Unfinished business: The winner of the tester of Cabaret Gres, picked by Enigma´s nimble fingers, is … Eileen! And don´t bother hitting Contact Us, because Patty gets those emails and she´s on her trip. I´ll email you. Congrats! Okay, on to today´s post.
I´d heard The Pink Room Parfum No. 1 was a rose fragrance, and I like my roses in a vase and that´s about it. Also, I figured I had about as much chance loving a scent from a place called “The Pink Room” as I had loving one from The Disney Store, although a visit to the website indicates I´m wrong and it´s not ridiculously froufrou – it looks like a nice collection of scarves, bags and interesting shoes, among other things.
In addition to No. 1 there is a new fragrance, The Pink Room Parfum Pour Toi: “acknowledging the great writer Colette, this story is about the Gigi in all of us. She starts naive and becomes the sophisticate, smoking cigars and drinking champagne.” Notes listed are lemon, blackcurrant, grapefruit, rose, fleur de Melati, lily of the valley, sandalwood, vanilla, white musk. The company blurb also references ylang ylang, baking, and the smokiness of a cigar, among other things.
I tried Pour Toi first, as it´s described as smoky and I figured I might like it better than the original. Pour Toi is a relatively linear fragrance, with a mildly tart opening, the grapefruit making its appearance. The next impression is sweet – not gaggingly so, but something both powdery and praline-like. It´s a big fragrance in the sense that it takes up space around you, and (warning) I have the distinct feeling I am anosmic to some of the musk involved – it feels bigger than what I´m smelling. The sweetness is tempered with the green notes of the lily of the valley, and something rich (ylang?). The fragrance reaches its sweetest point about five minutes in, then the woods and musk start to assert themselves and the whole thing shifts in the sexy direction. There is something gourmand about the scent – like a stylized blackberry tart with custard and caramelized sugar – without being edible. After two hours I reapplied to smell the opening notes again, but the drydown was still going strong. And there is something very soft and pillowy and alluring about that drydown.
Pour Toi is the sort of affair that would fit nicely on a list of “man trap” fragrances – sweet, musky things like Narciso Rodriguez that some of you love, and some of you love to hate, but I think there are plenty of men out there who would love to smell this on their ladies. It´s a little much for me in the summer heat, but I found myself really enjoying it. It makes me think of the smell inside a good patisserie. It´s not the most sophisticated thing I´ve ever smelled, but I can definitely see working my way through this sample, in which case I´ll be buying that purse spray from Lucky. Two (lightly sugared) thumbs up.
Emboldened by my success with Pour Toi, I sprayed on No. 1, done by Guy Robert, with notes of lime, bergamot, jasmine, lily of the valley, violet, woods, spices, vanilla, moss, musk, and which was inspired (according to the brief provided) by Proust having afternoon tea in the garden with his aunt.
No. 1 is also sweet – somewhere between the powdery softness of Fracas and the bergamot and jasmine tea of Jo Malone´s White Jasmine & Mint, although it´s certainly more elegant, in a zaftig Marilyn Monroe way, than the Jo Malone. There´s a whiff of face powder about it, rather than patisserie, and fans of Malle Lipstick Rose might like this very much. My favorite part is the middle, when the fragrance is transitioning from the tart bergamot opening to the sweet, powdery base, and it has a languid herbal-tea aspect. I was wrong — it’s not a rose soliflore, although roses are mentioned in the marketing piece and seem to me to be in the background behind the jasmine and violet. It´s not something I´d be likely to wear, but there´s no denying its round shouldered prettiness. Reading the reviews on Lucky were interestingly instructive – this one, surprisingly, seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it, with some people finding it too powdery or “old lady,” and others raving about its lushness and the sparkling, non-indolic jasmine. Again, my guess would be that if grown-woman scents like Lipstick Rose and Fracas appeal to you, you´d like this one.
Of the two I prefer Pour Toi. Its gourmand fruits feel modern, but there´s nothing edgy about it. Parfum No. 1 is more classic in feel but it´s cheerfully tongue in cheek about it – the sort of boudoir fragrance that cries out for application at the dressing table using one of those fabulous, oversized atomizers (if only those things worked better!)
I am as much of a freak-frag fragrance lover as most of the rest of you, and neither of these is going in a bold new direction. At the same time, it´s always nice to run across fragrances that are obviously designed to be unapologetically pretty, and every bit as enjoyable as a high-end box of chocolates for your sweetheart.
Both No. 1 and Pour Toi are available at LuckyScent.
Giant red shoe at Centre Pompidou, Paris: www.insertcredit.com; pink room bottles from LuckyScent.