Italian niche perfume house Maria Candida Gentile is new to me; until yesterday, I had not had the pleasure of exploring Ms. Gentile’s creations. After having tested the lovely, citrus-y/floral Hanbury this morning, I long for more.
Maria Candida Gentile’s Hanbury is most certainly an exercise in metamorphosis. Its transformation is a lovely one, unique and dramatic. It smells almost like a different perfume 4-5 hours after application – its opening citrus notes are a ghost hiding amongst flowers, finally giving way to the sweet and light musk dry down.
My sample is a glass vial with a “dabber,” so I don’t have the same experience, perhaps, as spraying. While the perfume is still wet on my skin, I get a very sharp citrus-y opening – the brisk bitter orange and lime notes dominate. It transports me back to my childhood, breaking apart a lime Popsicle, even getting hints of the wooden stick beneath (though there are no wood notes).
As the Hanbury starts to dry, it immediately becomes sweeter. The mimose and honey sweeten the citrus, sort of pushing the orange forward and rounding out the sharper bitter orange and lime. Hanbury, thankfully, doesn’t fall over into creamsicle territory or anything – there’s nothing gourmand about it.
Within 30 minutes, the mimose is front and center. It is a sweet floral, almost reminiscent of lime blossom, or Linden, and heliotrope. Hanbury hangs here for awhile deepening somewhat, almost like flowers that had been picked the day before, now hidden from the sun, and that are just starting to wilt ever so slightly. The honey adds to the depth and sweetness, though the note is not discernible separately to my nose. It seems to play a supporting role.
So…what about this mysterious calycanthus? I’ve never heard of this flower. According to Fragrantica, it smells of “Burgundy Wine or fruit (grapefruit and strawberry) according to variety.” Ok. Wikipedia says that the scent of the flower resembles bubble gum. Now that makes sense to my nose. I get almost a non-indolic and clean tuberose-like waft every once in awhile. Ta-da! Bubblegum! Perhaps that is indeed the calycanthus I’m smelling. This note lasts all the way through wearing, but takes on a minor role in the final dry down.
It takes a couple hours for the base notes to make an entrance. The musk is slight – sweet and clean and friendly. No skank here. The benzoin adds to the sweetness, and fills out the mimose and calycanthus – the two flowers no longer the predominant notes, but certainly respectably noticeable. After a full 6 hours, there is a hint of calycanthus and clean musk. Gorgeous. I want to dab more on and watch this movie again!
I really like Hanbury; I will definitely order a larger decant so that I can spray it and wear it a bit. Lately I’ve been a bit of an impulse shopper, a few blind buys this summer have taught me a lesson not to do so! Hanbury wears close to the skin – definitely a soft sillage perfume that is perfect for office wear. It is said to be unisex, but smells more feminine to me. It is both fresh and sweet – not cloying, which I really like. I think I would reach for it when I want something easy-breezy to wear, and I like it for warm weather.
My sample was generously sent along with my purchase from an eBay seller.
Maria Candida Gentile Hanbury can be found on indiescents for $185, samples $5