by GIORGIO ARMANI
ingredients: vanilla, blackcurrant buds, rose, patchouli, amberwood, musks
It is a sign of the barbaric times we live in that one ends up being pathetically grateful for any mainstream fragrance that survives the first hour on a blotter without smelling vile. In that respect Sì [Yes in Italian, and why the stress accent on the i when there’s only one syllable ?] is liable to bring tears to one’s eyes, since it just smells lovely from top to bottom. It is billed as a fruity chypre, and has the hybrid cool-warm feel of those little tartelettes the French are fond of, made up of a rich, sweet shortcake bottom, a vanillic custard cream fill, and fresh strawberries on top coated with red jelly. Jacques Guerlain, the great virtual pastry chef, would have approved of this confection whose elements feel as though they’ve only just met but are already getting along splendidly. And I wager he would have enjoyed Christine Nagel and Julie Massé’s combined artistry in creating a quiet background hubbub of civilised conversation, with tobacco and woody notes letting us know that Sì has suave male company. As time goes by, these inner voices become more distinct and reveal that rare thing these days, a complex, balanced drydown true to the initial form. Hats off.