Perfume Review – Profumum Acqua di Sale: The Bottled Sea

Source: Coastalcare.org

Source: Coastalcare.org

Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission.

Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission.

The beach stretched on for miles, dotted with rocks, and garlanded by long necklaces of seaweed. A brisk, chilly Atlantic wind stirred the waters to a salty fury, and carried the smell of the myrtle and cedar trees that lined the cliffs. Though the sun shone warmly, that fragrant wind cut through the heat, bring the forest to the beach. Dry cedar danced with the herbal, mentholated aromatics of the myrtle, but both were wrapped with ribbons of kelp as if the sea insisted on joining the game. On the beach, as the water glittered in alternating shades of cold blue and warm turquoise, solitary walkers were covered with a fine spray of salt which mixed with their heated skin, creating an interplay of salty and sweet, amber and white, gold and green.

Sun, surf, sand, and fragrantly herbal, mentholated trees are the simple bouquet of Acqua di Sale, an eau de parfum from Profumum Roma. It is an Italian niche house founded in 1996, and commonly called Profumum by most. (The name is also sometimes written as “Profvmvm,” but, making matters more complicated, the company puts it as “Pro Fvmvm” on their website). As regular readers will know, I’ve become utterly obsessed with Profumum’s fragrances, after trying their two great, incredibly rich ambers, Fiore d’Ambra and Ambra Aurea. I ended up falling hard for the latter with its gorgeous, rare, salty, expensive ambergris. In fact, I think is the best, richest, and most luxurious amber fragrance around.

Source: Profumum Roma

Source: Profumum Roma

Given the scorching heat of the summer, it seemed natural that my next foray into Profumum’s wares would be the salty, sea fragrance, Acqua di Sale. Profumum‘s website describes it very simply:

The sea waves that brake on the shore donate new shells,
with a multitude of sizes and shapes,
to the sand that glimmers in the morning sun of August.
In the desert beach flutter heedlessness and freedom.

The notes, as compiled from Fragrantica and Luckyscent, consist of:

virginia cedar, seaweed or marine algae, salt and myrtle.

Source: squidoo.com

Source: squidoo.com

Acqua di Sale opens on my skin with a burst that takes me immediately back to the sea: salty kelp lying on the rocks, sea air, pure salt, and a splash of salty water. Yet, the forest is there, too, with the minty, aromatic, herbaceous notes of myrtle fused with dry, peppery cedar. There is a surprising creaminess to Acqua di Sale’s base that definitely lends itself to the Noxema comparisons made by a few commentators. For non-American readers, Noxema is a thick, white, face cream and cleanser that first came out in 1914, and which has a very herbal aroma. The reason for the similarity here is due to the myrtle which has a herbal, Mediterranean aroma, and whose essential oil is very similar to eucalyptus in aroma. Noxema is infused with camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus. Yet, the Noxema nuance to Acqua di Sale is very subtle and, for me, extremely fleeting.

Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission. Website Link embedded within photo.

Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission. http://www.dayleannclavin.com/

Moments later, there is a strong undercurrent of watery saltiness that strongly evokes a beach. It’s not the sort of beach that you’d find in Rio or Hawaii with its aroma of tropical florals and suntan oil. Instead, the beach in Acqua di Sale is either in the Atlantic, in Normandie or Bretagne, or nestled somewhere in the South on the rocky coast of the Mediterranean. It’s a windswept, desolate, slightly chilly beach where the salty air is filled with brisk, bracing herbaceousness and woodiness, and where the kelp far outnumbers the humans.

Yet, to be honest, there is something initially quite synthetic in the base that supports Acqua di Sale’s woody, sea facade. It feels like a subtle tinge of clean, fresh, musk mixed with slightly artificial ozonic and aquatic elements. It can’t be helped, I suppose, since neither salty kelp nor salty water is a natural scent in perfumery, and light musk is always synthetic. In fairness, the synthetic accord is a lot less abrasive, fake, or extreme than it is in many ozonic, clean, maritime scents. Acqua di Sale is not Armani‘s Acqua di Gio for me — and it’s a fact for which I’m enormously grateful. Even better, it only lasts a brief time, thanks to the strength of the other notes. 

Fifteen minutes into Acqua di Sale’s development, the cedar and myrtle emerge with a roar. The combination feels crystal clear, pealing like a bell’s single note in the wilderness, a strong, bracing, brisk aroma of herbal, aromatic, chilly eucalyptus and woods. The smell is actually far more herbaceous and dry than purely mentholated, and it never feels medicinal. It’s lovely, especially when subsumed under that veil of sea water and salty kelp, though it is a very simple bouquet when all’s said and done.

Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission. http://www.dayleannclavin.com/

Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission. http://www.dayleannclavin.com/

Acqua di Sale doesn’t change in any profound way for a few hours. Around the 75-minute mark, the perfume becomes softer, rounder, and smoother. Any synthetic traces have long gone, leaving a very briskly refreshing, cool, airy fragrance. Close to the end of the second hour, Acqua di Sale’s projection drops quite a bit, hovering now just a few inches above the skin, though the perfume is still somewhat strong within its tiny cloud.

Then, suddenly, just after the end of the third hour, Whoa Mama! Acqua di Sale turns into amber. The brisk, bracing, maritime, herbal, mentholated eucalyptus, cedar, and salt perfume transforms unexpectedly into almost pure, gorgeous, salty, sweet, ambered silk with just a sprinkling of herbal dryness around the edges. I couldn’t believe just how drastic the change was from the first hour. Now, Acqua di Sale is an incredibly snuggly, soft, plush amber first and foremost. Its sweet, almost cushiony warmth is infused with saltiness, leading me to believe that there is some ambergris in the perfume’s base as well. I’ve noticed in the past that Profumum doesn’t seem to give a very complete list of notes, and they seem to love their ambergris, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they tossed it into Acqua di Sale as well.

Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission. http://www.dayleannclavin.com/

Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission. Website link at end of review.

The result is so lovely, I want to burrow in it. It evokes the feeling you have after a long day at the beach when your sun-soaked skin radiates a lingering soft, salty, sweet warmth, and your slightly chilled body is wrapped in a dry towel. The aroma is incredibly soothing, relaxing, and comforting, especially given the hints of dry, eucalyptus-infused cedar to give it some character. I can’t pinpoint the cause of the sweetness which is too rich to be vanilla, and, yet, there is something vaguely similar in Acqua di Sale’s undertones. I suspect it’s some sort of resin, perhaps something like Tolu Balsam which is somewhat vanillic in character but also more than that. The base and drydown in Acqua di Sale has a similar sort of sweet, golden richness, and it hovers like the finest silk right on the skin.

Around the 4.75 mark, Acqua di Sale is a sweet, salty, golden, creamily smooth amber that feels as plush as a plump pillow. It’s just barely speckled with bits of fragrant, aromatic cedar and myrtle, creating a fragrance that is incredibly cozy and elegant. I feel like snuggling in, burrowing my nose deeper and deeper into that, alas, very soft, skin scent. How I wish it were stronger, but Acqua di Sale is too fine, sheer and gauzy at this stage. And it just gets softer still. At the start of the sixth hour, Acqua di Sale is an abstract veil of sweet, slightly salty amber, and it remains that way until the very end.

All in all, Acqua di Sale lasted just short of 10.75 hours on my perfume-consuming skin. It would sound like a hell of a lot, but Profumum Roma makes what may be the richest, most concentrated perfumes on the market, containing between 43% and 46% perfume oil. It’s astonishing, but so, too, is their longevity. The last, faintest traces of Ambra Aurea died away after almost 16 hours on my difficult skin, and that was with just a few small dabs. (It’s one of the many reasons why I love it so!) On normal skin, I could easily see the longevity of Ambra Aurea exceeding 20 hours or more, especially when sprayed. I’ve heard stories of people getting some insane numbers from Profumum across the board, with a few saying traces of their fragrance lasted even through a shower — and I fully believe it. So, if 2 small-to-medium dabs of Acqua di Sale lasted 10.75 on my voracious, crazy skin, those of you with normal skin should expect substantially longer. The sillage, however, is not profound or even moderate, which may be expected from a scent that is so aquatic, maritime and herbal for a portion of its lifespan. It simply won’t be as strong as an oriental amber fragrance.

Profumum’s fragrances seem to consistently reflect a very Italian signature. Their style seems very similar to that of famous, high-end, Italian fashion designers, like Giorgio Armani, who intentionally opt for fluid, minimalistic, clean, very simple lines but always put together with great refinement and the richest fabrics. Profumum’s perfumes are very much the same: they have just a handful of notes done in a simple, somewhat linear manner, but with great richness and at the most concentrated levels. The downside to that is that the fragrances are easily, and with some justification, accused of being… well, too simple and linear. They are. No question about that at all. And it makes Profumum’s prices far too high for some people. Again, I won’t argue that, though I do believe that price can be a very subjective issue. 

For me, however, there is just something about the Profumum fragrances that I’ve tried thus far that drives me a little wild. Quite simply, it’s that ambered base. I love it, even in the Fiore d’Ambra perfume that didn’t sweep me off my feet as much as Ambra Aurea. There is a rich, infinitely creamy, satiny lushness and luxuriousness about the amber that differs from all those I’ve tried before. If Acqua di Sale didn’t have it, I would still find the fragrance to be a refreshing, brisk, well-crafted summer scent and I would like it. Not a hell of a lot, because it isn’t really my personal style, but I would like it. However, with that sudden twist into amber plushness, Acqua di Sale becomes quite lovely. It transforms into a more interesting, but balanced, version of two different fragrances with one half being refreshingly brisk for the summer’s hot, humid days, and one half being a snuggly, cozy, relaxing scent for the summer’s cooler evenings.

The reviews for Acqua di Sale are extremely mixed. On Basenotes, a number of people like it, but the Italian commentators seem to loathe it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. I suspect that they may actually have issues more with Profumum itself than with Acqua di Sale, given the various comments like:  “In italy this is a cult scent for all the snob-ish ladies without class but with a biiiiiig credit card. A scent that litterally makes me laughing so hard I cant’ breathe.” Or, from another Italian: “Mediocre scent despite the caos that in Italy turns it as a cult among the ignorant members of the middle class guided by the great joystick.” However, the perfume does have its admirers, though even some of those don’t find Acqua di Sale to be hugely complex or “dramatic.” I would agree with them, if it weren’t for that unexpected shift into amber that I experienced and which I don’t see much talk about in discussions about the fragrance. Still, the fans on Basenotes are hugely outweighed by the critics (even the those who aren’t Italian snobs) who find Acqua di Sale to have an artificial, synthetic or chemically sweet element that they couldn’t bear.

Fragrantica reviewers, however, are significantly more enthusiastic about Acqua di Sale. To wit, one calls it an Italian “masterpiece” that is “oceanic, wild, salty. I imagine seaweeds on a reef in the ocean. I imagine a lighthouse in the middle of a stormy sea. Is is pure freedom, also dramatic if you think to the power of the ocean.” A number of people find the scent to be extremely evocative and, at times, almost sexual:

  • This perfume melts to your skin. This is what sex on the beach smells like.
  • There is something special about this fragrance for me. It is salty and marine, woody and herbal but also sweet. It is thick, fresh and aromatic (thanks to cedar and myrtle). Very sensual and sexual. As some say – it is like a wet warmed-up naked skin by the seaside in the heat of summer, like “sex on the beach fantasy”. Sexy, sensual and provocative.
  • At first it feels as if I`m walking in a pine forest,very green and tangy, I am approaching the sea, I can smell it in the distance,
    as I walk on a cedar chip trail.Now I am on the beach, the salty air and mist of cold ocean hit my face in a sudden gust of wind.A cold fog rolls in, I smell seaweed as it dances with the tide. Very
    realistic indeed! […]P.S.,although suitable for men and women,I feel like a mermaid when I wear this:-) !! [Formatting changed and spacing added for this comment.]

Others are not as enthused, calling Acqua di Sale “over-priced” (which it is), or saying that it will “only make you smell like an elegant codfish.” (Actually, that comment comes from another Italian. I wonder why they all hate it so much?) One poster found Acqua di Sale to start with a screechingly artificial, sweet note that evoked Coppertone, before it turned into a lovely “ozonic chypre” with a “complex woody drydown” that she really liked. 

There aren’t a ton of blog reviews for Acqua di Sale out there. Perfume-Smellin’ Things has a short paragraph on the scent which Marina actually expected to fully dislike, but it surprised her:

Described by Luckyscent as “the most realistic ocean scent”, with notes of “aroma of salt on the skin”, myrtle, cedarwood and marine algae, it was meant to be my least favorite of the bunch. It is actually not bad on me at all, i.e. it is not too obviously, too nauseatingly aquatic. In fact, it is really quite good. It is the scent of the skin after a long swim in the sea. In a cold, Baltic Sea. I don’t know why, this is how it smells to me. It is understated but still has a presence and certain sensuality about it. It is slightly minty, very subtly sweet, and a little spicy. It is very nicely done, it surprised me. If ever I were on the market for this kind of scent, this would be the scent I’d buy.

Etretat, near Bretagne in Northern France. Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin, used with permission.

Etretat, near Bretagne in Northern France. Photo: Dayle Ann Clavin Photography, used with permission.

There is a more unqualified, rave review at The Scentualist, who calls it “the authentic perfume for the sea lovers, a scent that is capable to transport you into a universe filled with marine algae and a reminder of the delightful moments spent in the summer sun.” Meanwhile, Confessions of a Perfume Nerd was not only surprised to find Acqua di Sale to be her “perfect sea scent” (when she doesn’t normally like that sort of thing, it seems), but she also found it beautifully evocative:

Aqua di Sale is the sea at an forgotten, rocky bay at the mediterrean during autumn storms.

Aqua di Sale is the smell of a salty sea, but also soft notes of the cilffs, the air and the far away forrest. Aqua di Sale make me long for a mediterrean sea off-season, with abandoned taverns and beaches in rain and fog, taking long walks along empty shore lines and now and sit down on a rock and feel the smell of sea. Have you ever dreamed of being a lighthouse keeper on a distant island, Aqua di Sale may help your daydreams and imagination a little.

Clearly, Acqua di Sale triggers feelings that span across the board. From those who find it to smell fishy or like Noxema, to those who find it chemical or just plain dull, to those who adore it and find it to be, quite literally, the olfactory sensation of “sex on the beach” or a chilly, oceanic “masterpiece,” the reactions are quite strong. Obviously, this is not a perfume to buy blindly, especially at Profumum’s prices.

I personally like Acqua di Sale and would wear it if a bottle were to miraculously drop into my lap. However, I would do so primarily because of the drydown which, on me, was gorgeous, soft, luxuriously smooth, sweet, salty amber in essence. The rest of Acqua di Sale was pretty and very refreshing, but I’m generally not one for sea fragrances, no matter how powerfully evocative or well done. Or, rather, to be more precise, I’m not one for sea fragrances at $240 or €180 a bottle. So, it’s a mixed bag, all in all. One thing is for certain: my interest in Profumum Roma remains quite strong.

Postscript: I’d like to express my gratitude and thanks to Dayle Ann Clavin Photography who was generous enough to allow me to use her magnificent photos. All rights reserved. You can find more of her award-winning images at her website (link embedded), where she offers a wide range of services. Her work encompasses everything from photo-journalistic series, to business-related imagery, personal portraits, and wedding photos. 

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Acqua di Sale is an Eau de Parfum that only comes in a large 3.4 oz/100 ml bottle which costs $240 or €179. It also comes in a concentrated body oil, and a shower gel. Profumum unfortunately doesn’t have an e-shop from which you can buy their fragrances directly. In the U.S.: it is available at Luckyscent, along with the concentrated body oil which Luckyscent describes as follows: “Body Oil Concentration; No alcohol. Made with almond oil, sunflower seed oil and gingko biloba extract.” Acqua di Sale in perfume form is also sold at OsswaldNYC. Outside the U.S.: In the UK, Profumum perfumes are sold at Roja Dove’s Haute Parfumerie in Harrods. Elsewhere, you can find Acqua di Sale at Paris’ Printemps store, Switzerland’s OsswaldPremiere Avenue in France (which also ships worldwide, I believe),France’s Soleil d’Or, the Netherlands’ Celeste (which sells it for €180, along with the shower gel), and Russia’s Lenoma (which sells it for RU16,950). According to the Profumum website, their fragrances are carried in a large number of small stores from Copenhagen to the Netherlands, Poland, France, the rest of Europe, and, of course, Italy. You can use the Profumum Store Locator located on the left of the page linked to above. Samples: Surrender to Chance carries samples of Acqua di Sale starting at $4.99 for a 1/2 ml vial. You can also order from Luckyscent.
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48 thoughts on “Perfume Review – Profumum Acqua di Sale: The Bottled Sea

  1. Ooooh boy Kafka, when I saw the heading for this review I sat bolt upright. I tried this and never have been so captivated by an opening 15 minutes, and icked out by what it turned to on my skin after that. I didn’t get the cedar and myrtle after that, I got dirty rubber tire. I ended up scrubbing it. I wish my skin had brought out myrtle, algae, mineralic notes but alas I got dirty rubber tire.

    • Oh, I’m so sad to read that, Vicky, because YOU were the person I thought of non-stop while testing this fragrance and writing the review. Truly, you were in my thoughts all evening yesterday and all day today. I know how much you love your salty, sea, beachy perfumes and I was going to tell you to try it. Gosh, what on earth happened? Dirty rubber tire? ICK! You poor, poor thing. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you, hun. 15 minutes of glory, followed by scrubbing — not good, not good at all. 😦

  2. A perfume that smells like the Mediterranean sea, how lovely, given my close link with the Mediterranean and the sweet childhood memories I have from that time. The scent sounds lovely and to me it would be actually complex, since it goes from smelling like myrtle, herbs and the sea to smelling like amber, what I do find interesting is that the Italians seem to hate it, it must be the signature scent of some very annoying people lol . The price is high, but I love that it is a concentrated oil, and that first picture of the review is truly gorgeous 😀 .

    • It’s the weirdest thing about the Italians’ loathing for this fragrance, isn’t it? I’m so amused and baffled by it! I think you’d like the perfume, Vicky, *IF* it smelled on you like it does on me. Unfortunately, it seems to go a number of different ways on people’s skin. Some people seem to get terrible notes, so it’s definitely one to test first. As for the concentration, I love that too, though Acqua di Sale is surprisingly soft in projection on my skin. Very impressive concentration/perfume oil numbers in each Profumum fragrance, though. I’ve never seen ANY brand have something like 46% perfume oil, which is double many pure parfums.

  3. Dammit, I am really bummed about this Kafka. It kind of makes me want to sit tight, keep the vial and see if midlife changes my skin’s chemistry to where I get myrtle, not tire. Maybe that’s doable. I still have Pheromone and Avon Hawaiian White Ginger from the 70s no less. Or maybe I tough out the rubber tire note. Or maybe…

    • I have an idea. Why not put some on your husband’s skin, and sniff it to see how it works on him? If you get the same thing, then you should give it up entirely, but if it manifests itself differently, then you know you may want to give it a test in a few months from now. Plus, the summer and heat may change things too.

  4. This sounds very appealing, dear Kafka. It goes on the to try list! Were you ensconced in air-conditioned goodness the entire time you were testing this or were you in and out of cold/hot? I am wondering what triggered the amber blooming nicely at the end of hour 3.

    • I was in and out for the first three hours or so, but when the amber happened, I was comfortably ensconsced in my bed at 1 a.m. watching UK Masterchef: The Professionals. Air-conditioning blasting away and the ceiling fan at full speed, with condensation dripping down the windows. 😉 I too thought about the potential heat/humidity factor, when that amber suddenly appeared, but it really can’t be the cause, not with the way I keep things inside the house and not at 1 a.m. I was so stunned at first sniff, you should have seen my face as I gave a few more bewildered sniffs, grabbed the notepad, and started writing away. I didn’t quite know what had happened!

    • You know, I can see you wearing this, dear Ginza, provided that it smells on you the way it does on me. Unfortunately, some seem to have bad experiences, so it’s definitely a fragrance to try first. Next time you’re in London, I hope you can give it a sniff at Harrod’s.

  5. Now that sounds wonderful. I am captivated. You know how when you sometimes read food blogs and you get hungry?

    Well, I just read this and have the deepest craving ever for an Atlantic beach vacation. I just want to cover myself in this review and sit on a rock somewhere! Thank you, dear Kafka, for the lemming born 🙂

  6. Dearest Kafka!
    Acqua di Sale is one of the samples I took back home as a part of wide discoveries of Profvmvm Roma when I finished my quick internship at the perfume boutique.
    Just like you I have exactly the same feeling about it. The sand, the sea kelp, salt

  7. I felt so inspired by your review that I just went out during my lunch break and sprayed on some Acqua Sale in a shop 🙂 Maybe it had been good if I’d read up about the sillage (I did two sprays and it’s HUGE, probably taking up most of the office), but – man- I smell good! This is probably the most enjoyable marine scent I’ve ever worn (and I’ve worked my way through quite a few). Can’t wait for that ambery dry down 🙂

    • 5 hours later and after seeing about 100 different pictures of the sea in my mind (everything from standing on a cliff, watching the sun shine on the Atlantic to watching seaweed being gently rocked in a small puddle of sea water) Acqua Sale has now started to smell like sweet soil. It reminds me of Chrisopher Brosius infamous soil accord. It will be interesting to see where if goes from here 🙂

      • YAY for all the sea imagery that Acqua di Sale evokes, but Oh Dear about the Brosius soil accord! Oh dear, how do you feel about that? I don’t mind soil notes when they’re sweet, damp, and loamy/dark, but I certainly didn’t expect that to pop up in Acqua di Sale. It must be the combination of that resin I detected in the base and its interaction with, perhaps, the seaweed and tree notes? I hope you get some amber at least. :\

    • Uh-oh, spraying a Profumum fragrance and two sprays at that…. wow, I wonder if this is going to last on your skin until tomorrow morning? *grin* (You should see what Ambra Aurea is like in terms of power, sillage and longevity!) I really hope you get the amber and that the overall experience is a positive one, since the reactions to Acqua di Sale seem strongly split. But YAY for initially positive reactions (and nothing badly synthetic)!

      • Yes, I could feel it the next morning, even after I’ve showered 🙂 But now it’s gone as I put another perfume over it. I never seem to get that amber, the soil stayed all the way to the end. But I will try again as I very much enjoyed the opening hours!

  8. After trying Sel Marin yesterday, and practically keeling over from the smell of dead fish at low tide, I am extremely nervous about trying any thing with the note of ‘marine’. If there is no fishyness, this sounds a bit interesting.

    • I think it’s wise to be a wee bit nervous, Tora, given the very split reactions to Acqua di Sale. It may depend, in part, on how your mind processes, filters and interprets very maritime scents. If it associates seaweed-y aromas with fish, then you may be screwed. After all, one person thought the fragrance made him smell like an elegant haddock, or words to that effect. (Which is… hilarious!) On me, I truly didn’t detect anything actually “fishy” but it does smell of seaweed at times. So, obviously, it’s all to do with skin chemistry.

  9. Hi Kafka 🙂 – I have tried this a couple of times in Harrods and come close to buying, but walked away lol. I have been on the lookout for the perfect sea salt scent and have rejected so many as they rarely have any lasting power. This one is different and I love the amber in the base. This gorgeous review sent me over the edge and I now have one on its way to me :). Great reviews by the way.

    • First, welcome to the blog, Jane! 🙂 Second, YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY for letting me know you detected amber too! Seriously, thank you, because I felt like quite a loon. Not a single person’s comments or reviews mentioned anything about amber, so I truly did question if it was just me and my skin. But there was such a long period of amber, I knew I wasn’t just imagining it. You’ve made me feel much better! 😀 Lastly, I’m really glad you enjoyed the fragrance and that it works out well on your skin. What made you walk away the prior times? The thought that there may be something better and cheaper? Anyway, I’m really glad you stopped by the blog to share your experiences, and I hope you’ll feel free to drop by again.

      • Aww thanks :Kafka ).It was the price, unfortunately. I have Sel Marin, Tirrenico, At the Beach + a couple of others, but they only do half the job: a salt air/sea water fragrance needs musk, amber and some light florals too for the complete ocean experience. I’ve just sourced it a bit cheaper in Germany. I knew it would come to me sooner or later, but you did hasten the process :). This is a wonderful blog,btw. I only tend to look at a couple, but I will certainly check yours out now.

  10. I was given a sample of this at Osswald last time I was there and recently tried it. It truly is a realistic beach scent, and I don’t normally go for that sort of thing but this was gorgeous and surprisingly good sillage and longevity for an “acqua” scent. With this good example and your raves about the two ambers I have a long to try list from this line for my visit to Osswald today. I can’t wait!

    • You’re going today? Hurrah! Try Arso, Santalum and Patchouli, my dear! I can’t wait to hear about the results of your visit. And, if you try Acqua di Sale again, let me know if you detect any amber at the base.

      • I after testing MANY of these and with the help of the wonderful store manager, Clement (just a wealth of knowledge, you would love him!), I narrowed it down to Volo AZ 686. It is very unique and not what I would have guessed I would have liked the best but, so gorgeous! I could have bought so many of them though if money was not an option, truly an excellent line! Oh, and Clement explained that the extremely high concentration of this line is not truly 40-46% fragrance. They cheat a little by using the standard EdP concentration of the scent (around 20%) and then another 20% is a musk oil and the rest is the carrier fluid/ alcohol. It is the oil that gives these their viscousness and excellent longevity. Learn something new everyday…. Will fill you in on the rest of the trip details next week in H-town!

        • I’m SO thrilled you’ve fallen for the brand! Hurrah! I shall have to look up the notes in Volo AZ 686 to see what they include.

          As for the perfume concentration, it’s not really cheating to have 20% musk oil, if you think about it. Musk is another ingredient, for one thing. But, the main thing is the fact that the perfume’s water/alcohol concentration is still 60% to 54%, when other pure parfum’s water/alcohol carrier levels are at 80% to 78%. That’s the key thing that matters, not what sort of ingredients make up the specific oils in question. (Other pure parfum’s may have an equally high % — proportionally speaking — for their musk or amber bases, too. We don’t know what is in their 20% oil mix.) So, I think it’s totally accurate to say that Profumum Roma has a perfume oil concentration of 43-46%.

          Can’t wait to hear all the rest of the details when you arrive. 😀

  11. Who’d have thought I’d be so eager to smell a ocean-inspired perfume! Sounds really enjoyable for sure! Argh, I so need to try this line. And so many other lines. So many perfumes, so little cash! 😛

    • LOL at the “Who’d have thought I’d be so eager to smell a ocean-inspired perfume!” Heh. It has the salty, beachy, mentholated, forest-y smells that Dior’s Granville is supposed to evoke, but it’s so much more interesting here with all the salt and seaweed. It’s that amber base that makes it really lovely, though. Damn Profumum’s high prices!

  12. Mmmm, you make this sound mesmerizing. I’m at the beach right now, and I love the smell of the air here. Usually Hermes Eau des Merveilles is my salty beach air/beach skin favorite (topped off by sparkling orange), but this sounds even more realistic and very much my kind of thing. Great review, dear Kafka!

    • I think Eau de Merveilles is a wholly different thing that is as much about the amber as the saltiness. And it really is just saltiness there, as opposed to seaweed/kelp and a more chilly, maritime, water thing here. If you love salty sea perfumes, I hope you’ll get a sample of this and try it. I’d be really curious to see what you think and how it turns out on you. The latter, in particular, as people seem to have very split experiences with Acqua di Sale! :\

  13. Kafka dear,
    you make Acqua di Sale sound like a wonderful thing. I was recently able to give a quick sniff to the Profumum line and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and concentration of their fragrances.
    Caro

    • I think it can be a lovely perfume *IF* it works out on your skin but, alas, some people have disasterous results, so it’s a pretty mixed bag. “Elegant codfish” and some of the other negatives should give one pause. LOL. But, as a whole, I am incredibly impressed with the Profumum line and they are absolutely my new obsession. I’m *SO* glad you got to try some of them. Do you recall if one of them piqued your fancy?

      • I really liked Soavissima, but I already own two bottles of Teint de Neige and -though not similar- they are in the same vein.
        I would have loved to try Rosae Mundi but it was not available there yet.
        I sampled too many things that day and opted for Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire.

        Caro

  14. Received my FB of this today and I am covered with it :). Gosh, what a grown-up ozonic, seaweedy fragrance this is. Can’t wait for the drydown now. Eau des Merveilles eat your heart out!

    • HA! LOVE that Eau de Merveilles comment! 😀 (I’m one of those rare few who prefers the Elixir version to the Eau.) I’m so glad you’ve gotten your bottle, and hope you continue to enjoy it for months and years to come!

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  16. I love this one as well… I got a sample after reading this review months ago, and then a decant. I dearly want a bottle but it will have to wait quite a while now since you’ve tempted me into both Kalemat and Chypre Mousse so recently! I was born by the ocean, and most of my family has lived on the sea for at least 800 or more years, and I adore the smell of the wind blowing off the water. It is the one and only thing I miss here in New Mexico, especially since I don’t travel much. Every time I wear this perfume I get a knot of longing in my chest, and remind myself I must make a pilgrimage to the sea sometime soon.

    There is a seaweed absolute used in perfume, by the way, it’s salty and terribly stinky by itself, but it does lend an incredibly realistic sea not to perfumes. I don’t know that they used it in this perfume, it’s too well blended for me to be able to sniff it out individually, but it does exist!

    Also, I’m incredibly grateful I don’t smell the Noxema, I grew up with that stuff, and am not eager to smell it in a perfume!

    • Hahaha, “I’m incredibly grateful I don’t smell the Noxema.” 😀 I’m so glad! You know, I would never have guessed that this would be up your alley, but, upon thinking of it, I think it makes sense. The sea is merely another part of Nature’s elements, and you respond to that so well. I can see this and Chypre Mousse being even more thing than the Kalemat, since I’m not sure about the sweetness of that one in terms of your tastes. I don’t associate you with sweet perfumes, or with anything that has rose, so that may be my mistake. But back to Acqua di Sale, perhaps you can put up an eBay search notification, because I see the fragrance being listed from time to time on the site. xoxoxo

      • Well, it’s strange, Acqua di Sale is actually quite sweet on my skin for some reason… although I don’t usually bring out the sweet in most perfumes. I was actually alarmed at first sniff, because I thought it was going to turn into saltwater taffy on me! Instead, it got creamier and saltier 🙂

        Rose is one of my favorite scents of all time, but I have great difficulty with a lot of the synthetic rose molecules that end up in popular perfumes, so I’m very picky about it in fragrances. I especially love it combined with berries like Black Currant/Cassis or Bilberry, but I have to be convinced by the rose. I’ve spent too much time with the real thing to be able to deal with rose oxide or weird powdery imitations. Powder and soap = ick!

        I do have difficulty with sweet if it’s not balanced by richness and depth. Thankfully, Kalemat has depth, richness, AND berries! ~swoon~

        But yes, you’re quite right, I very much like perfumes that evoke the primal aspects of nature, whether extremely sensual or more wild and otherworldly… I think that fruity chypres are often what embody me best, but I have such a passionate love affair with lush, spicy orientals. I often wish I could put them together into something that captured both, but that might be a bit mind-bending lol.

  17. I followed your suggestion to read this review and have the feeling that it’s not for me. I was humming along quite nicely there until I bumped into Noxzema, and then amber. I’m also not a fan of pine, and Mediterranean beaches don’t move me. I love heavy surf and swimming out in the depths.

    I recently got a couple of things from Demeter, and they included a free sample of “Salt Air.” It’s oddly spot-on: no trees, flowers or suntan lotion. Sadly, no monsters lurking in the depths, but I wouldn’t expect that from Demeter.

    • Well, it’s a Normandie’s Northern Atlantic beach, not a Mediterranean one, but it does sound like Acqua di Sale wouldn’t be for you. So you don’t like amber at all? That may remove a good portion of the scents that I cover then. LOL.

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