Subtil by Salvatore Ferragamo is a floral, fruity scent, rich in flavour and colour. Classicism and sensuality, captured in subtle, provocative and feminine notes. This unexpected fragrance embodies luminous orange flower water and fruits, the quiet seduction of tulips, red lily and jasmine, and the consuming sensuality of musk. Subtil Perfume was created by perfumer Jacques Cavallier and introduced by Salvatore Ferragamo in 2002.
Top notes – Cherry, Orange Blossom Water, Orange.
Heart notes – Tulip, Lily, Jasmine, Lily of the valley.
Base notes – Musk.
Salvatore Ferragamo is an Italian luxury goods company, with headquarters in Florence, specializing in shoes, leather goods, and ready-to-wear apparel for men and women. The company also produces eyewear and watches, and has stores in Europe, America, and Asia.
I first borrowed this perfume from my mom when I felt a bit bored with my own fragrances and wanted to try something new. The deep, vibrant red box and bottle looked expensive and grown-up, and were pretty intimidating to me. I was totally expecting its smell to be super heavy and mature, but it turned out it didn’t smell too old and I could handle it just fine. In fact when I sprayed it once the first time, what I smelled was something rather light that I had to spray a second time. Contrary to my impression of the packaging, the fragrance is elegant, feminine, and to me doesn’t smell too stiff or formal.
The bottle is pretty interesting, actually. It would have looked like many other perfume bottles, except its body is twisted and askew. You think it’s all ladylike at first glance, but it’s kind of freakishly, artfully twisted. I think it looks cool. Pictured above is the 1.7 oz size which costs approximately $42 on online perfume stores, and even lower on Amazon.
The fragrance opens quite zesty. I can definitely smell a bit of orange blossom, and it smells green and fresh as well. A little later on I could detect a cherry note—not too sweet or candyish, but rich, kind of like cherry with a bit of booze. I love smelling cherry in my perfumes, and this is a nice, grown-up, but still fun kind of cherry. The opening is rather light, like I mentioned, and there’s even a certain phase to the fragrance that smells to me like light soda or tonic, fizzy and happy. When the florals emerge they mix with a smooth vanilla scent, which makes this fragrance sweetish and warm. As it stays longer on the skin though, and the musk base note comes out, the fragrance becomes richer, even warmer, and ever more sophisticated.
It fades to a soft, sweet, powdery scent on the skin with a hint of woods, and at this point lives up to its name, Subtil, which in French means subtle. I think that as a whole this perfume is subtly elegant. It’s quite sophisticated and feminine, but it’s also humble and easygoing. I think it would be nice to wear in cold weather, either for daytime or night time. It lasts about three hours on me, shorter than other perfumes but okay by me.
I would recommend this to those looking for a fragrance that’s warm, lightly foody, powdery, floral, sensual, feminine, and sophisticated. I wouldn’t suggest this to anyone seeking a perfume that’s (despite the company’s product description) fruity-floral, fruity, citrus, sporty, aquatic, or herbal. Overall I think Subtil is lovely and feminine, and it’s different from scents that I’ll usually wear. I only borrow this perfume occasionally from my mom, but I enjoy it very much each time I wear it.
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