Saturday, July 30, 2011
Los Angeles seemed more congested than ever this last time I was there. Even getting coffee at the local coffee shop felt like being stuck in traffic. Line for drink, line for creamer, line for sweetener. Lots of excuse me please. It was a hectic trip but a nice one, and going to look at perfume, whether at Luckyscent, Barney's, Fred Segal, or otherwise was always a welcome, if rushed, respite.
I'd never paid much attention to the Humiecki and Graef fragrances and was pretty pleasantly surprised, especially by Multiple Rouge, which is kind of a dream of a thing. I call it Trashy Sophisticate, the kind of scent that showcases the best of high and low. Rouge is sweet but savory, so tart (pineapple, peach, red berries, frozen orange) you think you won't be able to take it, even though, for me, it's pure joy from start to finish. It's said to be linear but I see a lot of development in it, and the coriander and immortelle weave in and out with a subtlety I appreciated, given this isn't exactly an understated fragrance. I suppose I agree with people who have characterized Multiple Rouge as an aquatic to aromatic fruity thing. It has tremendous lasting power and good sillage that spreads happy waves around you. Few recent discoveries have given me this much sheer pleasure.
I'd debated whether to invest in a bottle of Peche Cardinal by Parfums MDCI ever since I received a decant from Abigail over a year ago. Most of the MDCI fragrances are pretty stunning. Peche doesn't seem to be the favorite for the majority of those who appreciate the line, but it's always been my standout, and I knew that if I ever dished out the cheese for a MDCI bottle Peche would be the one. I don't smell the artemesia in the blend - nor the blackberry, past the opening. I do smell the peach, the coconut, the tuberose, the lily, and the musk. Peche reminds me a little of Yvresse but it's drier, if no spicier. This one seems a little trashy to me as well, in a way I really like. While many of the MDCI fragrances seem to harken back to the forties and before, Peche reminds me more of the eighties - scents like Rumba, Poison, and Giorgio - though I think it's probably an easier wear. I remember it being stronger in the winter, but everything becomes a bit of a whisper in the southern heat here. The refill bottle is the most affordable purchase available, and even that is pricey. The beaded tassel on the bottle helps soften the blow.
I like Le Labo Santal 33 better than I thought I would at first sniff. I've heard complaints about the woody musky synthetic in the mix, about its insane tenacity, and I see that, but I see that in Ambre Fetiche too and like it there enough. Santal is best in the beginning, where it feels most unusual, and yet when it dries down it's still better than half the stuff I smell in public. Santal feels a little like an updated Grey Flannel to me, minus the galbanum, bergamot and sage. Perfumer Frank Voelkl has done several things I like - Covet (Sarah Jessica Parker), Iris 39 (also Le Labo), and Ambre Passion for Laura Mercier. All of these share with Santal a sort of tactile persistence, half way between doughy and fungal. Voelkl has also done a few synthetic amber bombs for Kenneth Cole: Signature and RSVP. RSVP is synthetically relentless, and Santal is like its dressed up cousin, covering it all up with a suit and a tie. The real shock to me at the Le Labo counter was the Calone home spray. All of the home sprays were interesting and like Dyptique's John Galliano I would happily wear them on skin. Calone is the best. It has the aquatic influence of Escape and L'eau d'Issey, but it punches things up with geranium and the signature Le Labo musk. It lasts better than any calone fragrance I've tried, and while not a steal, it's cheaper, for 100ml, than the 50ml bottle of Santal.
Dyptique Olene has been around since the eighties, and though I imagine it's changed considerably since then, it still fits right in with that era's fragrances. It reminds me a lot of Sung, and is about as much of a powerhouse, but it's kinder somehow. The jasmine, if no more natural, smells a little less synthetic. The indole will be a problem for some but does wonders for me. Dyptique is discontinuing so many of its fragrances (I regret not buying the last bottle of Jardin Clos I saw) that I wonder how much longer Olene will be available. It's strong, and lasts well.
Other things I saw and grabbed: older bottles of M de Molinard, Balmain de Balmain, Apercu, and Soir de Paris. I think I'll eventually need to get Czech and Speake's Cuba, which the SA at Lucky Scent says is referred to as Sex and Poop.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Several weeks ago, when I was at Saks, I saw a pretty husky guy look up, down, and all around nervously before spraying on A Scent. It was the first I'd heard of the fragrance, so when he asked me whether it was for men or women, I really didn't know what to say, though I generally don't know how to answer that question anyway. Before I had a chance to, he'd covered himself in a cloud of the stuff, so maybe the question was a formality.
I've never been a huge Issey Miyake fan. I like Intense for Men okay. It's good for a kick, though I suspect I'd never wear it. I like F'eau Dissey but can't seem to figure out when to wear it and always want it to last longer or go somewhere else at some point. L'eau d'Issey for women is an interesting calone fragrance, with that salt-water effect Escape by Calvin Klein has. L'eau Bleue is probably the most interesting to me, a sleeper from Jacques Cavallier, part herbal, part coniferous, a little doughy.
I wasn't expecting much from A Scent, so I was very surprised. I'd received a sample of Estee Lauder's Jasmine White Moss, which it resembles, shortly before smelling it. I couldn't picture myself buying Jasmine White Moss--too soft, maybe, or too refined---whereas I was at the cash register with A Scent before I knew what I was doing.
As you might have read elsewhere, A Scent recalls green fragrances past, particularly, to my nose, those which feature galbanum prominently. I smell a history of green in there, with stops at Aliage, Balmain's Ivoire, Chanel No. 19, Givenchy III, and Jean-Louis Scherrer. A Scent is much softer than Aliage, overlaying its punch of galbanum with a significant whiff of jasmine. Brighter and fresher than Jasmine White Moss, it also lasts longer. It has a citrus aspect to it that never really goes away, and somehow feels stronger rather than weaker as it wears. It also gets deeper, and richer.
It was created by Daphne Bugey, the nose behind Kenzo Amour, the DSquared fragrances, and the more recent Kenzo Amour Florale, all of which are equally persistent and weirdly more pronounced later than they at first seem they will be. Amour is one of those scents that seems to have gone away, until it wafts up again. I wouldn't say it's a skin scent. I'm starting to notice bedrock similarities in Bugey's work, relationships which intrigue me, making me wonder at her artistry.
I like A Scent a lot. It has a happy but intelligent feel to it, and if the same guy asked me who it was meant for all over again, I would say the masses.