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These days I often have to think about my last holiday in the Italian port town of Levanto. A charming little seaside resort on the Ligurian coast, the gateway to the famous Cinque Terre. I see the many lovely people I met there in front of my inner eye and imagine how they all now suffer from domestic quarantine and wish that this nightmare would pass quickly.
I associate a particularly beautiful holiday memory with the small perfumery in Via Dante 33, which also bears exactly this name.
The lovingly decorated shop is barely 25 square metres in size and is run by a lovely lady in her fifties. For three evenings in a row, I pressed my nose against the shop window pane and admired all the big names behind it. I let Creed, Amouage, Acqua d'Italie, Ligne St. Barth, Ortigia, Nobile 1942, Laboratorio Olfattivo and many more.
Quickly the desire grew in me to return to winter Germany with a fragrant souvenir in my luggage. And so it finally happened that on the fourth evening the eternally impatient husband made his way home alone, and entered the small shop with childlike anticipation. Immediately I was greeted by the lovely owner and asked in Italian about my fragrance preferences. To this day I still don't know how I managed to articulate my needs halfway understandably with my rudimentary knowledge of Italian, but it worked amazingly well. Vaniglia, incenso, ambra and senza fiore were obviously enough of a clue for the petite and neatly dressed lady to immediately make a small and exclusive selection for me. We quickly agreed that my fragrance should carry the label "made in Italy" and set about testing it. So much in advance - none was bad, I could have bought them all.
One of the fragrances presented was finally Alambar. I liked its sparkling and subtly fruity sweetness I kept the paper in my hand during testing and for a long time Alambar remained my favourite. "Buono, eh?" The likeable Italian woman winked at me knowingly and gestured to me to test it on my skin. No sooner said than done. When I sniffed my wrist after 30 seconds, my enthusiasm was suddenly dampened. The freshness had given way to a diffuse smokiness that did not appeal to me at all at that moment. A pity. Checked off.
So I kept on testing and left the shop a little later with a wonderful sweetheart.
On the way home, which was a small test of my fitness by climbing a steep vineyard, my nose kept wandering from my wrist over the back of my hand - what was that? The smoky Alambar had recovered its pleasant effervescence. Cinnamon? Yes, but not Christmassy, but only so gently dosed that it gave the scent a pleasant depth. Cocoa? No. Obviously my nose isn't fine enough to detect it. It's a slightly tingly citric scent that reminds me of an ice-cold glass of cola with a slice of lemon. Maybe vanilla coke? Because I'm beginning to suspect my beloved vanilla, too. I often have the problem with Amber that I find it stuffy to musty. It can really thicken the air and I find this unpleasant and often this perception is accompanied by headaches. Not so with Alambar. The fragrance always remains light and transparent without losing its performance. It has a good silage and lasts for eight hours on my skin. Shit, I really like it The inevitable had to happen. And so on the last evening of the holiday I was drawn back to Via Dante 33, and secretly I was glad that the holiday was now over, because otherwise it would probably have meant financial ruin for me. Back in Germany again, I find Alambar to be a really wearable everyday scent, which certainly doesn't only fit into the winter, but can also sweeten spring and, in light dosage, summer. However, I have to note that the fragrance develops completely differently on different days. This is especially true for the presence of the smoky note described at the beginning. While I hardly notice it on some days, it is present on others for quite a long time. Before our school went on the "corona holidays", I used to wear the scent at work. I was conjugating a Latin verb table with a seventh grader when he suddenly looked at me and asked: "Do you smell that? It totally smells like baloney." In retrospect, I'm pretty glad I couldn't see my stupid face at that moment. And he wasn't all that wrong, because with a lot of imagination you can actually make something "Mettwursty" in his smoky phase of Alambar. Unfortunately, I have to admit that the scent suffered a little because of this statement in his standing with me. Some associations simply can't be shaken off that easily once they have settled in the brain. It actually took me three weeks before I was able to wear the scent again in an unbiased way. Now I'm sitting here in the sun, wearing Alambar and I still think it's great even as a vegetarian.