Review: Carthusia Mediterraneo — 3.5 points

A summer in Campania is, by and large, what many would consider a paradise. The heat, however, can present quite a challenge to that notion even on the most beautiful escape such as Capri, an island off the Gulf of Naples. The scorching sun not only made the journey up to the town with other tourists via the funicolare steamy and funky, but it also started to present some serious threats of sunburns. So, I decided to take refuge in the many shops along the dainty Via Camerelle alley.

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The little shops of Via Camerelle in Capri

Impressed by the Mediterranean idylls, I was looking also for a token to remind me of that beautiful summer, a piece of Capri. There were so many affordable touristy products: I LOVE CAPRI T-shirts, cups, bags, refrigerator magnets et cetera, but they would remind me more of cheap cookie-cutter productions than the bucolic Mediterranean island. I finally stumbled upon Mediterraneo (Carthusia, 2003), a perfume from the local niche house.


Mediterraneo by perfumer Laura Tonatto gives the impression of a very good iced lemon tea, especially generous with the lemons. It opens with a firework of citrus: zesty lemon, bergamot, and sweet mandarin accented by aromatic herbs. Once the effervescence calms, there is a jasminic overtone to the composition.

As the rustic herbs gain their grounds, the sum is now a balance of tangy lemon, jasminic sweetness, and soothing iced tea. This continues for a decent three to four hours on skin and fabric, which is more than many other citrus-based eaux de toilette. And, while it lasts, it stays close, like a personal glass of cool refreshment.

Mediterraneo does not set out to be a grand parfum, but is meant as a refreshing touch. It is imbued with the exuberance of Sorrento lemons and agrestic herbs that hark back to that summer in Campania. It may not merit the exemplary status amongst its counterparts, but Mediterraneo has its own charm. To me, it brings back the rough charms of Naples, the picturesque ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the sun-drenched villas of Capri.



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