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

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Shaal Nur by Etro 1997


Post by Tina G


Mid-December holds the final hurdle of the year, where everyone seems to be a little bit exhausted and holding in there just a few more weeks until the Christmas break. I’m the same. I’ve got three weeks of holiday coming up and summer is my favourite time of year, so I just can’t wait to play and chill and catch up with friends and family. December in Sydney has started out positively tropical. Bright sunny clear mornings, warm days, and massive thunderstorms rolling in around 4:00pm. So stepping out the door in the mornings I’ve been looking for something that is just simple, light and easy to wear in the heat and humidity. Three out of five days this week I’ve gravitated towards a new purchase from Etro – Shaal Nur.

Shaal Nur by Etro 1997

Shaal Nur Etro FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Top: lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, mandarin, rosewood, coriander
Heart: thyme, tarragon, rosemary, karo karoundè, rose, petit grain
Base: patchouli, nutmeg, vetiver, cedarwood, opoponax, incense, musk

Etro was established in Italy, 1968 as a prêt-a-porter and haute couture textile company. The have men and women’s fashion, a home range, and fragrances and there is a boutique located in Mosman, Sydney (so the internet tells me).

Shaal-Nur is the Indian queen of the glowing light of dawn, promises abandonment and playfully ignites the senses, calming anxiety and easing stress. (ETRO)

Shaal Nur ETRO Maharani Gayatri Devi Ramesh Thakur FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Shaal Nur begins with a fresh cologne-like puff of citrus on opening, a citronella-lemon & grapefruit with a hint of watery mandarin and black pepper. This wooshes through in an invigorating rush, pulling up in its wake a fresh green petitgrain along with some herbal and floral notes. Silage is good and a few quick sprays on arms and chest has me smiling and ready to get my day started.

After about half an hour, this fragrance is all about patchouli and vetiver although there is a dusting of rose in the background. The patchouli is fresh cut and verdant, and there is open, aquatic vibe to the scent with an underlying spiciness. Over a period of about 4 hours a peppery note comes through changing the dry down, preventing it from being completely linear. At 8 hours, it is totally a skin scent but is still there with a kitchenesque vanilla and subtle amber plumping up the residual green notes.

Shaal Nur ETRO incense PDPics PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Further reading: Now Smell This and Bois de Jasmin
First In Fragrance has 74/50ml and samples

A three-word summary of Shaal Nur: Uncomplicated, light, refreshing. An easy-wear summer scent and one I’m very glad I picked up.

Have you tried the Etro range of fragrances? Please let me know your thoughts on which of theirs I should try next!

Tina G xx

Sandalo by ETRO 1989


Post by SarahK


Hello fellow ‘fumeheads!

I hope you’re all in your happy spaces, but for anybody feeling pressed or stressed, today I’m going to talk about a beautiful calming fragrance. It’s not new, but I’ve only recently had the pleasure of discovering it.

There’s a residual scent that I get from a number of my favourite perfumes, a sort of musky sandalwood base note that lingers on my skin sometimes after showering. I love that scent and I’ve often stood in the shower wondering if someone could just create a fragrance with that note. Well apparently Etro did just that, and it’s called ……

Sandalo by ETRO 1989

Sandalo Etro FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, lemon, bitter orange
Heart: Sandalwood, geranium, rose
Base: Amber, musk, patchouli, cypress, vanilla

Of course, Sandalo isn’t quite as simple as comparing it to residual base notes makes it seem, but its overall effect gives me the same feeling. When I first apply it, and for about 15 minutes afterwards, there’s a slight petrol-like note, but after that, Sandalo is a pretty linear experience of gentle musky woods. Which is just fine with me, because it is pretty close to my ideal sandalwood fragrance. I get hints of geranium, and some rose, but this is primarily about base notes of sandalwood, powdery musk and some very smooth patchouli. The musk is soft and clean, but with no laundry-musk screech. The sandalwood note is not green, or creamy, or buttery and it doesn’t have a scratchy cedarwood kick. Instead it reminds me of the restrained, musky, dry scent found in some Japanese sandalwood incenses. If it had a colour it would be pale, ashy, grey-brown. I find it very centering and meditative.

Sandalo Etro Dead Calm Ann Baekken FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

It’s an entirely unisex scent, evocative of calm, collected individuals of any persuasion. It is not particularly strong, which makes it perfectly office-friendly. In fact, I wish it was a touch more forceful sometimes, though I think part of the issue is probably that my nose just gets used to the scent. That, I suppose, is the downside of a fragrance that feels as if it is mostly made up of base notes, and which melds so well with my skin. This factor makes it somewhat difficult to accurately judge longevity. Sometimes it seems to disappear only to reappear half an hour or so later. At a guess I’d say it lasts around 7 hours on my skin, but I suspect it is actually detectable to others who get close to me for some time after I think it has disappeared for good.

Sandalo Etro Mounted_on_Metaphors LothorioArtPhoto Stolen LothorioArt

I seem to have spent half this review talking about what Sandalo is not, as much as what it is, but somehow that seems appropriate for a scent that represents calm and space for me.

Posh Peasant says: Etro Sandalo launched in 1989 and is a beautiful oriental woody fragrance.  It’s not often mentioned but it’s one of the great sandalwood fragrances.

I was able to try Sandalo thanks to a little decant acquired from a fellow fragrance fanatic. I am very pleased to have found it and I’m currently lusting after a full bottle. I’m also inspired to get hold of some more samples from the Etro line. Portia has reviewed a few before here on AJP and they all sound interesting to me.

Sandalo Etro  Yoga-at-Wildflower-Hall-Shimla HillpostPhoto Stolen Hillpost

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Katie Puckrik Smells
Beauty Encounter has $75/50ml
Posh Peasant has samples starting at $3.50/ml

Do you have a favourite sandalwood-centric fragrance?


Relent by ETRO + Venice Photo Essay

Hey there happy huffers,

While Jin and I were in Venice in January/February he had found us a wonderful hotel. My only rules for him to do bookings were 4 star, less than 300 metres from the railway station and that they include breakfast. In Venice he excelled himself. The hotel was very close to the station and near a bunch of major bridges, attractions, ferries and food. The room was bright, clean, spacious, quiet and sunny with a view of the rooftops of Venice and the Grand Canal and the hotel had wifi in the lobby 24 hours, with a bar that was quite comfortable. One of our favourite things about the hotel was the large, super-clean bathroom filled with ETRO Relent bath products: hair & body wash and lotion! We left the hotel every day smelling beautiful from our bath products and kept arm skin clear for frag testing. We also left the hotel CRAMMED with breakfast each day, HEAVEN!! Needless to say we asked for, and received, a handful of the mini shower gels which are big enough to last 10 days of showering. SCORE! The hotel? The Boscolo Bellini, Lista di Spagna 116/A | Cannareggio quarter, 30121 Venice, Italy

ETRO Relent Boscolo Bellini Venice

ETRO Relent Boscolo Bellini Rooftop VenicePhotos Stolen Expedia

Relent by ETRO

ETRO Relent FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, orange, lime, eucalyptus
Heart: Orange blossom, rose, iris
Base: Amber, vanilla, musk (ETRO adds citron in the base)

From the ETRO site: The true Eden is never a precise location; we need to learn to create it inside ourselves, to carry with us some of the serenity that can be evoked by aromas that brighten the heart. Sparkling citrus fruits and the sweetest flowers, a hint of the sensuality of amber and the languor of rose, a drop of solemn musk.

ETRO Relent venice Grand canalPhoto Stolen MorgueFile

Since Venice, every shop that has ETRO gets a visit from me but nobody seems to carry Relent anymore, only the newer ones in the lineup. So I went to the internet and recently I found a Relent 150ml Eau Parfumee at Beauty Encounter for only $70 and the 200ml Shower Gel for only $39!! I am extremely happy about it and bought fragrance and a couple of shower gels. It is such a vivid memory for both Jin and I, a happy, wonderful memory that we cherish, so easy to bring back just by fragrance. Fragrantica gives 2010 as this fragrances release but MUA has reviews from 2003.

How does it smell? The opening citrus and eucalyptus combination is fizzzy, dry and interesting, the citrus fizzes like a soda pop drink fresh from the bottle but the eucalyptus holds the sweetness in check giving a very herbal, green dryness. If you told me there was some cumin with coriander/lavender/basil here I would totally believe you because it’s such a vegetative yet sweaty green opening. I also smell some wood notes that are unmentioned. It takes a while for the opening scene to develop properly and it stays for a while before the orange blossom makes her appearance, not as an entrance but she comes in though the side door unannounced, no fanfare but there she is whispering something naughty in your ear and rose is giggling wickedly beside her. Then, as the star of the show is about to be announced, like a wedding everyone quietens down and there is a fragrant hush, a lull, a pause before IRIS stands tall at the top of the stairs in full spotlight. A woody, powder puff of an iris, gentle and soft and cuddly and furry with musks comes down the stairs to be the star of the night. Everyone gets to dance with her, maybe the best analogy would be a round dance where everyone is involved but only a few are near iris for the rest of the evening before the last slow dance and then gone.

ETRO Relent Venice Boscolo Bellini Light

ETRO Relent Venice Garden Block

ETRO Relent Venice Canal

ETRO Relent Venice Bridge portiaPortia’s first Venetian Bridge

ETRO Relent Venice Carnivale Costumes JinJin loving Carnivale

ETRO Relent Venice Canivale Costumes Purple

ETRO Relent Venice Carnivale Costumes Silver

ETRO Relent Venice Last Gondola MakerThe Last Gondola Builders

ETRO Relent Venice Gondola

ETRO Relent Venice Grand Canal CathedralThe Grand Canal

ETRO Relent Venice RestaurantFrom our restaurant

ETRO Relent Venice Wood Bridge

ETRO Relent Venice Palazzo

ETRO Relent Venice Pegggy GuggenheimPeggy Guggenheim Modern Art Museum, so fabulous

ETRO Relent Venice Cafe CeilingCafe Ceiling

ETRO Relent Venice Jin on BridgeJin loved this bridge

ETRO Relent Venice Main Square

ETRO Relent Venice PalaceMain Square at night after the Carnivale crowds are gone

ETRO Relent Venice SunsetVenice sunset

I think Relent could be worn anywhere, including frag phobic works, it is soft and pretty enough to be passed of as body lotion but interesting enough to wear. Light, cuddly and to Jin and I joyful. Maybe you will think so too.

My scent hungry skin gets about 3-4 hours before there is only a sweet amber musk that smells like me. Jin says the scent continues but I have lost the ability to smell it.

Nobody else on the first 4 pages of Google has reviewed Relent
Beauty Encounter has the best prices I could find and none of the sample shops carry Relent, though some have other ETRO frags.

I hope you enjoyed our ETRO Relent and Venice Photo Essay. All unattributed photos taken by Jin or myself.
See you tomorrow for more fun and madness,
Portia xx


Heya APJ Family,

Click here for more graphics and gifs!

This week I’m doing something slightly different again. I recently received from SurrenderToChance a set of 3 Etro fragrances and I’ve been wanting to get them on the blog and thought that I can try all 3 in Quicksniffs and then do a full review on my favourite at a later date. So that’s what I’ma gonna do for you and give you the usual 3 sentences and a star rating. Follow the jump to find our Rating System Page (<<jump).

ETRO is a crazy fabulous Italian fashion house, check their site here <<JUMP

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

MESSE DE MINUT 1994. COR!!! Citrus explosion, almost like a spicy citrus souffle, sort of cake-ish but with a crackle of pettigrain that keeps the balance from getting too foody, though it is delicious enough to eat my arm. I’m not really a citrus fan, in my mind though my collection calls me a liar, but I really love this and think the Etro crew have done a warm citrus perfect for a sunny autumn, winter or spring day, like today was in Sydney, this felt perfect as it dried down to woods, fresh hewn. S=**** L=**** D=****

SHAAL NUR 1997. After the citrus has burned off I get herbal, spicy and wood. It is great but the flowers don’t appear on my skin in a starring role and Shaal Nur goes straight to an amber, patchouli and woodsy vetiver skin scent that plays so softly it’s almost miss-able that it’s more than me, but I lose the ability to smell it after 5 hours. This definitely has date night potential.  S=*** L=*** D=***

LEMON SORBET 1989. This, as you would expect, is also a burst of citrus, a bitter sweet cloud of cool herbal lemon gelato.  It is a good deal more linear and less cluttered than the other 2 Etros we are looking at today, almost linear but still with an interesting journey. Part of me loves the simplicity here, and it smells really good on me too, but I think it would be a better wear in the warmer months, perfect for you Northern Hemisphere people right now. S=**** L=*** D=***

I bought a pick 3 Etro Gateway Sampler from SurrenderToChance which starts at $7.99

I hope you’re all having a glorious weekend.
Thank you for being part of our APJ family.,
Portia xx