Last night was the final act of high jinx for the year : D’s performance at the Closet Ball Tokyo, playing Sisyphus with his imaginary sidekick Tiberius, pictured (me wandering around in the freezing cold at Shinjuku Isetan as Carlo and he did their soundchecks smelling perfumes






( this ludicrous crap was 550 dollars )






( this definitely smelled like Mitsouko)






then getting an urgent phone call saying   ‘I need a white flower’: )






I bought an amaryllis. From an upscale snobbity florist – the only one I could see at that moment: flowers I have always loved, for their triffid thick stems and succulent, slow underbuds ::: to be used as a prop in their show.)












Reeking of vetiver and the aftermath of 19, I decided to top it up with one of my new birthday scents, Violetta Nobile by Erbario Toscano – a full, Parma violet that is not too sweet; luscious; extrovert with hidden heart of aspirin. I walked the streets wrapped in scarves and my hands in my pockets, the dry, soil dark vetiver on my black coats an invisible locus for the violets wreathing me firmly above. If it all got a bit floozy later on,  I liked the portability : violets on the go, snuck inside your jacket or trouser poche for last minute Diaghilevian theatrics.














I have been exploring some of the lower priced Italian perfume lines recently and am liking what I have found. Erbario Toscano, a Florence based perfumery, has a wonderfully crisp green fig – Fico D’Elba that I also got for my birthday – I am saving that one for spring  ( and at  12 euros for the small size – 10ml of eau de parfum – you can’t go wrong): the whole line unfussed;pleasingly effective.





Erbolario, a longer established brand with all manner of effective creams and balsams and lotions and toiletries – I would happily just fly to Florence with empty suitcases just to stock up on virtually the whole inventory – also has a fantastic range of products, created over decades, in every possible aromatic shade, from whole flower fields of innocent florali feminini to musky patchoulis, brilliant citruses, black junipers, amber, green herbals, roses – everything :  all good quality – uplifting and bright – and at just 22 euros for a bottle of 50ml  you don’t feel you are draining a holy reliquary under bulletproof glass each time you apprehensively apply an oiled, gilded drop of conspicuous consumption to your pallid and quivering wrists-  – unlike many of the perniciously guarded niche fragrances invigilated by the white gloved assistants in Isetan. No. Erbolario’s Iris, for instance, an identical dead ringer for Lorenzo Villoresi’s Teint De Neige – I would say they are virtually indistinguishable, is powdered to the core, sweet with sillage: six or seven times cheaper than its Florentine counterpart, but undeniably just as soothing; just as nice.






It does make you think.











Filed under Flowers

8 responses to “VIOLETTA NOBILE by ERBARIO TOSCANO (2014)

  1. Tara C

    I wish we had access to Erbolario here, I see favourable mentions of their stuff frequently, and so reasonably priced. So tired of overpriced, uninspired or unwearable niche.

  2. Robin

    Sure did miss your writing. Thanks for the recent abundance. Before your hibernation, I suppose?

    • No no – the hibernation will be from WORK !!

    • As a fellow writer you must know how it ebbs and flows : with me I either can or I can’t; I feel like it or I don’t ( sometimes I deeply require passive absorption / vegetation in front of a TV/ cinema screen to recharge my batteries as I find teaching – even when it is going well – just really burns out my nerve endings . also I have realized more and more that writing some heartfelt poetic bullshit before work wrecks my evening lessons : the two really are for the most part completely incompatible for me. I need to just be ‘dormant’ or immersed in a bergamot bath in the daytime then ‘awaken’ when I walk into the classroom .

      Sometimes I regret that I can’t do more considered, properly ‘worked on’ posts, which I can do when the right conditions arise in holidays and I have a whole uninterrupted day to write freely and really enter the zone. Some of my best things have been written like that, but at the same time – and this will sound outrageous – I actually find ‘perfect writing’ , say Hemingway’s Old Man And The Sea, kind of boring. I quite like the jagged imperfections of something just spontaneously tapped out on a suburban bus, on a phone ( all my recent posts have been like that ), with all the mistakes and flaws : sometimes I feel there is more life in such impulsivity : in many ways I was completely born for the internet — I LOVE the instantaneousness of it

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