Anything described by Luca Turin as “preposterously intense” and “enormously rude” is going straight to the top of my must-try list. If that weren’t enough, anything considered heavily tuberose, indolic and slightly animalic is a siren call loud enough to keep me awake at night.
I started with a good sized decant of Scandal. I’m nearing the end of my decant and now a full bottle is on the way.
Here’s the thing, Scandal isn’t particularly intense nor is she rude. To me, Scandal is sublime with a capital S. Scandal is intoxicating, warm, and engaging, but she does have an attitude. Get this: Scandal is now firmly on my top 10 list of all time. Don’t ask me to list my top 10 – those that are *always* on this list (at least lately) are: Teo Cabanel Alahine, Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche, Amarige Harvest Edition 2006, No. 22 and now Scandal. Naming the remaining 5 will give me fits. Oh, heck, listing this much has given me a panicky sensation.
The fragrance which reminds me the most of Scandal is Fracas. Do Fracas and Scandal actually smell alike? Not really. But they are second cousins. I find Fracas more in your face than Scandal. Fracas is a straight up Diva while Scandal basks in the shadows with inky, smoky eyes. Fracas is platinum blond, Scandal is brunette. I sort of hate these appearance and personality comparisons but sometimes they just make sense. I wore Fracas a great deal back in the 90’s. I also wore Fleurissimo which is another big white floral. As much as I love the idea of both of these perfumes, they wore me out. I need to admit: I can’t wear Fracas, it’s too much and makes me a bit headache-y. I also feel like an imposter wearing Fracas and Fleurissimo, like I have a sign over my head which reads: “Alert! Alert! This woman is trying to enter our club but she is NOT one of us.”
Are Fracas and Fleurissimo cold white florals? Is that it? Scandal feels warm and easy. Scandal melts into my skin and I feel completely comfortable wearing it. Scandal has been described as a classic 1950’s type of big white floral; it most definitely reads classic to me but not particularly retro. Scandal smells like equal parts tuberose, jasmine and freesia with touches of lily of the valley to make it gentle. The start is strongly orange blossom and this is where Scandal reminds me of Fracas, the opening is a big tilt-o-the-hat to cousin Fracas. The jasmine adds a green touch and the tuberose is very warm and animalic. The whole composition is loud yet cozy warm and the softly woody spices and musk in the base are nothing short of perfection.
Most of the time, my very favorite fragrances are one’s which are a scent of their own, not an accumulation of notes. Take Alahine for instance; maybe you could pick out the notes if you tried, but overall, Alahine is Alahine, it’s own scent entity, it exists as a whole, not a group of notes sticking together in the same vicinity. Same for No. 22, No. 5 and many others. Scandal, while a beautiful rendering of the sum of it’s notes, is also one of these scents; it is simply the smell of Scandal. The notes are dense are difficult to smell apart whereas some fragrances leave space between the notes, like Hermes Vanille Galante, were I can smell the spaces in between the notes. Scandal, like Fracas, Divine and Songes is a big white floral with an existence and attitude all it’s own.
According to basenotes:
Top: bergamot, muguet, orange blossom
Middle: freesia, rose, jasmine from Grasse, tuberose
Base: sandalwood, orris, balsams, musk