July 17, 2017
Gardens of Augustus, Capri, Tyrrhenian Sea
For summer of 2017 Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes released the very first in a new series called “Flowers For Men”, Il Marinaio da Capri (The sailor from Capri) a beautiful and spectrum-saturated abstract honeysuckle-chypre honoring the Italian island of Capri.
Marc Jacobs Men's illustration by ANMOM
“The first in our new Flowers For Men series is called Il Marinaio da Capri (The Sailor From Capri), and is an interesting mash up of styles resulting in a crisp, green, honeysuckle chypre with subtle aquatic nuances (salty sea air without the calone / musk combo so often used for marine scents). It’s fresh and utterly wearable for both men and women. It’s kind of addicting, too. While essentially a unisex / universal perfume, this design embraces ‘Caprifoglio’ (Honeysuckle) as the dominant heart note while using it in a fragrance structure that is commonly used for men’s fragrance designs: the classic eau de cologne, and the fresh aquatic. The “Sailor” is a fantasy… an archetype of sorts. He is bathed in the essences of the Island: the salty scent of sun warmed skin and sea air, the mineral scents of the earth, greenery, and of course, the flowers. He embodies a balance of masculine and feminine; of the earth, water, and sky.” –Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
Vintage Capri Travel Poster Italian Travel Advisory
The small Island of Capri sits in the Bay Of Naples and commands sweeping views of Sorrento, Naples, and Mount Vesuvius. Despite being only approximately 3.8 square miles, the island hosts a population of around thirteen thousand residents and too-numerous-to count visitors and day-trippers. Anchored by two towns; Capri town on the harbor side, and Anacapri up on Monte Solaro, the island has been populated since prehistoric times, and was the final home of the Emperor Tiberius who died on the island in 37 A.D.
Vintage Map of Capri via the 60s flickr
The island is a profoundly popular tourist stop, with good museums, reconstructed ancient villas, expensive boutiques, and of course the top touristic attraction, The Blue Grotto, a cave only accessible by boat that glows blue due to sunlight reflection through the bottom of the cave.
Robert's Mom's copy of The Story of San Michele Axel Munthe from the 60s
“The soul needs more space than the body and so my home shall be open for the sun and the wind and the voices of the sea – like a Greek temple – and light, light, light everywhere!” -Dr. Axel Munthe, author speaking about Villa San Michele. In the late 1800’s a Swedish doctor, Dr. Axel Munthe, escaping cold northern European weather and it’s often accompanying health issues, visited Capri and was so enchanted, that he moved there permanently, buying and renovating the now world-famous cliff-hugging Villa San Michele.
Villa Saint Michele in Capri
The doctor wrote about his life on Capri and the book “The Story Of San Michele” was published in 1929, becoming a worldwide sensation and is still in print today. The book and its descriptions of Capri’s sparkling blue bays, lush Mediterranean vegetation and tumbling honeysuckle vines, ancient roman steps and antiquities captured my Mother's imagination, and the book became one of her lifetime favorites, one which she re-read every year of her life. Visiting the island and the Villa San Michele in the late 60’s was a dream come true for her, and she and my father returned for two more visits. So Capri has a very special meaning for me, in a life chock-full of islands it became one of my parents’ favorite spots in the world, and their passion for island life lives on in me, as an island dweller for the past thirty years.
Capri 1959 Clark Gable a Marina Piccola
Il Marinaio da Capri perfectly captures the singular scents of this sun-blessed island at the height of a balmy Italian summer; the lushness of “La Dolce Vita” and the oh-so Italian concept of “La Bella Figura” (a good presentation). You can smell the orange and yellow honeysuckle vines gamboling and falling over ancient stone walls, the sun-warmed ancient steps, the salt and bitter tang of the cerulean Mediterranean glinting like diamonds in the harbor.
Liz Taylor and Richard Burton Capri 1962
Towards dusk, the flowers give a final exhalation before closing up for the night. Candles are lit on tables and walkways and a warm breeze springs up bringing with it the smell the sea, a garden being watered in a hidden courtyard, and the dry fusty almost desert-like smell of succulent and cacti growing in parched earth. It seems as if all of humanity itself is happy, relaxed, and tan as the evening village stroll, the timeless Italian customary passeggiata, begins.
It Started in Naples Cary Grant and Sophia Loren 1960
A beautiful dream or fantasy of an Italian summer on the Mediterranean all wrapped up in a bottle presented lovingly by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz. Grazie. Mille grazie! Notes: Bergamot, Bitter Orange, Lemon, Italian Neroli, Leafy Green (accord), Verbena, Honeysuckle, Centifolia Rose Absolute, Grandiflorum Jasmine, Sambac Jasmine, Green Wood (accord), Elemi, Ambergris, East Indian Patchouli, Green Oakmoss, Vetiver co2, Seaweed
Disclosure: Thank you SO much to Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and DSH Perfumes for supplying the sample. The opinions are my own.
Robert Herrmann, Sr. Contributor
-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
photo: DSH Perfumes
Thanks to DSH Perfumes we have one of Dawn’s brand new perfect-for-travel stainless steel “Perfume Pens” which contains 10 ml of Il Marinaio da Capri for one registered reader worldwide, so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what appeals to you about Robert’s review, if you have a favorite men’s or floral DSH fragrance, and where you live. Draw closes 7/21/2017