New York Wrap-Up

Some random details from New York City:

Regarding the two new Armani Prives, Rose Alexandrie and Vetiver Babylone – they´re in clear glass bottles with black stone tops (picture the original Prive bottles recast in Jo Malone glass and with JM-type labels, to give you a vague idea.) They smelled like (wait for it) … rose and vetiver. That´s about the cleanest vetiver I´ve ever smelled, and the rose is pretty tentative – a rose-fruity sparkle with some white musk. We couldn´t find anyone who could tell us anything at Barneys, but we think the price point on these may be lower? I like all the other Prives to varying degrees (perhaps more than many of you do), but neither of these new two was anything to write home about. They were lightweight in all senses, had the feel of a sketch rather than a finished piece, and don´t seem properly connected with the other Prives in terms of design or density. Maybe he´s doing a Prive Lite line? Based on their smell and appearance I would expect/hope they would be significantly cheaper.

On the Molinard Une Histoire de Chypre created exclusively for Aedes – I took the subway down there on Tuesday morning and Aedes is closed on Tuesdays, so I guess I´m off the hook! No? Fine. Here´s the link to Aedes´ blurb about Chypre, which gives a lot of detail. Doesn´t it sound beautiful? I have not reviewed any of these (with the exception of Habanita, but I think my review was for the vintage.) I have a soft spot in general for the Molinard line, even the cheap stuff, and a particular admiration for their back-catalog reissues. In my alternate universe, the shelves at Sephora would be lined with fragrances with classical lines and proportions like the Molinards, as opposed to 70 percent of what´s there now. Having said that, I have been insufficiently moved by any of the 1849 Collection to want to buy one of those stunning Lalique bottles, and that´s just my personal taste. The Chypre I had difficulty smelling because the atomizer worked so poorly (I was going to go back in there with a virgin nose and figure out another way to pour some on.) It surprised me in the same way my first sniff of Coty´s legendary Chypre surprised me; I was expecting something considerably darker and dirtier, based on my reading of descriptions of the scent and its sillage. From what I could smell, the Molinard Chypre reminded me a fair amount of the Coty, and that´s obviously praise, yes? I personally wanted something … more abundant? And I might well have gotten it on Tuesday morning, had I retried it.

Finally, I need your help: here´s a link to the charming Isabela Capeto website, stop by if you have time. But what I really want to know is: what is that piano piece playing on the website? Can anyone tell me? Is it some old chestnut by Liszt that everyone knows but me? A famous Brazilian song? I´ve emailed them and asked and get back a very polite reply that they´ll look into it, but nothing so far. If one of you classical music/piano buffs knows, please tell.

I think the bottle is cute, sure, but seriously, I bought it for the contents. I find Isabela Capeto an interesting series of accords that manage to swing between insouciance (the osmanthus and lily) and  fire (the sandalwood, opoponax and spices), with some pretty earthy cedar/vetiver at the opening. I agree with the commenter on Patty´s post that the four holes in her face on the bottle are supposed to be like the holes on a button – the red doll is actually Capeto´s logo, she is a clothing designer and her stuff has lots of whimsical (albeit high-end) crafty-type details like cutouts, appliqué, sequins, ribbons, and buttons. Any of our Brazilian readers (I know some of you lurk!), please chime in with your opinion of the line.  The perfumer is Carmita Magalhaes from Mane.

NYC image:

  • katia says:

    Hi March,

    Great post !
    Well, I like the things that Isabela Capeto do, but those clothes are “not me”. I think they fits beaches and hot cities like Rio (and romantic young girls), but not a cosmopolitan gray city like Sao Paulo. Anyway, her work is amazing.
    About the fragrance, I don’t have a bottle yet, because there is only one place you can get it in Sao paulo, and it’s not near from my home.
    About Phebo, I have an emotional relationship with this trade. I was 2 years old when I discovered Phebo’s “Odor de Rosas” soap. It’s a black glicerine soap I still loving. Well, my granda gave me her soap (she saw I was in love), and I kept sniffing it for days (my mom said I kept it days and nights). My first love. My first fragrance love. I’ll never forget it. And that’s why I’ll buy my bottle as soon as possible.
    About the music, I can’t hear it in this computer, sorry…

    • March says:

      Thanks for sharing your story. I love your emotional connection to the soap, people’s love for Phebo has come up in several things I’ve read. It sounds like a wonderful first fragrance to fall in love with!

  • ColetteB says:

    The music reminds me of Gottschalk or Terra Verde (“new ragtime”), which is worth exploring even if you don’t find that particular piece.

    • March says:

      Wow, everyone’s got some great suggestions. I need to spend more time with good music, thanks.

  • bev canada says:

    Ooops….I mean by Eric Satie!

  • bev canada says:

    Love your blog. I think the music is something be Eric Satie.

  • violetnoir says:

    Girl, I love osmanthus! I need to call the folks at luckyscent to see if they have IC on their radar.

    Next time, maybe you and Patty will explore LA together??? 😉


    • March says:

      I really need to get out there. We’d have a blast. I have never been to LA, isn’t that pathetic?

      We could dragoon Tom and anyone else and we could all go sniff!

  • Robin says:

    Joining in with you & Elle — the first sniff of vintage Chypre was a huge surprise. Wish I knew how accurate it was to the “real” vintage. I think mine was from the 70s, so already very reformulated, and even if I got my hands on an older sample, I’d never know how close it was to the real thing as it smelled in its day. I guess you have to visit the Osmotheque to know?

    • March says:

      Yes … which I haven’t done. It’s on my life list, though!;) As I just commented up there to someone else, yeah, my Coty is “vintage” but I have no idea WHAT vintage. I suppose I was expecting one of those really fierce chypres, and that it’s not. I wish we could go back in time and smell it in place … and pick up some vintage bottles to sell on eBay.;)

  • Lee says:

    I used a couple of sampling services to track down that piano piece, to no avail. Like Louise, I love the shift from ragtime to that haunting, tangoesque refrain.

    £163 is pretty cheap for a flight to NYC, right?:d

    • Louise says:

      Darn cheap. A real bargain. Can’t-pass-on-it price. Must-buy. 😉

    • March says:

      Honey, that’s like … FREE. Definitely the way you have to phrase it to you-know-who. It’s a sign from heaven. You HAVE to come. Plus if you come then I’ll use you as an excuse on my end.

      Wait … not sure if that’s a good idea…. honey, I have to go to NYC and stay with Lee … did I mention he’d never figured out you were, you know … male? He assumed Lee was a woman. Gave him a different perspective on our London hookup. So to speak.

  • tmp00 says:

    Obviously I need to start a list of what I need to sniff the next time I get into NYC…

    • March says:

      Heh. Dude, Sniffa coming up in April. Maybe you’re going?

      PS I can make you a list of some things NOT to smell too….[-(


  • Malena says:

    i need to order a sample of the chypre soon! i´ve to say, i really like coty chypre, but it´s ´really not skanky at all – it´s rather soft /:)
    from the 1849 collection, i only own habanita, which is so much better/smoother than the EdT. i don´t know any vintage version, so i can´t comment on the difference.
    m de molinard is a great scent, too, but on me it somehow gets too strong the more it dries down – kind of weird 😕
    hm…i think i ordered a sample of the capeto scent…i´ve to take a look in my samples-box!

    • March says:

      M de Molinard smelled terrible on my skin, I did something evil to it. But really not the fault of the fragrance, it was nice on the blotter. I kinda like the iris one, too.

      Habanita is the one I’d want. I have a vintage decant, but (as Robin correctly notes down below) I have no idea WHAT vintage.

      Let me know if you try Isabela!

  • Anthony says:

    HI! I agree with Maria… There’s something as “piecey” as her clothing line about this piano piece. I wish I could help you out there. Perhaps the only thing to do is contact her/the website. AND WHAT an amazing website it is! I love the way everything moves around and how when you choose an option, all those little red things continue their actions, such as skipping rope or juggling… the notes of this sound delicious! Is it a very feminine fragrace? Is it at all appropriate for a man? Perhaps this was addressed yesterday but I haven’t been able to read all the comments.

    • Anthony says:

      I’m sorry, also, there’s something weird with your e mail… Perhaps you’ve mentioned this before but when one tries to write an e mail (I wanted to share a quick story with you :)) the edge of the e mail keeps running on infinitely, and the letters turn into lines. Perhaps this is a MAC thing but I doubt it… Just thought I’d let you know, sorry to take up comment space mentioning it).

      • March says:

        Thanks for letting me know — we’re still working some of the bugs out. I know nothing about all the code/platform stuff, and our website designer tries to check it on various types of computers. I know firsthand that even something as simple as using Mozilla Firefox vs. Explorer changes things; sometimes my post edit buttons don’t work in Firefox, and although I’ve inserted space around the photos, it doesn’t show in Firefox, which irritates me — the text is flush with the edge of the image.

        It is NOT a very feminine fragrance. I am wearing it right now, and I have decided it’s not something I should have spritzed on twice, immediately before an appointment. On my skin at least, there is a distinctly sweaty note (think Cartier Declaration.) Not a complaint, but a bit of that no-shower glow… then the rest of the dominant bits are spices and something musky. There are florals, but muted in the drydown. It’s not a “masculine” fragrance by any stretch, but a man could certainly wear it, if the notes sound appealing. Hope this helps.

        PS I would reserve the right to giggle at the bottle on your dresser, though. You sort of hug her around her waist to spray. It’s like playing with a doll.

        Isn’t that website fab? I spend a silly amount of time on there watching the little girls dance, juggle, etc.

  • Judith says:

    Hey March! I wish I could have been in NY when you were (was there the previous w/e). I did buy the 1849 Habanita parfum (which Molinard claims is a painstaking recreation of the original formula, and I love it); I also have some semi-vintage, and I don’t smell much difference. I decided to try the Chypre, and I was suprised, too, at the lack of skank. But I like it anyway–I find it very comforting (not a word one usually associates with chypres, but. . . )

    • March says:

      Well, that’s it exactly. I guess I’ve been trained to think of, what … more modern chypres? Green chypres? Trying to think of something really in-your-face. Like Sisley Soir de Lune? So when that went on, I kept thinking, where’s the *rest* of it?

      I am still mad about our scheduling snafu! Hey, we’re thinking about going to the Spring Sniffa in April, any chance you’re going? I think P said she’s coming to your hometown at some pt.

      • Judith says:

        Well, if you will be there in April that will certainly be an incentive for me to go (I’ve been wavering. Can’t wait to see Patty here–but I want to meet you, too!

  • Helen T says:

    I got a sample of the Capeto when I was in Bendels, and I sort of did the same thing. I thought it was interesting, then came the blast of cinnamon, but to be honest for cinnamon then I would stick with Serge’s Rousse. But then it just kept developing, and I kept thinking it was interesting…and then I flew home to the UK and don’t think anywhere is carrying it here yet so I’ll just have to eke out the sample till I decide whether its a keeper or not!

    • March says:

      Helen, to me it’s like a cross between Rousse (or L’Ether, pick your favorite cinnamon) and Cartier Declaration, maybe? Or Eau d’Hermes? It’s laughably stinky on me for the first 20 minutes.

      I suppose you will have to come back and revisit! Did you have fun?

  • Elle says:

    Am so relieved someone else didn’t see pure magic in Coty’s Chypre. I adore my vintage scents and adore chypres, so was seriously confused when I didn’t hear angels sing as I sampled this one. I haven’t felt compelled to get any of the 1849 Collection either (have and adore vintage Habanita), so am thinking I’m safe w/ this one as well. Also looks like my budget will be safe w/ the new Prives. Actually, am sort of sad about those since I really have liked the line – well, other than my disappointment over the lack of cuir (on my skin) in Cuir Amethyste.
    Didn’t recognize the piece on the Capeto site, nor did DH, the classical music person in our family, but hope someone does as it is now haunting me. Also am obsessed w/ a pair of pants from her new collection and a jacket and dress from her winter collection. Beautifully crafted, fun clothes. Need to find out what the price point is. Probably don’t want to know.

    • March says:

      Elle! I feel like we just exchanged the Secret Handshake or something. I had all this emotion pre-loaded — I keep wanting it to be *dirtier,* but that’s not chypre’s fault, is it? Sigh. Now the vintage Chypre did grow on me once I recalibrated my expectations. I suspect (I’m sure I will find out at some point) I amplify some sweet aspect of the Molinard chypre — I get this vague sugar-cola note, which doesn’t really sound that bad, but it bothers me a lot. Like someone spilled a soda on the table.

      I think the clothes are expensive; they certainly look it, don’t they?

      You should have seen my 🙁 smelling the Prives. I guess you like the line too? Even Jade and PdL have grown on me. I think CA is probably my favorite (and I don’t get any cuir either) because there’s something about that wacked-out violet note I love…

  • Flor says:

    Isabela Capeto has some really cute things. She is respected here as a designer. She shows her stuff in Sao Paulo Fashion Week etc. Her perfume came out in the US before it came out here, weird, huh? In Rio it is only available in one place, the new pharmacy/perfume store of a very traditional brand, Casa Granado. The fact that she chose a traditional national brand, Phebo, do make her perfume is a source of pride here. In some respects I get the idea that she may be better known outside of Brazil, I don’t really know, but it’s the impression I get, what with the perfume launching in the States before it launched here. I haven’t gone there yet, but have a trip planned for this weekend. It’s been well received in the market here, but like I said, you can only find it in 2 places, one in Sao Paulo, and one in Rio, so I believe it will do better there than here.

    • March says:

      Flor, thanks very much! So far as I know Bendel is the only place that has it. I of course am always pleased to find something new and different. The fact that it was, on its own, a delicious fragrance was the great part, though.

      I spent some time digging around on the site and I think her clothes are really lovely, although I am 20 years too old and 8 inches too short to wear them.

      Dang, I should have put the Phebo thing into the post, I think that’s a nice angle too.

  • marina says:

    I have got to sniff the Capeto thingie.

    • March says:

      Marina, it’s fun and sort of deceptive at first sniff. Then about a minute later I went, hmmmmmmmm, when I smelled all that cinnamon (at that pt it’s sort of like IUNX L’Ether. Then the cedar kicks in and at each step I kept thinkig, okay, *this* is interesting.

  • Louise says:

    Welcome home, gals! Thanks for sharing so much of your trip with us-I feel I need now to check my teeth for poppyseeds from your bagels.

    Can’t help with the music on the Capeto, other than to agree that it’s a lovely accompaniment to a charming website-love the Latin/Ragtime bits of it. I’ll never be able to spring for her clothes, so am delighted to play with Capetos’s dollies jumping down and playing when summoned! I’m also testing the scent again with the aid of a decongestant, and appreciating its spiciness and bite much more this morning. It’s good to sniff again.

    Gonna have to get a sample of the Chypre!

    • March says:

      Um, also you need to check for bacon bits. And some extra inches on the waistline from the giant burger at the Brooklyn Deli among other things.

      Those dollies! Are they not the cutest thing?! You can completely annoy me with fancy web doodads that require some downloading of additional software to view properly … but dollies spraying fragrance, juggling and jumping rope?!? Sign me up!

      Glad your nose is clearing. Honestly, I can’t imagine Isabela clinging to your skin, although she stuck around pretty tenaciously on mine. And I am guessing the Chypre will be more your thing than mine.

  • Maria says:

    What joy, more clothes for tall, thin, young people. That piece of music is not by Liszt or Chopin or any other famous European composer of the Romantic period. It sounds as if it’s by a Brazilian. It could be by a Brazilian of the late 19th century, early 20th century, or even a contemporary. There’s a rhythm in it that is very New World.

    It’s too bad you didn’t get to try Une Histoire de Chypre again. I adore Habanita. From the 1849 collection I’ve only tried Nirmala. It was pleasant though tropically fruity. My DH sniffed it and said, “Not you.” That’s a kiss of death. He says that of very few fragrances. The other kiss of death is, “It smells like something you’d buy at a department store.” He said this recently about CdG 888, which was then resting on his arm. He feels well trained.

    • March says:

      Tall, thin, *whimsical* young people. With a fat stack of dough to pay for the stuff, presumably. Their skirts would probably reach from my neck to my feet, but I still think they’re cute.

      Thanks for the music tip, maybe I’ll just keep bugging them until someone looks it up…

      Love your husband’s comments! I never know how someone’s going to react to something. I resniffed all the 1849s, early in the day, fresh as a daisy, clear head, etc. I like some more than others, but none as well as vintage Habanita.