When it comes to perfume and personality there are fragrances that while very beautiful are decidedly "not me", few fit so well they feel like bespoke scents and some smell like the person I want to be. Antonia, the newest release from ultra-exclusive European house Puredistance, is one of the latter. It's interesting, considering the original Puredistance perfume was so very pretty and utterly unsuitable for me. Antonia might not feel too far removed from Puredistance I since it's also very floral, but there's something in its sunshiny character that makes all the difference in the world.
Antonia is an Annie Buzantian composition, like the first Puredistance perfume. It's clear this perfumer has a special way with flowers. But where the original was a cool icy blonde, pale with ethereal presence, here I find not just a lot more body and warmth but also the equivalent of dry wit in the form of a green opening. On some level it reminds me of Chamade, so I'm guessing there might be hyacinth involved or maybe narcissus, I'd also attempt to guess I'm smelling marigolds (tagetes) . It gets sweeter with a delicate rose and muguet which normally I'm prone to dislike, but I love this accord in Antonia. It feels like a whisper and a soft caress and doesn't have the too familiar screech of flower notes trying to take over the world. There's a powdery quality and more sweetness but it's not an ambery oriental. Not even close. Whatever makes the light woody musk of the dry-down is magical- it's tenacious and long lasting without ever raising its voice or demanding attention. But Antonia gets it all the same.
More than anything, Antonia is graceful and effortlessly elegant. I find it ultra-feminine, but of course that's just me and my skin. I wear a drop and feel like I want to be worthy of this beauty and walk in its path. Sometimes I almost get there.
Here's a male point of view by Dimitri at Sorcery Of Scent.
Antonia can be purchased directly from puredistance.com. 17.5ml in a plain vial is priced at €165 (samples are available). They also offer special limited edition crystal bottles if you're into that stuff and don't tend to faint at a four digit price tag. The sample for this review was sent by the company.
Photo of model Evelyn Tripp: Vogue, 1955 (myvintagevogue.com)