Sabbia 167 (Emilio Pucci)

I guess it should come as no surprise that the author of Bvlgari's Black and YSL's Body Kouros is responsible for this odd duck from Pucci. Annick Menardo's off-beat style is self evident here, but unlike her other offerings, Sabbia 167 lacks conviction, and suffers a sort of acute compositional awareness syndrome. The brief must have directly requested a lipstick-sweet, downright "fuzzy" iris, because that's all I get from Sabbia. And although I dislike it, I take pause before saying it's a poor fragrance. One thing is for sure - it's interesting.

There are only a few notes in Sabbia 167, and predominant among them is a very dry, baby-powdery rendition of iris. Lacquered into the base are more subtle renditions of saccharine mandarin orange, sandalwood, musk, and something akin to an Edwardian aftershave rose note, very lithely integrated between the powders and woods. The overall effect is of a very dry, sandy, sweet blush, like the smell of making out with a lipsticked girl at the beach. Actually, that's exactly what is seems like, sort of a nice association if you consider it. But the downside is its overbearing dryness, which eventually saps any sensuality away.

Sabbia 167 grows increasingly chemical and bare with time. Quality of materials is lacking in this fragrance, and I have to wonder whether it's (a) been reformulated, which isn't likely, or (b) not an entry in this Pucci series that was given much thought to begin with. It brings me back to the old adage in this community, that women should simply eschew gender branding and wear what's marketed to men. Ladies, if you want dry, powdery, and floral, save yourself the money and wear Coty's Musk for Men to better effect, or even Pinaud's Clubman Aftershave Lotion.


  1. I can't tell you how thrilled I was to chance across your review of this one, which featured on my MUA wish list for the longest time, till I took it off because it was just becoming silly to keep something so abstruse languishing on there indefinitely.

    A friend in Sweden introduced me to this scent, though I have no sample of it anymore, sadly. I love your description by the way, especially the bit about the perfumer's "acute compositional awareness syndrome". I'll be honest and say that I don't even remember what this smells like, except that I was pleasantly surprised by its oddball quality for a mainstream, under the radar kind of a perfume. So I am just going to take - and enjoy - your description as read. I do remember the quality of materials being lacking, certainly. I don't think the dryness bothered me unduly. I did rather like the cosmic pop art bottle, or "squatting frog in a mob cap" or whatever you care to call it. Thanks for bringing this one out of obscurity!

    1. I'm so glad this review gave you a chance to revisit Sabbia, Vanessa! It's kind of an oddball as you said, and certainly not something I'd hanker for, but I could understand women finding it attractive. This series from Pucci is altogether strange and hard to figure out - the packaging is wonderful, and the fragrances are ho-hum, but all take stabs at very tired terrain with slightly different variations on the themes. Aquatic, iris, white floral, done in offbeat ways. I guess if an eighteen year-old woman feels like making a statement that is truly unique, these Puccis are good options. I think Sole 149 is the most user-friendly and successful creation in this range.


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