ETRO: Fragrant Italian Sunshine




Hello my friends! My name is Narth an I’m looking forward to chatting with you about our wonderful world of scent. I have been a perfume fan since 2004 when something went off in my brain and I thought oh.. SCENT! My hobbies are fragrance, food and reading translated Korean fiction. I will make these things collide whether they want to or not!

I’ve always loved a house that’s as familiar as a home when it comes to perfume. Where you sigh and enjoy that this is definitely a Chanel and even if it’s not your favourite it’s a well loved place to be. Etro is one such house that has bought me much joy. Begun in 1968 as a family Italian fashion house, today it’s run by the founder’s four children. In their wide range of perfumes they have created some true classics. I wear these a lot and find myself thinking about the way each one has a familiar splash of sunshine in the notes, but what it brings out varies greatly. So let’s take a brief tour in the Italian sun.

ETRO: Fragrant Italian Sunshine

Shaal Nur by Etro 1997

Top: Lemon, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Rosewood, Coriander
Heart: Thyme, Tarragon, Rosemary, Karo Karoundè, Rose, Petit Grain
Base: Patchouli, Nutmeg, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Opoponax, Incense, Musk

Oh my you’ve got almost tart freshly cut wood warmed by the sun here, it is positively glowing! A luminous scent. Shaal Nur dries down to incense and vanilla. Wood can be sweet! Sometimes I forget this. Beautifully well rounded it will appeal to incense lovers, sandalwood lovers (it just vibes sandalwood to me) and vanilla lovers.

Patchouly by Etro 1989

Top: Bergamot, Orange, Sagebrush
Heart: Geranium, Rose, Mysore Sandlewood
Base: Java Patchouli, Cypress, Vanilla, Amber, Musk

My favorite ever patchouli. Damp earth with sparkly minty sunshine.This is all loamy forest soil under ancient trees with the full summer heat radiating through the foliage.I’m going to assume the geranium is responsible for the mint note, it is delightful. Fresh, natural essential oils and a lovely sweetness in the drydown.

Etra by Etro 2000

Top: Coriander, Cardamon, Rosewood
Middle: Jasmine, Rose, Geranium, Pimento, Cedarwood, Sandalwood
Base: Vanilla, Musk

Etro goes to the office! It’s fresh, and dressed nicely but it’s also a quietly happy scent. The sun is pouring in the window and you’re rather pleased with yourself because you’re just so darn presentable. It’s a good day. The herbal notes are chipper, the drydown cozy. While in no way a dramatic scent it’s very Etro and certainly not simple.

Messe de Minuit by Etro 1994

Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Orange
Middle: Ceylon cinnamon, Petit grain citronnier, Patchouli
Base: Myrrh, Labdanum, Musk

This is a Gothic masterpiece. It’s a basement full of mushrooms growing in darkness with a slat of light streaming in through the boarded up windows. It’s dank and cave like, and very very mushroom and yet there’s also brightness in the topnotes. Some say it’s a church incense, for myself it’s more haunted house. It’s extremely interesting. Why would you want to smell like mushrooms? Because mushrooms are wonderful! The most beautiful thing I’ve ever smelt was freshly picked and sliced Matsutake mushrooms, the scent filled the room. One of many amazing smells that only briefly creep into perfumes and I’m very happy for my mushroomy Messe de Minuit.

Now that I’m on a leather kick I’m hoping to sample Etro Gomma some time.. I’ll admit I’ve sometimes tried a well reviewed niche scent and thought but… ETRO did this with so much style already.

What houses do you find yourself devoted to because you love the home they create?

See you next time, Narth xx

21 thoughts on “ETRO: Fragrant Italian Sunshine

  1. Welcome to APJ Narth,
    I love ETRO. Never heard of their fragrances till we stayed in a Venice hotel that had their products in the bathroom. Instant convert to Relent (still have some Relent shower gel), which then became a search through their perfume oeuvre. The only bottle I’ve bought is Shaal Nar but they also had a Lemon Ice Cream scent that I adored.
    Portia xx


  2. Hello Narth, are you like the Masked Singer? Hehe
    I like your reviews, Etro seems easy to wear in many life situations. I haven’t tried any yet though.


  3. Nice to meet you Narth, and read your Etro review. My favorite Etro is Heliotrope.
    I am devoted to the House of Chanel. I love the elegance and excellence of each perfume. There are only a few I don’t wear but still appreciate because they have the Chanel DNA.


    • Nice to meet you Kathleen! That is such a beautiful and timeless house to call home 🙂 My current favourite Chanel is Misia edt though I have been wearing No. 5 l’eau for sunshine, I love it so much.


  4. Nice to have you here, Narth. I have only tried and loved Messe de Minuit. Gorgeous scent! My favorite house is Chanel. Like Kathleen, there are very few that I don’t like, but that I appreciate.


  5. Welcome Narth! I enjoyed reading your take on Etro. I really do need to smell them properly. My favorite houses are Guerlain, Hermes and Neela Vermeire.
    Sandra xo


  6. I have Shaal Nur and it is amazing. I cannot recall if I have Etra in my collection as well but I do know it appeared on my radar as it was deemed as a good substitute of Issey de Feu, a fragrance I love and fortunately did get at a good price. Another Etro I have is vintage Gomma and it is one of the closest to Knize Ten I have ever smelled. In fact, it is the best subtitute to Knize Ten though I don’t know how Gomma’s current formula smells like.


    • As far as the houses are concerned, I think overall I might have to give it to Dior though still mostly for its classic catalogue rather than modern releases. I am into vintage on the most part so lot of houses that do not impress me anymore with their releases have given us gems in the past such as YSL, Shiseido, Gucci, and Givenchy.


  7. Hello Narth. The only Etro I’ve tried is shampoo. And very nice it was, too. I’m a lover of Narciso Rodriguez, Frederic Malle, Sonoma Scent Studio and Annick Goutal.


  8. Hello cassieflower! I am loving AG’s eau de Ciel now that it is Spring. It’s a work of art. my other favourite is Mandragore.


  9. Welcome Narth! I have several Etros: Paisley, Heliotrope, Magot, Shaal Nur, Vicolo Fiori, Messe de Minuit and Palais Jamais. The Palais Jamais is my favourite, a beautiful vetiver tea scent, perfect in summer.

    As for houses, my tops are Guerlain, Serge Lutens and Tauer.


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