Nobody can expect me to visit Venice and not visit a single perfumery. However, this was a family trip, so, in order to preserve the mental health of family members (I would be the selected caretaker anyway 😀), I carefully picked just one, one that I have been very curious about for a long time.
The combination of three of my favorites – perfumes, art glass, and Shakespeare (although the drama in the title is not one of mine most favorite) forced me to pretend I didn’t notice perfumery on the Rialto Bridge (and they had novelties on display, ah – but two perfumeries would be too much for my family’s mental health…) and focused on visiting this one.
The Merchant of Venice brand built on the best of the Venice tradition – Murano glass and a wide range of ingredients in which Venetian merchants, known since the Middle Ages for their wide sailing range, might trade. They collaborate with the Musei Civici di Venesia. Even their name is taken from Shakespeare’s famous comedy The Merchant of Venice.
The service in the Flagship store on Campo San Fantin is very pleasant, unobtrusive, cultivated, and helpful, the saleswoman is informed and speaking sufficient English (which is not always the rule in Italy). Samples cannot be purchased, unfortunately, there are no test kits available for sale, but they offer them to you willingly for free. There are no samples from the extracts. I asked for two samples from the classic collection, which I was most curious about (I was too shy to ask for more), I was also given a newsletter to go with samples. In the shop, you do not test on papers, but on small ceramic bricks, which has its pros and cons. The plus is that the smell is already full, minus that one cannot take the paper with him and test it even later, relaxed, with coffee.
There are currently 5 collections of fragrances on offer – the classic Murano collection, which contains fragrances in the EdP concentration, the EdT collection (also called the museum collection), the men’s fragrance collection, the exclusive EdP collection, and the extraits collection. One of the last two is only limited, unfortunately, I did not understand which one.
Also on sale are body cosmetics, home perfumes and perfume candles.
Perfumer Kit sets are interesting addition – each set contains two bases and six essences and gives you the opportunity to create your own perfume of a given character, there are 4 sets on offer: Chypré & Fruity, Floral & Oriental, Citrus & Musk, Woody & Fougére.
Extralts are sold in a bottle in the shape of a larger test tube with a knurled pattern, they look a bit like a screw with a decorative end, which is inserted into a vase made of Murano glass (there are several types and colors) – nicely thought out, where even packaging of a spent perfume remains ornamental, functional object. Refills in “test tubes” can be purchased. All 6 scents of this collection are built – oh how original – on oud. The most interesting for me are Secret Rose (rose and oud – a combination that is already quite well-played but worked nicely here and I have a weakness for roses), and Oudrageous (tobacco with oud – a bit towards men), and I mine complete winner Leather in Nude. It is a mildly spicy, warm, explicitly feminine scent, oud is accurately held so that it is present, but only explicitly nicely underlining, it is incorporated meaningfully, not just plucked into it, because it is just in fashion, or shot into the theme of who will give more (after all, this applies to the entire collection of extraits), you can also smell tobacco, leather, and spices in it.
The Exclusive collection is in bottles made of dark blue cobalt-colored glass, with a painting in gold. It consists of warm, spicy scents in the concentration of EdP, after extracts probably the most for the taste of this forum (www.parfumanie.cz) , but since I did not know about its existence before and I was already tempted to try others, I just smelled it just in a hurry and did not examine it further.
The Museum collection (EdT) is in red glass bottles with gold lettering, the selection is very wide, and I only have one nose – trying them would be too much in a day. In most cases, these are soliflores of various fragrances, spices, etc., which were imported by Venetian merchants from their commercial voyages. The collection is the result of the company’s cooperation with the Fondatione Musei Civici di Venesia. It has a whole room in the Museo Del Costume e del Profumo, located in Pallazo Mocenigo.
The Nobil Homo collection is entirely intended for men, it is in colorful, cubed glass bottles, quite unusual among men’s scents, but very elegant. But I left their testing for another time.
The flacons of the Muranian Collection are much more transparent than they look on the picture, they do not resemble Muranian glass in structure, only in patterns. In any case, they are really nice. They were most interesting for me (besides the bottles, it was due to the promising composition), so I tried them all. The first 4 in the perfumery, Mandarin Carnival and Suave Petals later, at rest, from the samples.
Byzantium Saffron – spicy, slightly sweet oriental, not “oriental”, really has something reminiscent of true oriental perfumes, rests mainly on sweet spices, drier, warm aroma with mildly spicy non-culinary saffron, elegant, mildly exotic.
Asian Inspiration – bitter-fresh, rather dry, herbal citrus scent.
Flower Fusion – floral charge embellished with lavender, fragrant full but not annoying, multifaceted, unordinary.
Noble Potion – the scent is really classic, all the smells in it are classic, familiar chords, but there is nothing rubbing in it, nothing protruding, the result is a classically elegant scent, one of those with which (in a reasonable amount) nothing can go wrong, but nevertheless they will not give the impression of ordinary, but on the contrary elegance and quiet luxury.
Mandarin Carnival – this scent feels all pastel – orange, mandarin, tangerine together with peach and rose, create a mildly intoxicating (I suspect an orange blossom), unusual floral fruit effect, softly silky, when the musk is attached, it has a slight fabric-softener effect for a moment, settled into a pleasant body.
Suave Petals – incredibly gentle floral scent, delicate, smooth, not disintegrating into individual components, the iris is slightly pollen-powder, no carrot included, the nectarine flower gives it a kick, rose smoothness and roundness. Patchouli and musk are in the back, explicitly only in the role of the base on which it all holds. Drydown is slightly powdery.
And finally: the brand also offers a small collection of handbags and travel accessories – so if you want to get somewhere as a Venetian merchant, you can start packing here.