Hey, perfume fans – greetings from March. We´re experiencing localized weirdness in that as of Wednesday night neither Lee nor I can log onto the site. So. In a demonstration of my tireless devotion as your perfumed love slave, I´m emailing this to Patty, she´s going to post it from Denver (she´s not having access issues), under my name if she can, and I´m going to attempt to answer your comments using anonymouse.org. Unless I get up in the morning and discover this whole thing has just been one long, bad dream. On with Posse Scent Club!
The monthly Posse Scent Club generally centers around a theme – holiday, etc. – but this month it was: scents we wanted to talk about. Tomorrow Patty´s showering her love on Chanel 22 (since it´s Patty, I think we´re in for various concentrations/vintages) and Serge Lutens´ Rousse, about which … I will say nothing! Enjoy!
Today, though, we´re talking about Isabela Capeto and Dior Homme, which on the surface don´t seem to have much in common. But giving them both their requisite pre-post workout, I decided the theme is something along the lines of Things Being More Than They Seem.
Isabela Capeto has notes of cedar, vetiver, sandalwood, osmanthus, Brazilian marshland lily, black plum, opoponax, black and pink pepper, cinnamon and cardamom. It´s in that cute red doll-bottle, and we talked about it already once, but it´s worth revisiting. The first spray is light, sweet and spicy – it´s here I notice the osmanthus and plum, the cinnamon and cardamom, and think mmmm – nice. The humorous bit on me is, give it a minute or five and it gets a little ripe – the cedar and vetiver team up to add a warm, sexy sweat note to the composition, and that was about the moment I dug out the MasterCard, because you know how I´m loving the sweat note. After an hour the skank recedes a bit and I´m left with a cinnamon/woods lovefest that makes me happy all afternoon.
Isabela´s not something you´re going to smell much in my neighborhood, so I did a little test drive with friends and friendly people. The range of responses was pretty wide – I got wide smiles and comments like “nice” and “sexy” – and I also got some alarmed looks and comments that it was “really strong.”
Dior Homme has notes of iris, cardamom, vetiver, amber, patchouli, lavender, leather – I´ve seen longer lists elsewhere, but to me that gives you the gist of it. It´s one of those fragrances that it´s fun to read reviews of on places like Basenotes, because the comments are so polarized. The primary complaint among the Basenoters who panned it seems to be about its sweetness – it´s too sweet, like (choose one from Menu A) cotton candy, caramel, white flowers – and/or it is too (choose one, menu item B) – powdery, floral, feminine. There are references to lipstick and things even more heinous.
I don´t really understand these complaints. Okay, fine, it´s not Kouros (or John Varvatos or French Lover or whatever) – it´s not a fragrance that shouts out, I am a manly, low-swinging, package-adjusting uberdude. (Not that there´s anything wrong with that.) But jeez – it´s not Fleur du Male, either. When I smell it, I smell a lot of iris, and the cardamom spiciness, but it´s got your barbershop trio of vetiver, lavender and leather in the background, playing those guy-cologne notes. I find it to be more conventionally masculine than, say, Le Male, or Marc Jacobs for Men — admitting that´s a pretty low masculinity bar. I mean, I could probably clear that bar. But what is all that about the sweetness? Is this just one of those weird exceptions on me – where I kill off all the sweet notes and am left only with that delicious leathery iris goodness, the cardamom adding that little extra frisson of spiciness to the natural spice notes in iris? To me this is that spicy iris, not the sugary sweet one (or even the rooty one.)
Dior Homme is a little surprising – I don´t know what I was expecting the first time I smelled it, but I wasn´t expecting that. I´m pretty sure I smelled it with Ina from Aromascope, and I distinctly remember registering it as one of the first male scents that seemed really unconventional to me, but totally wearable. Sexy, even. There have been so many iris notes released in the last year or two, I wonder whether we´ve gotten a little jaded about how novel an approach that iris note was in a mainstream scent. On the other hand, for an iris it´s got a lot of warmth to it. I love it, but clearly a whole lot of men beg to differ.
So, throwing this open to discussion. Am I now the perfume Empress Who Wears No Clothes? Is Dior Homme basically for women and girly-men? Do other people find it really sweet, with gourmand and/or lipstick notes? You gals, do you like this? Do you wear it? Do your husbands wear it? Iris fans, where would you rate it in your Iris Pantheon (like, for instance, I think MJ for Men is a great fig scent in general, not a men´s fig scent.)
For the Isabela Capeto – were Patty and I just suckered in by that bottle? Or do you get the pleasantly charming, cinnamon-y opening, followed by the giggling, whispering legions of sneaky skank, as I do? It it just averagely pretty? Better than average? Or am I right and it´s a more interesting fragrance than you´d expect from the image, the designer and that girly little bottle?