Jil Sander: Scent 79 Woman/Man
Not so distantly related to Chanel No. 19, Scent 79 Woman is a marvel on the skin, balancing fruit (cranberry, peach) and what smells like galbanum against may rose, jasmine, and iris in perfect proportion. The fragrance lasts forever, not just on the skin but in the 4.2 oz, Noguchi-like bottle, a white, bifurcated block of glass. Everything about Scent 79 Woman is
great. Even the box is unusual, oversized and imposing, a real treat to open up. The bottle rests inside like a Matryoshka doll. Scent 79 is quite different, but recalls, for me, Krizia Moods, too. Moods seems to use linden against fruity elements in a similar way, though animalic notes weigh it down, anchoring it in darker territory, whereas Scent 79 Woman is bright and cheerful, on the surface at least. It has an interesting, edgy tension.
Scent 79 Man stays much closer to the skin but lasts just as impressively as its sister. Again, there's a wonderfully unlikely balance, from bottom to top. The literature on Scent 79 Man implies much development. I don't experience it, but the balance itself is plenty complicated. It's an unusual structure, closest I think to Chanel Antaeus, though, again, not animalic in the slightest. Tobacco, faint hints of leather, angelika, clary sage and frankincense are the things I notice first. Spending more time with the fragrance, I get the jasmine, violet and iris. The perfumer behind Man is Marc Buxton. 79 Man is EDP and also 4.2 oz, the bottle black to Woman's white. Both are available at Neiman Marcus and well worth the 90 bucks.
Paloma Picasso: Tentations
Months back, I took home a 5 ml sample of Tentations from the local Korean-owned discount fragrance store. They had many discontinued items but Tentations wasn't one of them. The sample smelled somewhat off to me and at first I didn't like it. I felt I should have it, because it's discontinued and it's Sophia Grojsman, whom I love, but doubted I'd buy a full bottle even if one were available. I couldn't really see any similarities between Tentations and Grojsman's more widely known work, like Paris, or even her more relatively obscure scents, like, say, Yvresse. A few days ago, I visited the Russian-owned perfume kiosk at the mall and discovered two bottles of Tentations. Smelling it, I knew instantly that I'd been right about the sample, but it wasn't as far off as I'd imagined it must be. Truth is, Tentations opens on a weird little medley of notes including peach, pepper, and orange blossom. Under that you can smell, most immediately, carnation and cinnamon. The combination of peach and pepper is odd and intriguing, lovelier than you think it could be. The addition of cinnamon is weirder still. Carnation only makes things more peppery. I love Tentations, its rich but subtle spices and the way it plays out quietly on the skin, and I'm baffled why it didn't thrive, where other Grojsman scents, much louder, have demonstrated remarkable longevity in the marketplace. Tentations, I also realized, is distinctly in keeping with Grosjman's other work. The peach recalls Yvresse. The carnation, Elizabeth Taylor's Diamonds and Rubies. The spices put it right alongside Spellbound, which seems in some ways like Tentations jacked up on steroids. Like the majority of Grojsman's scents, Tentations lasts well.