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Roses and Cream — Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Eau de Parfum

Signorina. Señorita. Mademoiselle. In their respective romance languages, these terms refer to young females in that transitional, “not a girl, not quite a woman” phase, and yet there’s a standard of conduct, an understanding of propriety and good etiquette, that accompanies the more basic definitions of these words. Being labeled a signorina necessitates a ladylike composure and grace, making the term more than a simple marker of youth.

This mixture of wide-eyed curiosity, romantic innocence, and subtle sophistication inspired the new Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Eau de Parfum ($74 for 1.7 oz. and $98 for 3.4 oz. at Nordstrom.com and NeimanMarcus.com), a fragrance that’s sugar and spice and all things nice with just a hint of playful mischief . The Signorina EDP bottle is itself emblematic of the Ferragamo heritage with its classic square shape and the golden bubble-shaped bottle cap at the center of the flaçon. The iconic Vara bow seen on so many Ferragamo pumps and handbags, meanwhile, is incorporated in a youthful manner through the use of two different shades of grosgrain ribbon: one a blush pink and the other a deeper, mauve-ish hue.

Developed by Sophie Labbé and Juliette Karagueuzoglou of IFF, the scent is classified as a Floriental Fruity perfume but, truth be told, I found it to be more of a traditional floral with gourmand undertones.The fragrance, then, incorporates top notes of pink pepper and blackcurrant buds that invigorate the senses with their spicy, slightly woody aromatic characteristics. At the heart of the fragrance, meanwhile, you’ll find a floral bouquet of jasmine, peony and rose — all blooms  associated with femininity and understated sensuality. What makes this particular blend so distinct lies in the species of each bloom used (or the accords created). In this case, the green and honey-tinged aroma of Damascena rose oil, long associated with romantic love, was carefully blended with Egyptian jasmine, the most fragrant species of this idyllic white bloom, and a peony petal accord boasting a soft, powdery scent with a green quality reminiscent of lily of the valley.

If the top and middle notes seem familiar, that’s because they are — peony, rose, and jasmine are among the most common florals used in perfumery, while pink pepper has gained quite a fan base in the past few decades as a means for adding a spicy kick and an enigmatic quality to an aromatic composition. What truly makes Signorina special, then, are how these classic notes interact with one very peculiar base note: a panacotta accord paired with traditional patchouli and musk bottom notes.

As some of you culinary geniuses might know, pannacotta is a traditional Italian dessert made with milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla extract and gelatin, producing a custard-like consistency that’s firm yet creamy and yielding a light vanilla flavor. To give the Signorina EDP a distinctive Italian quality, along with a hint of humor and mischief, IFF created this exclusive pannacotta accord, making Signorina the first luxury fragrance to include this note.

The jasmine, rose, and pannacotta notes prevail in  this aromatic composition so that, about 30 minutes after you spritz on the fragrance, you’re enveloped in an airy, almost creamy floral fragrance that later fades away ever so softly, leaving behind a musky, powdery trail that’s still youthful and sweet.

Lucky be the lady who smells like a Ferragamo signorina.


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