Oha, the first scent I tried, is a dark, spicy rose. Notes of: roses from
I picked up Julia next, because Julia happens to be the name of one of my daughters. The notes are mandarin, rhubarb, blackcurrant, jasmine, hyacinth and violet, sandalwood, incense, citrus, musk. Their website blurb says: “Julia is the perfume for every woman, for all occasions. It brings to mind a bouquet of impressionist flowers. Both voluptuous and subtle, Julia is made for vibrant women with a strong love and passion for life.”
With all due respect, this is wrong. Julia is the fragrance I want to give to a special girl, with all my love, on her 16th birthday. It is delicately sweet; the impressionist flowers´ bit is spot-on, a seamless blend of jasmine and hyacinth, the rhubarb and blackcurrant freshly picked rather than jammy. The base notes are a tidy basket to carry the flowers in. Julia glows like dewy skin on high-school girls who are, of course, too young to appreciate their own beauty the way an older woman would. It evokes innocence on the verge of something more. There is nothing winking or jaded about it, but it is not childish. It is gentle, reflective. It would smell absurd on me; I am not that young girl anymore. It is a verging-on-womanhood fragrance, fresh as a new rose at dawn. It is lovely. It knocked me sideways.
Alahine, the last of the three, I can´t stop thinking about. Notes of ylang, bergamot, jasmine, Bulgarian rose, neroli, pepper, iris, cistus, patch, benzoin, vanilla, sandalwood, musk. I went by the store and sprayed this on three times, waffling between the parfum and the EdP. I´ve finally decided I like the EdP better. I am not generally a parfum girl, partly because I almost never struggle with strength and/or longevity in scents. Part of it is clearly my scent personality – in a general sense, I am drawn to the rougher edges of an EdP concentration the way some other people are clearly drawn to the seamlessness of an extrait. Anyway, Alahine can´t be described as rough in any way. It´s a mannered oriental. I´m afraid I don´t have a sample to retest, but I was charmed by Alahine´s transformation. It starts out with a ladylike floral note, a generalized citrus/jasmine/ylang, very classic and expensive smelling. It is Julia´s immaculate mother, thirty years older. From there Alahine only gets better as the pepper, iris and the naughty bits start to bloom, but it’s sexy in a subtle way, the woman in the corner of the room who catches your eye, and suddenly compared to her quiet chic everyone else looks a bit overdone.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a little tired. Tired of the hoopla, the 2007-harvest narcissus LE, the petals plucked by blind nuns at dawn, the newest sex-shop leather bump and grind. I don’t believe any of the three Teo Cabanel scents is an old formula; I can’t speak to the quality of their ingredients. But they have the feel of something I long for — a scent that began with a brief that started with the words, make me something beautiful.
image of Alahine parfum: shop.teo-cabanel.com
image of Olivia Hussey, who will always be Juliet to me, dvdtoile.com