Essenze - Sicilian Mandarin (2012)

Essenze - Sicilian Mandarin by Ermenegildo Zegna
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Essenze - Sicilian Mandarin is a popular perfume by Ermenegildo Zegna for men and was released in 2012. The scent is citrusy-fresh. It is being marketed by Estēe Lauder Companies.

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Harry Frémont

Fragrance Notes

Bergamot, Spearmint, Sicilian mandarin, Moss, Petitgrain



7.5 (54 Ratings)


6.4 (40 Ratings)


5.7 (43 Ratings)


8.1 (47 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 02.10.2019.
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5.0 6.0 7.0/10

36 Reviews
Very helpful Review    3
Zegna Essenze Sicilian Mandarin
I just can’t help giggling when a mainstream fragrance company expands its portfolio by launching a supposedly exclusive range of scents. What many of these brands don’t seem to get is that producing true niche fragrances is not so much about expensive materials, fancy flacons, ludicrous backstories or exorbitant price tags. Masterful blending, willingness to push the envelope and, above all, a competent creative direction also play a vital role in the process.

The Italian company “Ermenegildo Zegna” has been around for about a hundred years, producing chic men’s clothes and accessories. As for their fragrances, I vaguely remember smelling one of their mainstream concoctions- a totally clichéd mix aimed at gentlemen for whom spritzing on their “cologne” is nothing more than a mundane morning routine whose sole purpose is to cover up all traces of body odour. So when I learnt Zegna had introduced their exclusive “Essenze” collection, I first produced the aforementioned giggle and rolled my eyes. Here we go again! But after reading a couple of favourable reviews, I was curious to try them for myself to see if the praise was justified. So far I’ve sampled five Essenze scents and I can conclude that what these fragrances lack in the originality department is generously made up for in terms of quality, consistency and, yes, competent creative direction.

It is my firm belief that when it comes to summer scents, there is hardly anything more uplifting and satisfying than a well-made, citrus-based eau de cologne. Nonetheless, there’s a downside and a quite a substantial one at that- the fleeting nature of its notes that makes the pleasure extremely short-lived. “Sicilian Mandarin” is Zegna’s attempt at composing a cologne-style fragrance. The result? An impressive one indeed! It opens with a burst of mandarin which is zesty rather than sweet and truly natural smelling. The mandarin is backed up by bergamot (also a natural note, reportedly from Zegna’s very own Calabrian orchard). On my skin, during the first fifteen minutes the mandarin and the bergamot play a tug of war in which the latter note eventually prevails. The citruses eventually land on a gentle mossy base. For a citrus-centred fragrance, "Sicilian Mandarin" has a decent longevity, but (not surprisingly) a reapplication will be necessary every three or four hours.

“Sicilian Mandarin”, just like its siblings from the Essenze family, doesn’t beat about the bush when it comes to its composition. It also lacks profound complexity, which is not necessarily a problem provided that things are done with care and dedication. All in all, “Sicilian Mandarin” is a very solid and pleasant scent that successfully captures the essence of summer. Ben fatto!
8.0 7.0 7.0 6.5/10

705 Reviews
Helpful Review    2
An Imperfect Winner...
Sicilian Mandarin goes on with an aromatic mix of sharp bergamot and mandarin orange with green petitgrain support. Moving to the early heart, the bergamot vacates with the mandarin and petitgrain remaining now as co-stars, as an underlying vague synthetic woody accord mixed with hints of spearmint permeates the green citrus aromatics. During the late dry-down the composition stays relatively linear, but the vague woods meld near-seamlessly into the petitgrain with the mandarin tandem, remaining in faint support through the finish. Projection is above average and longevity good at 9-10 hours on skin.

Zegna's Essenze collection has pretty much impressed across the board, so I decided on buying one of the sole offerings I had not experienced previously, Sicilian Mandarin, when a rare significantly discounted bottle showed up on the market. Now having worn the composition on skin many times over there is a lot to commend, but all is not rosy. The open is probably the best part of the composition's development, as like others in the Essenze collection, Sicilian Mandarin uses very high quality bergamot up top, meshing perfectly with a very believable mandarin and petitgrain tandem. So far, so great! Then things move into reverse as a vague synthetic woody accord joins the fray, most likely norlimbanol derived. These norlimbanol derived vague synthetic woods thankfully are used rather deftly by perfumer Harry Freemont, but particularly in the early heart they still call too much attention to themselves, detracting from the fine green citrus aromatics. The other minor negative is the composition doesn't really develop much thereafter, with the key movement being the much better integration of the synthetic woods into the aromatics. One additional mention of note is that most find the composition's projection metric rather lacking, but I didn't. No, this is no powerhouse for sure, but the first couple hours in particular had significant projection on skin. All-in-all, Sicilian Mandarin may be one of the weakest entries in the Essenze line (if not the weakest), but despite its shortcomings I can't say I regret the blind buy at about 45% off of full retail price. Had I paid full retail I might be singing a slightly different tune about the blind buy, but there is no denying even the weakest link in the Essenze series still smells pretty darn good. If only Zegna provided samples of this line to prospective customers it would get a lot more well-deserved recognition, but alas, the only way to experience the Essenze line is through only a couple retailers in-person. The bottom line is the $195 per 125ml bottle Sicilian Mandarin is far from perfect, but the "good" to "very good" 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5 rated composition still has a lot to recommend, earning it a solid recommendation to all.
7.5 7.5 10.0 10.0/10

6 Reviews
Master Blenders
I own three out of this ESSENZE collection, and this my favorite of them all . It is a very under rated fragrance . To me, I love this collection, because they are so simple, yet elegant . It's like dining in fine restaurants. Some of the meals that are very complex taste excellent , but some of the meals, that tend to be prepared in the simplest of fashions, tend to be the best . That is what You get, from this collection beautiful fragrances, with very few, high quality ingredients . Blended perfectly . Sicilian Mandarin, makes me think of an Italian Mandarin Grove at times, then other notes come into play , and I realize that I am wearing a cologne again . In comes the Mandarin again, and I think of what looks sort of like an Italian fruitcake, that I have seen in Little Mom, and Pop shops Serving freshly ground sausage sandwiches (ground by the owner) , and delicious Panini's . The cake I am referring to has bits of Mandarin rind . That is why this comes to mind when wearing this cologne . No it is not a gourmand fragrance, or a seasonal one in my opinion . I believe it suits every situation . Except, maybe a funeral . I usually spray a little on my clothes, as well as skin. That is why, this tends to last extremely well to me, for this kind of scent . It is natural smelling, elegant, and just fun to wear !


Itchynose 6 months ago
Clean, fresh, slightly sweet and soapy mandarin with a bit of moss and petitgrain in the background.+1

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