19.07.2021 - 10:47 AM
Helpful Review

Maria Candida Gentile "Hanbury"

Most of you will agree with me that these are trying times we’re experiencing at the moment. To escape the never-ending flow of (mainly) negative news, occasional bouts of anxiety as well as the drag of isolation, I’ve found great comfort in long walks on footpaths along fields, in forests and parks. They’ve had a therapeutic effect on me and helped me unwind, get all the troubles and worries out of my head and, most importantly, stay sane. My collection of perfume samples has assisted Mother Nature in this effort and the extra free time I’ve had on my hands lately has enabled me to rediscover a couple of interesting scents in my collection. Enter “Hanbury” by Maria Candida Gentile. Let’s go on a short trip, shall we?

The ambition behind “Hanbury” is to evoke an aroma of a garden, more specifically the Giardini Botanici Hanbury in La Mortola, Italy. The gardens themselves have a rich history dating back to 1867. Perhaps the person they owe their present state and esteem to the most is Lady Dorothy Hanbury, another muse for the eponymous fragrance. Unfortunately, I have never been to the botanical gardens, but from what I’ve seen in the photos, they look like a place right up my alley: a green oasis, a sanctuary for regaining the inner peace and balance. And thanks to Ms Candida Gentile’s talent as a perfumer, I now have some idea what the gardens smell like. The air is permeated with a soft melange of citruses that marries an aroma of white flowers (dominated by what to this reviewer seems to be jasmine) in full bloom, sprinkled with a few drops of honey. The base contains white musk, one of my least favourite notes in perfumery. Though it is true that instead of detergent-like freshness my nose hankers after a dirtier, earthier smell to round off this aromatic excursion, the presence of the dreaded note does not spoil the overall result.

Being a sweetish, white flower-centred fragrance, it's undeniable “Hanbury” leans feminine. Yet the more I wear it, the stronger I’m convinced that it could actually serve as an interesting (and longer-lasting) alternative to the traditional eau de cologne. All you daydreamers out there (female and male), give “Hanbury” a sniff, will you?
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