I rarely get excited over niche fragrances, but Santa Maria Novella is one niche brand that never fails to impress me. I find their perfumes to be unique, very well crafted, long lasting, and excellent value for the money. Marescialla is no exception, proving once again why SMN is hands down my favorite niche brand.
This is one bizarre fragrance, and it's definitely one you'll either love or hate. I don't even know how to categorize it, because it doesn't fit under any one label. This is an extreme perfume - it's dark and earthy, and is one of the spiciest fragrances I have ever smelled. When you first put this on, it mows you down with what smells like bay rum mixed with enough mace and nutmeg to season a million pumpkin pies. This is so spicy, you have to smell it to believe it. Underlying the piles of spices is a damp, weed-like smell from the patchouli in the base notes. It smells creepy and musty, like the smell of a well scented haunted house. What's even weirder is the drydown, which maintains the heavy patchouli smell but turns powdery, smelling like some kind of evil shaving cream.
I think whether or not you'll like Marescialla depends on how it reacts with your skin. I say this because it smells completely different on paper than it does when I wear it. On paper, it's totally brutal - the nutmeg, mace and patchouli dominate, pounding your sinuses for hours on end. On my skin, however, Marescialla melds with the scent of my skin and smells warm and creamy over time, and the patchouli and spices are rounded out by the shaving cream smell. I actually prefer the way this smells on paper, but I still love the smell of super-spicy shaving cream it produces when I wear it.
SMN's website categorizes Marescialla as unisex, but it totally smells like a man's fragrance to me. I can't imagine many women wanting to smell like this. SMN says that Marescialla was created in the early 1800's, but I have no idea if that's true. The raw brutality of the mace, nutmeg and damp patchouli smell like something from the old world, like it was made for a barbershop in
I love this fragrance, and if you're in the market for something totally unique, this should be high on your must-try list. I guarantee that no one you know will be wearing this.
MY RATING: 9/10