Pot Pourri fragrance notes

  • Head

    • bergamot, carnation, lavender
  • Heart

    • bay leaf, rosemary, red thyme
  • Base

    • patchouli, Peru balsam

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Latest Reviews of Pot Pourri

Opens up with a fresh but cheap smelling lavender floor cleaner smell. It’s been compared to Old Spice and I agree that they smell similar. Pot Pourri has a warmer, more woody, less powdery feel to it and possibly more spice. It does feel dated but still pleasant nonetheless.
26th April 2022
To be clear, do not be thrown off by its name: Potpourri is not your grandma's or auntie's bowl of potpourri, it is not powdery, sweet, and floral (save for the carnation here). This old world 19th century creation is more a potion that clears the senses and heals the soul, pre-dating familiar classic approaches to perfumery. It is unapologetically camphoraceous, phenolic, medicinal, and I love every second of it. A blast of bay leaves, rosemary and thyme braces you from the start, so warm and savory, almost reminding me of a more perfumed Bell's Seasoning.

However, as we reach the heart of the fragrance, we realize this is all buffered by a softer, more resinous undercurrent; this junction is the most sensuous and captivating stage in development, as we have this duality that imparts a musky, ever so lightly perspiring sensation. I detect the peru balsam with its more vanillic, cinnamic qualities, as it slowly enters the picture. Obtained by removing the bark of the Myroxylon balsamum tree and scorching the exposed wood, peru balsam not only has its history in flavor perfume but also medicine, so naturally it would be present in this concoction. The dry down to the base is ever more smoky, elusive, and musky, perhaps due to this really stoic patchouli fixing it all together- no chocolate, no cacao, no cake. All dirt, must, sweat, and candor wrapped in a balsamic sweetness.

Now you may ask, why wear something that smells somewhat medicinal? Trust me when I say that Potpourri is so not of the time or world for that matter that it somehow works; it is this dichotomy of the antiseptic with the dirty, the erogenous. All of this really speaks to the adventure in perfume, the depth and dimension in fragrance, not to mention the scope of history. One who has grown tired of the same hackneyed sweet amber bases and safe, yawn-inducing accessible 'niche' ennui of today could stand to reach for Potpourri, amongst others in the Santa Maria Novella house.
9th March 2022

The flagship of the Santa Maria Novella line? That is what it seems. Pot Pourri is a brilliant combination of notes that appeals highly to my sensibilities. I smell spices, resins, and eucalyptus. I know there are many other notes, including some florals, but the blending is superb. This is a fragrance from another age, and is a definite step back in time. There is a medicinal quality, which lends to that old time feel. This is what I think Richard Collier would have bought in a shop to put on when he was trying to get himself put together to meet Elise McKenna when he traveled back to the past. An excellent fragrance that I will enjoy for many years to come. Thanks to Grungevig for his input on this fragrance and the Santa Maria Novella line. A great house with many gems.
4th March 2018
This scent's name should be taken very seriously. It does, indeed, smell like the ultimate ur-potpourri. And if you like smelling like Claire Burke's original home fragrance, here is your chance. I would love to smell this on someone else, preferably a male. But after having tried this myself a few times, I found that I am just not quite up to wearing a fragrance this fervently resinous and herbal for an entire day. I actually feel this way about most incense-heavy scents, so take that as you will.

I think that anyone intrigued by old-world scents that smell highly natural and aromatic should give this a whirl. Plus, you will smell like no one else in the room, or building, or general area.
5th October 2017
I sprayed this on at a local store and sniffed my arm, turned to the SA, and asked "does this smell like ham to you?" She agreed and I walked out determined that this was either going to completely win me over with its cleverness or turn out to be a disaster. Oddly, it was neither...

So, um, the ham smell... I'm figuring it's some combination of the burnt smell of camphor or birch tar with kitchen spices and cloves, with cumin giving it a meaty quality. It actually only lasted a few minutes, giving way to a rather forward oregano smell with a smoky spice cabinet in the background. A few hours later, I was left with a a quiet herbal-smelling smudge where it had been.

So, in the end it was the strong oregano focus that turned me off, as opposed to the ham. The burnt quality was a clever touch missing in most of these really old herb-mix perfumes, but alas, this isn't for me.
14th February 2015
Outrageously gorgeous aromatic giving way to a resin and spice concoction with more than enough reference to dried herbs and flowers but undercut with a rarified medicinal sweetness that is not the least bit candied. Intimations of soil, camphorous balms at healing retreats, an old time invalid taking a constitutional; all is unhealthy poetic distance washed over with a rouge swipe at vigor. Still, the hand is gloved in keeping with refinement. A triangulation occurs in the pyramid and over time: lighter opening/heavy middle/lighter drydown and spice/medicine/spice. Not at all of this time, older in feel than most any fragrance I have tried.
21st November 2012
I love this old thing. It really is quite unique in my experience. It is aromatic, camphoraceous, resinous. Very difficult to describe in fact. All that I can say is that is seems to have some, or all, of the following, Eucalyptus, Clove, Rosemary, Lavender, Camphor, Juniper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon. Sometimes I think that I can smell Liquorice, Rose, Immortelle. For a more accurate analysis you may wish to see Odysseusm below, but these are my impressions.

What I can say with confidence is that in my opinion it is unusual in how it wears. Initially this works like your most refreshing Eau De Cologne. It is exceptionally bracing and uplifting. But then it continues to wear in a lower key, with a quiet confidence. Incense, spice, words like comfortable, comforting, confident, salubrious, all come to mind. That is rather a lot to get from one fragrance, don't you agree?

SMN Pot Pourri will not be to everyones taste, definately not, but surely it is a "must try" and if you do love it, like I do, I can tell you that it will become an old friend.

Having commented on the uniqueness of this fragrance I feel that it is only fair to mention Heeley Esprit Du Tigre as I am sure that comparisons will be made eventually. HEDT has a minty opening, after which clove bud oil is very dominant for a time, and yes, here we have some similarities, but not for long.

7th September 2011
This is an amazing, complex, and beautiful scent. Thanks to Arlecchino who helped me understand some of the structural elements which make this so successful and pleasing. This certainly is a scent of another time: not simply old-school but rather a timeless classic.
For me, the strength and appeal of this lies in its balanced structure: it is a well-conceived and executed scent. On the one hand, it is a treasure chest of richly dark and warm spices (clove, nutmeg, pepper). On the other hand, there is a sustained bright note of cool eucalyptus. These two happily co-exist and compliment each other. Grasses and herbal notes (laurel, thyme, mint, oregano, sage), along with some resins, add aromatic and even slightly medicinal tones. I appreciate these greatly.
The sum of these parts is a compelling, unique and quietly thrilling scent. There is little like it on the market. In my opinion, LV Spezie or Piper Nigrum strive to attain these qualities, but SMN Potpourri did it first and does it best. The dry-down is sustained, and very pleasing. One of my favorites. The highest rating.
4th January 2011
I really want to think that this fragrance is better than what I perceive. Based on what I read about it, I expected to love it, but it wasn't quite like that. I find it harsh, much too medicinal and not very accessible. Normally, I would probably rate it as negative, but I feel that the small sample I had was not enough to fully comprehend this fragrance. I really think it takes time to appreciate it. Unfortunately, I did not have that time.
7th May 2009
As I've come to expect with SMN, this is another high-quality and robust fragrance. Linear, yes.... but realistic, enjoyable, and very aromatic. I'd take this over almost any other incense type fragrance. Foetidus' review is dead-on, and there's not much to add besides reporting that longevity was 10-12 hours. Real good stuff.
12th January 2009
Resin with super aromatics… immediately. What really strikes me first is its resinousness. These are not just some lightweight, vaporous aromatics – there is real substance behind and supporting those medicinal tones. The resins and spices and flowers provide a strong background and give the fragrance a depth that I have never before seen in a similar “classic” potpourri or spicy scent. Those supporting accords also provide a much better longevity than I have seen in similar scents. This is a very admirable fragrance. Actually, I don't know how the potpourri concept can miss: Potpourris are so lively and spicy and bright, and they so quickly invoke pleasant memories of the past. Santa Maria Novelle's Potpourri is likely the most classic and the best potpourri fragrance I've come across.
7th October 2008
Santa Maria Novella produces the best pot-pourris. I was afraid to wear "Pot-pourri" as a frangrance, but it's wonderful. It's aromatic and spiced, quite medicial at the opening, but very sweet and smart : a classic fragrance, as Eau de Cologne "Santa Maria Novella" in another way.
18th April 2008