's a long story).

The first time I smelled Salvatore Ferragame Pour Homme, that word came to mind again, because "barny" is the perfect word to describe it. The top note is swamped by bone-dry fig, instantly calling to mind that musty, earthy barn smell. The rest of the top note burns off quickly, but the fig lingers while dry spices (mostly cardamom, I think, and some cumin), vetivert, and cedar well up from underneath, bringing the odours of dirt and wood and a brave hint of decomposition.

It doesn't smell exactly like a barn, not quite: no leather harnesses or rusting iron, no horse sweat and droppings. It's a fantasy idea of a barn (strange idea!), all desiccated timbers and crumbly earthen floors, hay and grit. It is strange and unexpected and, if you can adjust to the aridity, remarkably beautiful.

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