Brian and I joke that we can’t have too few skin scents. If a fragrance is described as a skin scent – I avoid it. I like my perfumes to be potent, to project and to have the middle initial S for Sillage. I don’t have the money to waste on perfumes that don’t last, and I have the idea that skin scents basically don’t last (or they do but only if you glue your nose to your wrist).
A few years back there was a furor on the perfume boards for Barbara Bui Le Perfume. I ignored it. The juice was discontinued, many wept, I didn’t give a hoot. About six months ago, I noticed Barbara Bui was available on some online discount sites for less than 20 bucks. I don’t know what possessed me, I guess I just figured I could waste 20 bucks, just to know the truth about this stuff.
So, one day Barbara Bui Le Parfum (BBLP) arrives at my door. I opened it, spray some on my wrist, sniff it, don’t smell much of anything, feel annoyed at myself for not following my gut instinct and go about my day. Then about a month ago I tried it again. I can’t explain why, I just reached for it. This time, I could smell it. So I sprayed myself about 12 times all over. I went to meet a friend for lunch and wanted to lick my arm the entire time. I mean, this aroma is addictive, it’s edible but isn’t gourmand. It’s essentially boring, but it’s so good. I’m perplexed by BBLP – it just isn’t my thing – but I love it.
BBLP is easiest to describe by telling you what it isn’t – it’s not floral, it’s not sweet, it’s not intense, it’s not powdery, it doesn’t appear to have an aldehydic effect, it’s just like skin but better. I can’t believe I just used this expression (“just like skin but better”). I hate that expression. Mostly because my skin doesn’t really smell like anything when it’s not perfumed. BBLP is similar to the smell of a baby’s head or my dog’s fur or her paws after a long walk.
Maybe BBLP is filling a summer void for me. I’m tired of light, fresh, florals and citrus. I’m sick of everything I’ve been wearing since the tropical humidity struck a month ago. As much as I want to wear my cooler weather hefties, it’s just too oppressively hot. I’ve managed a few orientals, Tabac Blond works and YSL Y is a great chypre for this time of year. Nevertheless BBLP is different from what I normally wear and it’s something I can wear right now. It’s entirely possible to spray myself 20 times with this stuff and it won’t be too much.
So what is BBLP? It’s softly spicy and incense-y with an underlying smell of cosmetics and lotion. It’s dry but not bone dry. It has bits of vanilla, amber, and a milky quality that’s just downright delectable and cozy. It also smells a bit musky like sweat and salt and warm skin. Imagine this scene...it’s Sunday morning at 10:00 AM, you’re sleeping in and just beginning to stir, your significant other rolls over and kisses you, spoons you, tussles your sleepy head then quietly gets up to go to the bathroom. You roll over and feel the bed where he was, the sheets are warm and smell like him, a little sweaty but just like his skin. You smoosh your face into his pillow and inhale. This is Barbara Bui Le Parfum.