Some years ago I saw Isabella Rossellini at a book signing event in NYC. The line to meet her was way too long and I was wearing uncomfortable shoes, so I just stood there gawking at her from the sideline for a few minutes. She had a strong presence and glamor that was almost palpable even from that distance.
Isabella Rosselini has more than just a mesmerizing face. As the daughter of Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini, she also has unparalleled pedigree with a hint of a big Hollywood scandal. She herself was once married to Martin Scorsese (can you imagine?) and lived with David Lynch and Gary Oldman (not together, though) and starred in Blue Velvet. Such an intriguing character and background creates a mountain of expectation from her perfume.
Manifesto was composed by perfumer Alberto Morillas and launched in 2000. The notes include pepper, basil, bergamot, sweet pea, orange blossoms, jasmine, white rose, lily, sandalwood, white musk and chestnut tree. It sounds somewhat interesting, but in reality Rosselini's Manifesto is a watery green floral. Out of the notes above, what I smell is a weak basil infusion, a pale and neutered rose and a white musk base that is so generic I wouldn't be able to tell it apart from dozen of other similar scents. If I'm feeling kind (hey, it happens) I'd say this perfume smells like being outside on an early summer morning, while the rest of the world is still in bed and the day feels fresh and optimistic. But to be honest, it's just hellaciously boring.
Manifesto by Isabella Rosselini can be found from most online discounters for under $20. I've had a pile of samples around from various sources.
Manifesto 2001 perfume ad from couleurparfum.com
Photo of Isabella Rossellini in her modeling days: Vogue, September 1982