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Castagna – creamy and warm and delicate – April 12, 2017

Castanas asadas - Wikimedia Commons - Andres Nieto Porras, Dec. 27, 2010

I read about Castagna eau de toilette on a post on Facebook and the fine hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Castagna is Italian for ‘chestnut’ and I love a chestnut note in fragrance (think Noir Exquis) and there aren’t many fragrances that have it, so I had to find out more about it.

Castagna eau de toilette is from Tuttotondo, a new Italian a line of toiletries and fragrances. Their website describes their products as ‘unusual “postcards” of travel adventures which have taken us on the exploration of the world and the discovery or rare and unusual ingredients.’ Castagna is one of five fragrances that makes up Tuttotondo’s their first fragrance collection and each one which was inspired by travel adventures through Italy.

Finding out about Castagna was easy, finding it was more of challenge as you can only buy Tuttotondo online and they don’t ship outside of Europe, but I have my ways…

Castagna was inspired by the chestnuts grown in the area of Mount Amiata, a dormant volcano situated in the province of Siena in Central Tuscany. The first sniff of this gorgeous scent took me right back to vacations in Tuscany; the outdoor restaurant near Tonda where the guanciale and Brunello di Montalcino were so good we didn’t notice we’d been eaten alive by mosquitoes until the next day and still we went back for dinner there the next three nights…a Mediaeval Festival in San Gimignano where we walked among knights, ladies, tumblers, jugglers, storytellers and musicians…a concert in Siena and then shopping for scarves from each contrade to bring home as gifts… eating chewy, rich, spicy  panforte out of hand in the summer and castagnaccio, a chestnut flour dessert cake, with pine nuts, raisins and rosemary, in the autumn with a coffee or amaro. Oh, I do love what Castgana smells like!

It opens with notes of bright bergamot and powdery, earthy iris that merge into creamy, smooth heart of sweet, earthy chestnut, warmed by spicy clove and sweetened with vanilla-tinged heliotrope. A note of maple syrup gives it a caramel facet. It smells gently boozy and rich at the same time and is the kind of gourmand fragrance I can’t resist where the sweetness is a supporting player not a dominating main character. All of this hovers over a woody base of vetiver, sandalwood and guaiac wood. The vetiver and guaiac wood give it a seductive smokiness. Vanilla adds sweetness and so does Tonka bean, but it’s a warm spicy sweetness. Musk finishes it off.

For all of this, the drydown is surprisingly delicate and refined, so that while chestnuts are associated with cooler temperatures, Castagna can be worn anytime. And, it’s not so sweet that it can’t be worn by both men and women. In fact, I like the smell of it more on a man when it can have more of a sweet/salty contrast.

The Tuttotondo website says:
Tuttotondo is a world made up of stories, colours, sounds and scents. It’s the story of places, explored and lived intensely, and of those moments when an unknown place suddenly becomes part of us and a thousand emotions are condensed into an instant, an image… with no boundaries.

They got me, that’s for sure, but even if it didn’t stir memories, Castagna would still stir my senses.

Castagna is listed in our decant store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.