Though this isn’t the oldest perfume from this house, Aria di Capri is a very old fashioned style perfume and for good reason. I love the history behind this house. From Fragranticas bio page for Carthusia:
“Legend has it that in 1380 the father prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. Giacomo was taken unaware by the news of the arrival in Capri of Queen Giovanna d’Angiò and so made a flower arrangement with the most beautiful flowers of the island. The water was not changed for three days and, when the flowers were thrown away, the prior noticed that the water had acquired a fragrance unknown to him. He went to the father alchemist who traced the origin of this scent back to the “Garofilum silvestre caprese”. That water became the first perfume of Capri.
History, on the other hand, relates that in 1948 the prior of the Monastery discovered the old formulas of the perfumes and, with by permission from the Pope, revealed them to a chemist from Turin, who created the smallest laboratory in the world and called it “Carthusia”, i.e. Certosa.”
Aria opens with a burst of aldehydes and fresh zingy citrus. The top smells like a floral chypre, vaguely reminiscent of Mitsouku only much lighter and without the peach.
Fragrantica has this classified as a floral aldehyde but when I think aldehyde, I think Chanel No 5 or No 22. I think Iris Poudre and Chamade. I detect oakmoss in the top along with the mimosa. It may not have the ingredients to actually be a chypre in the purest sense but the accords translate to me as such nonetheless. Perhaps it’s the combination of the bergamot, bay leaves, and geranium that are giving an oakmoss feel.
After the top dries and the bergamot settles, the florals begin to really come out, especially the mimosa and geranium. There’s a soft, powdery feel to it but not a cold, dry iris type of powder but warm and a little sweet. I can detect the greeness of the petitgrain in the mix alongside this powder. This is a very classy, mature fragrance.
I’ve tested 2 perfumes from this house thus far; Fiori di Capri which is labeled as a Chypre Floral and Aria di Capri which is labeled as a Floral Aldehyde by Fragrantica, but my nose is telling me that they are mislabeled. To me, Fiori reads as the Floral aldehyde and Aria reads as the Chypre. But regardless of the labeling, I really like them both and consider them “fbw”, which translates from perfumista as “Full bottle worthy”.
While the projection stays within arms length, the longevity is better than average. And for a small batch niche house, they have really kept their prices affordable. A 50ml flacon runs around $80 on LuckyScent.
If you love chypres or are a vintage perfume fan, this one is well worth your time to seek out for it definitely feels like a vintage chypre without the vintage price or lost top notes. Testers are available on LuckyScent for $3. ❤
Top: Lemon, Bergamot, Petitgrain
Heart: Mimosa, Jasmin, Geranium, Rose
Base: Cedar, White musk, Bay leaf