IL (Eau de Toilette) by Lancetti

IL 1991 Eau de Toilette

20.12.2021 - 12:43 PM

The Smell Of Christmas Eve

It was a freezing winter morning. I was standing at the tram stop and waiting to see a dear friend of mine. We were close to Christmas time, and we had to exchange gifts. I looked around, and the streets of Milan were full of flashing lights. People moved frantically between one shop and another to make their last purchases, and a thin fog pervaded the city, as is customary in the northern metropolis. Finally, the tram arrived, and I ran to meet my friend, who immediately threw his arms around my neck and kissed me on the cheek. I noticed that instead of walking away, he moved closer, plunged his face into my scarf, and whispered in my ear, "Wow, what a wonderful smell you have! Just the ones I like!." I replied, "I'm glad you like it. It's a gift I gave myself for Christmas."
IL Eau de Toilette had just come out on the market, the autumn-winter season of the early 90s. At that time, I was working to support my studies, and the perfume was only one, and it had to last for the entire season. I remember being struck by the beautiful red bottle, a garnet shade that turns scarlet when the light passes through. Maybe the scent was a little sweet for my taste. It was one fragrance that had to grow in my sensitivity. It's not that I didn't care at first. Let's say I wasn't ready for its sweetness yet. Still, I liked the warm, enveloping effect it released on clothes and all around me. And my dear friend approved of my choice. Today I found this 50ml bottle, it was given to me a long time later, and there are only a few sprays left, maybe 5ml. I held it jealously, and I sprinkled it on the back of my hand to relive that beautiful day many years ago and describe the sensations that this perfume still gives me today. It's still the old sweet woody fragrance I remembered. The mossy and leather background layered against the sweet amber and carnation. That is what I remember liking about this fragrance.

So, what is Lancetti's IL all about? To give you an idea, it smells akin to Azzaro pour Homme Elixir, I can see them in the same ballpark without being clones. IL perfectly reflects the extroverted era of the 90s, and what I like most about the opening of this masculine is the interplay of anise and lavender. That may be the best pairing of these two notes I've ever smelled. The IL is wholly static from the initial spray and without a rough edge or flaw in its glass-like exterior. This is smooth, plus one, and intermittent hints of spice and woodiness abound. Neroli and bergamot citrus nuances are subdued, a steady duo that contributes to a soft version of the hybrid aldehydes. The sweetness oozes initially, and I do not detect too much sourness. The initial blast is delightful and comfortable, with just a touch of green basil and artemisia.

The heart of IL is on par with the opening in terms of quality and volume. In this phase, piquant coriander and sage contribute a gratifyingly spicy and herbaceous aspect that stops below the aromatic. The combination of carnation and geranium is unmistakable, with the support of fougére nuances. Carnation has practically disappeared from modern fragrances. However, it has a manly floral touch that no other flower can provide, and I miss it a little. It mixed the sweetness with an impressive succession of floral and spicy notes. The scent remains with this heart aroma for several hours.

IL finally exits the comfort zone when base and dry-down occur. Not that it changes radically, because it doesn't. It simply develops enough grain from enough amber, leather, and vetiver to observe a change. The base contributes a leather and musk undertone. I get a smooth leather, a kind of velvety suede, away from the rough Ombré Leather (2018) Eau de Parfum for example. There is also a certain woodiness underneath that underlies everything else. I also get the impression of creaminess, which is usually provided by sandalwood, not mentioned. The same sweet and creamy scent is also present in Arden for Men - Sandalwood Eau de Cologne, a vintage perfume based on the sandal note par excellence.

Sweetness is excessive, and I can feel some fougére herbaceousness in it. Lavender is prominent, but vanillic amber contrast it. More, anise and oakmoss are present so that the overall feel is not a typical barbershop scent. So, I could've never worn this scent in late spring, summer, or early fall, too cloying with the warm weather. Longevity is excellent, and sillage is reasonable if not great. Despite wearing it during the day, it suits me better in the evening and night out; it is a clubbing beast. I somehow felt sorry for its discontinuities. If you like this genre of the oriental-fougére accord, this is for you… oops, this was for you, miserably.

I base the review on a 50ml bottle I have owned since the 90s.

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