Say it with fragrances

Hello Mariangela. Thank you for joining us.

“Dillo con un profumo”, "Say it with fragrances", is your second book on personal fragrances. 
So, what does a fragrance say?

Fragrances are an extraordinary means of communication. They say something about you. And, due to the connection between the sense of smell and the limbic system, the seat of the emotions, they communicate in a direct, unfiltered way. You can decide not to listen to a speech and not to watch something but you cannot avoid smelling a fragrance.

How do you choose a fragrance? Which criteria should be taken into consideration?

The qualities to be considered are the character, then the olfactory class, the power of diffusion, meaning how the fragrance evolves in time, and the persistence or force, that is to say how long it can remain on the skin. In the selection process, chemical and mental processes come into play as well as physiological and unconscious factors.

When it comes to practical tips, let me say that it is key to avoid buying a perfume simply because it smells good on a friend: every skin has its olfactory track. Each of us has a personal body chemistry and fragrances smell different from person to person. Also, take as much time as possible during the purchase. Do not buy following an impulse. It seems that 60 times out of 100, the choice is made in the first 12 seconds because the best perfume is the one that impresses you. But it takes about 30 minutes to understand its heart and at least a couple of hours to find out its base notes.

What do you think of eco fragrances?

Basically I like the idea because I share environmentally friendly approaches and I am strongly concerned about sustainability issues. However, I am also realistic: eco-friendly scents are light and pleasant but have a very weak persistence. After 10 minutes they’re gone. I believe that, as in many other areas, the balance lies in a just measure: in the craftsmanship and the ability of Maître Parfumeur to choose the best of natural products, with high quality raw materials from traceable sources and combine them with the best of the synthetic chemicals, creating an excellent product with a lasting fragrance trail.


 Mariangela at L’Albereta Relais & Chateaux signing copies of her book.

How do you see the pairing of fashion and perfume?

The scent is an invisible dress, so the link with fashion will never cease to exist, and it is not by chance that about 98 percent of the fragrances on the market is signed by various designers and fashion houses, a signature scent that starts from their collections. Nowadays more and more fashion bloggers and fashion editors decide to launch a perfume. Some of them, like for example Chiara Ferragni, just star in commercials while others, like Anna Dello Russo, launch their own fragrance. These are just a couple of example but there are others and I think the phenomenon will continue because as Coco Chanel used to say, "Perfume is the unseen but unforgettable and ultimate fashion accessory. It heralds a woman's arrival and prolongs her departure."  

Which are the notes you love most?

I am a voluble nose and play with more scents, even combining them. I do not particularly love fruity and citrus fragrances. In fact, especially now, I am more for saffron and oud, but only if in combination with flowers like the rose. And then, at all times, I love the iris and incense.

Thank you for chatting with us today. All the best for your book and for the New Year!

Thank you. My warmest best wishes to you and the readers of The iK Mag! 


About Mariangela Rossi

Mariangela Rossi lives in Milan and is a well-known free-lance journalist specializing in lifestyle, tourism, perfumery and wellness. A long-time collaborator of Elle Italy and other Italian magazines and newspapers, Mariangela has published books and essays on the small pleasures of life, exploring trends from all over the world.
Among her publications, “Il Libro del profumo” (“The book of perfume”, TEA, 2004) and the Italian edition of "Green is the new black: How to change the world with style" (Hodder & Stoughton, 2009).

Recent dates and venues of Mariangela’s presentation of her latest book “Dillo con un profumo” are as follows:

  • 30 November - L’Albereta Relais & Chateaux (Erbusco – Brescia)
  • 6 December - Cortina Fashion Weekend (Cortina d’Ampezzo, Hotel Ambra)
  • 10 December - Campomarzio70 - The Essential Gallery (Roma)