Sunday, July 28, 2013

Maria Candidia Gentile- Sideris

In the Morning You Always Come Back--Cesare Pavese

Dawn’s faint breath
breathes with your mouth
at the ends of empty streets.
Gray light your eyes,
sweet drops of dawn
on dark hills.
Your steps and breath
like the wind of dawn
smother houses.
The city shudders,
Stones exhale—
you are life, an awakening.

Star lost
in the light of dawn,
trill of the breeze,
warmth, breath—
the night is done.

You are light and morning.

Sideris, by Italian perfumer Maria Candida was inspired by this poem, written by Cesare Pavese for the woman who rejected him, American actress Constance Dowling (photo below, from her 1946 film noir Black Angel). It was also created to evoke the idea of dawn-- first light chasing away the darkness and cold wind of the night. If you think that all of that is incredibly romantic, it's nothing compared to Sideris itself.

Maria Candidia Gentile's perfumes have a certain serenity to them, which I think comes from  the perfumer's way of communicating, and her careful and delicate blending. The result in this case is an abstract spicy-woody rose over a beautiful incense base. There are wisps of incense and saffron woven throughout the development of Sideris. They call to mind change and movement, the turning of the hours. The sea is lapping on the beach, erasing the footsteps almost as quickly as you leave them. But the light is growing as does the warmth of the new day; it's also true on skin. Incense has a cold-and-warm quality, and Maria Candida Gentile is using it to the max in Sideris. The fragrance becomes warmer and more dry the longer I wear it, leaving the sexy saffron and rose  in the background.

Sideris feels like coming home at dawn after a long and emotional night out. You kick off the  shoes in the hallway, leaving them there with the sand that has stuck onto them. You wrap  yourself in the familiar fuzzy blanket left for you on the back of a chair, and crash on the sofa in from of the dying fire to watch the day roll in and think of what has just transpired.

Notes: Incense, cistus labdanum , Corsican Myrrh, White Pepper, Saffron, Turkish Rose, Rose Ayrshire Splendens, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Waxed Woods.

Maria Candidia Gentile- Sideris ($185, 100 ml EDP) is available from, and also at Henri Bendel in NYC which you'll have to call because Young Mr. Grace has yet to discover the power of e-commerce.


  1. Gorgeous review, Gaia. A pleasure to read.

  2. Now you've done it.

    I must must have this. My birthday's coming up ridiculously soon and Sideris will be my little tradional 'from me to me, with love". Thanks Gaia! (I can almost smell it ... beautifully written review ...)

  3. "Young Mr. Grace..." I love it! Sort of miss that show. Thanks for your blog, to which I am a new follower. Found it from a link on Perfume Shrine. Sideris sounds wonderful. Thanks also for info about

  4. I believe the Pavese/Dowling love story was the subject of a film from the late 80s by Diane Kurys called A Man In Love w/ Peter Coyote and Greta Scacchi. It's a film w/in a film - Coyote plays the actor playing Pavese and Greta the object of his desire in the fiction of the film and the film... Gorgeous review, Gaia.

  5. Love it, Great choice of fotos


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