Hilde Soliani Cristina Eau de Parfum delivers a patchouli perfume that is accentuated by labdanum and vanilla. It is a more linear fragrance, so the notes listed are very much what one gets throughout wear. It reminded me of the drydown of fragrances with the note combo (patchouli and vanilla, in particular), which would make it particularly good for someone who tends to love base notes and wants to skip all the top notes!
The brand described the scent as “combin[ing] two types of rare patchouli” that have a “subtle feeling of incense and oud-like familiarity” and use “vanilla and cistus labdanum” for the heart. It has a simple note list of: patchouli, labdanum, and vanilla.
It opened with dark, earthy patchouli: loamy soil, freshly-tilled, which was quickly met with spiced incense and leather with a boozy undertone. The patchouli had hints of cocoa, not dry or particularly dusty, but lightly chocolaty after three minutes of development on my skin. The spiced incense turned quieter and resulted in a patchouli-centered fragrance with smoky leather, a few dashes of cocoa powder, and subtle sweetness.
While the initial opening was more intense, the fragrance quickly settled and dropped closer to my skin within 15 minutes. It hovered above my skin enough to get soft wisps of scent trails if I raised my arm, but it definitely dialed down compared to the first few minutes in a noticeable way. The patchouli was slightly earthier, slightly warm and cocoa-like rather than soil-like, with smoke, leather, and vanillic facets.
Through the first two hours, Cristina was always patchouli first, but sometimes that patchouli was earthier, slightly dusty, and other times, it was chocolaty and woody. The other aspects–smoky, leathery, and vanillic–wove in and out and were more or less noticeable depending on the moment. They were present but in different degrees.
In the third hour and through the drydown, the vanilla strengthened, so it started to override the leathery aspect of the labdanum and reinforced a darker, more resinous quality underneath the earthy, cocoa-ish patchouli.
For testing, I used 1/3 of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
I purchased my sample in January 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime , so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.
It lasted for four hours until it was a skin-scent and about 12 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were both on the lighter side with projection only a few inches above my skin for the first four hours of wear.
I really enjoyed it! It was a linear journey but the exact kind of notes that I adore and love. I felt like the way the patchouli changes–sometimes being earthier, dirtier and other times being sweeter and woodier–gave me shifts that made it fun to wear. I’m definitely considering a bottle, though it’s not high on my list since I do have several fragrances that drydown to something similar enough.
- 100ml for $160
- 0.7ml sample for $4