Monthly Archives: August 2012

Scent of a Woman

The movie with Al Pacino was based on a 1974 Italian film (Profumo di Donna) with Vittorio Gassman in the role of the blind army officer who could tell exactly what every woman in a ten foot radius of him … Continue reading

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Bella Figura

Bella Figura, if you have never been to Italy, is the social compact that all Italians share with one another by the terms of which no Italian shall knowingly mortify another Italian with uncouthness, especially not sartorially.  Trendy clothes may … Continue reading

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Rice Flowers

Funny thing, although rice is a mainstay of the Italian diet, you tend not to think about it in that light.  We hear: Italian, we think: Pasta. But in fact, in northern Italy pastascuita is less frequent than some very … Continue reading

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Can Grownups Wear Candy?

Sounds like a Project Runway challenge, no?   The gourmand scent category has been so successful of recent years that it has branched out into all sorts of unexpected directions.  Those with more sophisticated tastes may deplore it, but then, the … Continue reading

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Borghesia

The gardens of the Villa Borghese in Rome used to be full of magnolias.  Huge old things that towered above the walkways with the distinctive oversized leaves a shining malachite on the topside and a fuzzy felted brown on every … Continue reading

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National Floral?

Is there such a thing?  In considering all things Italian in the scented world, I tend to bump over and over again into the orange blossom.  Italians love their orange blossom scents.  Anyone who was raised in or near places … Continue reading

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The Edible World of Hilde Soliani Part Two

Once I listened to two Italian gentlemen of a certain age debating the exact recipe for  Spaghetti alla Carbonara for two solid hours on a train trip down to Naples.  That is the level of seriousness with which Italians take … Continue reading

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The Edible World of Hilde Soliani Part One

Recently I saw a video clip from one of the Italian scent fairs in Florence featuring an interview with Hilde Soliani, the proprietress of her own line of perfumes.  She was asked if she ever took the tastes and preferences … Continue reading

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Profumo

Italian perfume takes it on the chin.  It doesn’t have the clout of the French stuff, and it doesn’t have the powerful professional one-two punch of US perfume, nor does it have the romantic Silk Road associations that Middle Eastern … Continue reading

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Can’t Catch Me…

“I’m the gingerbread man”, is of course, is the end of the line.  Just what is it about gingerbread that makes it such an enduring recipe?  Is it the zippy flavor, is it the once upon a time priciness of … Continue reading

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