My obsession with Strange Invisible Perfumes continues. I swear, I will one day move past it, but I’m having too great of a time exploring them to stop yet, so indulge me for a while longer. After March and Elle kept making reference to Lady Day – which is now just called Untitled on SIP’s website or you can order it directly by calling them – I had to have it – gardenia perfume! Notes of lemon verbena, blood orange, jasmine and sandalwood. According to the crib notes, it was inspired by the “transcendent, velvet aroma of wild gardenia.” I don’t know that I’ve ever smelled wild gardenia, so I won’t be able to say how close this is. Further proviso — I don’t generally like gardenia perfume and detest most of them. Further further, do we all know that there is no such thing as a gardenia perfume note? They have to make it up out of other notes to simulate it, which strikes me a bit like handing a child some fur and pipe cleaner and asking them to make a cat.
It starts off a little tartish due to the lemon verbena, just enough to give it some tang and then to wallow underneath the perfume all the way into the drydown to simulate that little bit of blue cheese note that gardenia has, but never pushing it over into really rotten blue cheese, which I can’t bear but I know many of you are quite fond of. It strikes me as being a pretty happy medium gardenia perfume. There is a richness to this perfume, hinting at dark longing, mixed with regret, but never toppling over into the abyss of despair. It is lush, almost too ripely indulgent at times, but manages to pull back before the serious decay sets in. Mostly, it is beautiful and has sillage that wafts gently around you – a soft, rich, velvety sillage. Exquisite, unique and haunting. Is it really named for Billie Holiday? That’s probably up to your imagination. For me, it captures the world-weary, mournful blues sung by like Billie and Etta James and Nina Simone, wanting a little sugar in their bowl, and I think any one of them would have happily worn Lady Day. My most fervent hope is one day she’ll do Lady Day in an edp, it begs to be spritzed with abandon, though I may kill everyone with the gardenia perfume sillage wake I’d trail.
Many of the Strange Invisible Perfumes I don’t recommend to those of you new to nonmainstream perfumerie, they can be an acquired taste, even though I’m absolutely enraptured with most of them at this point. It’s gone beyond bordering on ridiculous into completely obsessive. Lady Day (Untitled) is one of their scents that is much more approachable for newbies. March covered a lot of gardenia perfume yesterday, and Lady Day is an essential gardenia scent for gardenia lovers and even those who don’t think they like gardenia.
Let’s have a drawing today. A sample of Lady Day, Heroine, and Persica or some other SIP substitution if you already have one or more of these. Just drop a note in comments with the question of the day: Have you tried any SIPs, and did you fall in the “ew, not for me” camp or in the “love some, hate others” camp or the “Love ’em all, even if I can’t wear them all” camp?
The New Yorker jumped the gate with an early review of Luca and Tania’s book. Lord, it’s going to be wretched waiting another month or so to get our hands on it.