Fragrances inspired by various shoes and shoemaking – that’s what the Italian bespoke shoemaker Roberto Ugolini has developed together with a German perfume firm. Three different perfumes is available, one for men, one unisex and one for women – named Oxford, Loafer and Kitten Heel.
There’s a few “#menswear perfumes” around, like the classic Sartorial by Penhaligon’s, which is inspired by the scents of a tailoring workshop. But to my knowledge Roberto Ugolini Fragrances are the first shoe related perfumes, so of course Shoegazing had to cover it. It’s Herbert Stricker who runs Classic Parfums, a German wholesale company who sell some exclusive perfume brands in Germany and neighbouring countries, but who also lately have started to create their own ranges of fragrances, who has developed the Roberto Ugolini Fragrances range in collaboration with the bespoke shoemaker. The aim is to create timeless perfumes for both men and women.
I’ve ordered small sample bottles of the three available perfumes, and though I’m not an expert in the field at all, I quite like them. I won’t try to describe them myself, I’m as bad at this as when trying to describe wines, so I’ll use the company’s descriptions. The brown bottle with the scent named Oxford is my favourite (obviously…), it’s a fragrance for men that has a top of “sour grapefruit, pink pepper, and orange plays against an oily black pepper note that feels like incense and hot stones. A slightly fruity rose note arises deep from within a cluster of minty, bitter geranium leaf, with its hint of shoe polish. The base […] has a robust, aromatic cedar and sandalwood combination given an earthy touch with patchouli, benzoin, and vetiver root.”
The Loafer perfume is a lighter unisex scent, “opening with a tangy orange and clove tandem, the heart develops into an aromatic mixture of ylang, geranium, nutmeg, and ambergris, creating a slightly salty, fresh floral heart that feels bracing rather than sultry or sweet. Earthy patchouli in the base gives the scent a classic chypre-like finish.”
Kitten heel is a perfume for women, with “velvety apricots and the soft, banana-ish ylang[…]. In the heart, a minty, rosy geranium leaf introduces a touch of freshness, kissed by the balsamic warmth of precious woods, resins, and the milky vanilla warmth of tonka bean.”
All the perfumes have received relatively high ratings on the review community Parfumo. The 100ml Eau de Parfum bottles cost €195 and are available to order from for example Essenza Nobile, where you as I did also can order the small 3ml sample bottles, which can be reasonable to do so you know you like it before taking the plunge and buy the relatively expensive full bottles.