This week, sissyfris on MUA, posted about CK Obsession. I’ve copied and pasted her words here:
Amber, vanilla, oakmoss and musk. Sounds nice right? Now what if I said you could get it for +
less than $75, that it has excellent sillage and tenacity, and that it gets me probably more compliments from men than all of my other scents combined? Oh, and odds are you can buy it within 10 miles of your house?
Would you want to know what it is?
Obsession. Yes, the original version. They sell it in every dept store, and probably in your local drug store. It isn't expensive. It isn't hard to get. You almost never smell it on anyone anymore, but it gets compliments all the time on me, and not just from men. Please, I beg you, before you refinance your house to buy up all the niche ambers you crave for fall, please, try a little spritz of this, and sniff it with an open mind. Try picturing it in a Malle bottle if that helps. Perhaps telling you that is composed by Jaques Guichard might help…
I love CK Obsession. I didn’t even realize it wasn’t kosher to admit liking it. I usually like a lot of amber fragrances and Obsession is a potent sexy musky ambery little number. So, because of sissyfris' post, I’ve been thinking all week about various phenomenal perfumes that aren’t shrouded in the mystique of an exclusive niche brand and instead they’re rarely mentioned at least in perfumista circles. One of the first fragrances that came to mind after reading sissyfris’ post is Ivoire de Balmain. I need to thank Brian for introducing me to this fragrance just a few short months ago. Now, I cannot imagine living without it.
Ivoire launched in 1980 and comes dressed in a dowdy glass bottle with an off-white plastic top. The box is an awful striped thing that recalls sofas and blouses from the 1970s. My parents had a striped sofa – it was beige, brown, mustard, black and gold and sort of reminds me of Ivoire’s box. Get past the unsophisticated appearance of Ivoire and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Ivoire opens with a blast of soap; it is pure, unadulterated soap that’s a mix between Ivory and Dial. For the first 20-30 minutes Ivoire maintains this cool, uber-clean, soothing soapy smell. Especially in the beginning, Ivoire seems just clean; it’s not interesting, not sexy, not specifically masculine or feminine, but it’s potent and must surely contain a good amount of aldehydes because it projects like fireworks right off my skin. Once Ivoire begins to dry down, a bold green spicy fragrance emerges. At this stage, Ivoire is so complex it’s nearly impossible to describe individual notes. Ivoire is very much an abstract perfume, in that it smells only of “Ivoire,” a man-made fragrance and nothing else. Ivoire reminds me of Chanel in this respect. Kewart, on basenotes, describes Ivoire perfectly with “Ivoire seems to demand to be worn with pearls and a beautifully tailored suit, yet with sexy, silk underwear and stockings underneath! I love it's green, haughty, naughty air.”
Frequently I’ve seen posts on forums asking for fragrance suggestions in particular situations, such as for an interview, for a date or for a romantic evening (insert any occasion here ~ cozy/formal/casual/etc). Ivoire seems perfectly suited for any situation, I can see it wearing well for a romantic evening as well as for an interview. One thing is for sure; when I wear Ivoire I feel confident and pulled together. Ivoire is the aromatic version of your favorite ensemble, that outfit that you know makes you look really good…it’s the perfect lipstick that makes your teeth super white and your eyes pop…it’s that day when everything simply works, hair is bouncy, nails freshly manicured, you’re at your best, you’re upbeat and things are good.
Ivoire de Balmain notes:
Top: Green notes, galbanum, bergamot, lemon, aldehydes
Middle: Muguet, rose, hyacinth, jasmine, carnation, orris, orchid
Base: Cedar, musk, oakmoss, amber, raspberry, sandalwood.
You can purchase Ivoire de Balmain from loads of online discount e-tailers. I purchased my 3.3 oz bottle for less than $20 from Beauty Encounter. For this price, everyone should have a bottle of Ivoire.