Profumum was a pleasant discovery during my time in Rome. In my search for a quintessential Roman perfume, Profumum Santalum became my perfume of choice. The brand officially launched in 1996 and is the creation of three brothers and one sister who inherited their family business that supplied colognes and toiletries to the Roman public. The collection is large given the company’s relatively young age and the boutique staff encouraged me to test the fragrances on my skin. They proceeded to spray different scents for me to sample. It was the simplicity of the range that struck me at first. This simplicity also allows many to the scents to be blended with each other as I found out after the staff filled both arms with fragrances. It was a lot to take in and I needed a little time to decide on whether I had found my Roman scent. Perhaps it was the cityscape that influenced my decision. After a ten-minute walk through the Piazza del Popolo, my nose stuck firmly to the patch of skin on my upper arm which held the Santalvm scent I found myself outside of the Via Ripetti boutique once again looking into the glass windows that displayed the Profumum range as well as products from Frederic Malle and Australia’s own Aesop skincare. I couldn’t resist this purchase. Containing only three notes, sandalwood, myrrh and cinnamon, each note played perfectly with the others in composition. So simple, I felt I was about to become a casualty of wearing the emperor’s new clothes. But the more I smelt the scent on my arm, the more I became convinced of the beauty of this extremely simple yet sophisticated scent.
I am not convinced there are only three ingredients in this composition, yet the idea of three is certainly there. Santalvm is a stylishly simple eau de parfum. In Olympic diving some divers attempt highly technical dives knowing that even if performed imperfectly they will still receive points for difficulty. Santalvm is that other diver that attempts a simple pike, knowing they will not score points for difficulty, yet their objective is to perform that dive to complete perfection. Santalvm is completely linear. They do not advertise the species of sandalwood that has been used however I would assume it is made from the Australian species and a range of woody synthetics. The result is a powerful ambery wood perfume. With an absence of citrus notes Santalvm becomes more than a classic cologne. This ambiguity makes it perfect for fragrancing living areas, furniture and bed linens.
For women Santalvm creates a feeling of androgyny. On men this is a free spirited yet stoic fragrance. This man is educated and would rather be reading a book than be watching television. This was the perfect fragrance to wear in a historic city like Rome. I think I would prefer to wear something else if I were in a modern city such as New York or Tokyo. The earthy quality of the Profumum range makes most of their fragrances a great perfume companion for the beach.