Alter, Vitrum, Bond-T and Ariel by Sammarco 


I’ve read some very positive reports about the fragrances from artisan perfume house Sammarco.

The Switzerland-based perfumer, Giovanni Sammarco, uses a high percentage of natural raw materials in his fragrances which are pure parfum strength. The collection currently numbers four: Alter, Vitrum and Bond-T which were launched in 2012 and Ariel which was released last year.



Notes: Jasmine Sambac, rose, frankincense, mimosa, animal accord, incense and opoponax.

Alter is one of those head-swimming white florals which is heavy on indolic jasmine and overlaid with a gauze of civet-like musk. It’s the kind of perfume that would make a gentlewoman come over all unnecessary with just one sniff.

I have a low tolerance for the type of musk used here but Alter is lush, billowy and seductive. If you love heady white florals with a soupçon of sex, it’s more than likely to make you swoon.



Notes: Vetiver, rose, bergamot, black pepper, incense and oakmoss.

This is a very clever composition, not least because it is a vetiver I can appreciate. To my nose, most have an odour of stagnant swamp water which turns my stomach.

Vitrum is a softly spoken vetiver, reduced down to its smoky soul. Augmenting it with rose is a lovely touch.

For once, this is a vetiver fragrance which embodies both strength and beauty. I’m not surprised when I read it was created as a bespoke fragrance for a female journalist. Vitrum is a refreshing detour from the well trodden vetiver path.



Notes: Cocoa, patchouli, osmanthus, castoreum, tonka and vanilla.

Bond-T was inspired by a visit to a chocolate factory in Pisa, it oozes thick dark chocolate with a high cocoa content; dry and slightly powdery. Patchouli’s chocolate facet makes it a natural partner for cocoa, but I’m very pleased to find the patch here doesn’t overwhelm it.

Bond-T is a chocolate perfume accentuated by patchouli, not a patchouli perfume accentuated by chocolate. The base features a sweet, honeyed amber which takes the decadence to another level.

I find something very chic about dark chocolate fragrances . To be chic, you have to have a little quirkiness thrown in with your elegance and that’s Bond-T to a, er, T.



Notes: Mandarin, ginger, angelica, tuberose, jasmine, osmanthus, violet, rose, sandalwood, tobacco, davana and orris concrete.

You can tell an awful lot of time and thought went into the creation of Ariel. Going by the website, it seems to have been a labour of love for Giovanni: an homage to the flame-haired object of his affection. It’s the most complex and captivating scent in the collection.

Ariel contrasts sweet, cosmetic powdered florals against crisp, bright greens.  The overall effect is sophisticated and retro, yet metallic and musky accents in the early stages give it a contemporary twist. The drydown is nothing short of gorgeous.  

Ariel is an idealised image of female beauty and feminine attributes. A woman seen through the eyes of love.


Do any of the four Sammarco fragrances call to you? 





Filed under Perfume Reviews

14 responses to “Alter, Vitrum, Bond-T and Ariel by Sammarco 

  1. How interesting Tara, I’ve never heard of these before, and as you’ve said yourself indie does seem to be the place where a lot of exciting things happen these days.
    With your wonderful description of Ariel how could I not want to try it, but the chocolate which isn’t too patchouliesque of Bond-T sounds good too. Now Alter sounds like one to try, but mostly for the fun of it as hefty white florals seldom push my buttons, and Vitrum reads like the rose would turn sour on me, however they all sound interesting, and how often can you say this? ( says the grumpy old perfume lover 😉 )


    • Ariel and Bond-T are my favourites, Asali. I’m wearing the last of my Ariel sample today and it’s reminding a little of Misia and 31 Rue Cambon.

      Oh I’m definitely a grumpy old perfume lover! I’ll still sample and review niche stuff but yes, the indies are so much interesting to me these days.


  2. Hey Tara,
    WOW! These sound FAB.
    Indies seem to be the funnest fragrance houses around to me too. Much more boundary pushing and I love the fact that they teeter on the edge sometimes, or smell slightly raw. The joy of not knowing what to expect and they way all different nuances are brought out with each wearing.
    Not knocking the rest but there is a special place in my heart for Indie sensibility.
    Portia xx


    • These are really well done, Portia and they were such a pleasure to write about it.

      Indie is more fun and your observations about the edginess and the joy of the unexpected are spot-on.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Goodness, there are so many houses out there that are completely off my radar, so thanks for bringing this one to our attention. Before I read which were your favourites, I was leaning towards Ariel and Bond-T, with the rider that I do not care for davana – it was horrible in a Jasper Conran fragrance – Mistress, possibly – and I haven’t enjoyed the note anywhere I have detected it ever since. Ariel still sounds lovely even so. Vetiver scents are always a bit cool and collected to grab me, while the first one sounds a bit too va-va-voom. Your description of Bond-T made me think of Piguet Calypso a bit, which is a chocolate and patch scent on me. Lovely taster reviews, thanks!


    • You know, I don’t care for davana either, V but I don’t pick it up in Ariel at all.

      I’m with you on Alter and Vitrum, as nicely done as they are and great quality too, they’re just not my style.

      Happy to hear you liked the mini reviews. I know it can feel like overload to see a post about another new brand.


  4. I like Ariel and Bond-T. The only problem is Ariel somehow doesn’t last too long on my skin… After 3 hours, I can barely smell it. How was it on your skin??


  5. Ingeborg

    I enjoyed reading about these, yet another brand I had never heard of before reading this. They all sound very complex, but Ariel is the only one I think I might want to wear. But then again, samples often turn out to be very different from what I imagine based on reading the notes. I also have yet to find a scent twin, so haven’t had much help in finding what’s worth testing on skin.


    • Hi Ingeborg,
      I agree that samples often turn out different to how you expected.
      Do you ever swap samples? I know there are some European swap groups on FB and elsewhere. That way at least you can have fun and get rid of your unwanted samples at the same time. I know it works for Asali of Sounds of Scent.


      • Ingeborg

        Yes, swapping is good. Due to all those postal restrictions I mostly swap inland. With a small collection of less than 30 bottles it is usually newbies I can help out with samples unless a bought sample doesn’t click with me (for example I had hoped to like Salome, but didn’t,so that sample has been re-homed).


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