The winter of our spring continues – right now it’s 38 and cloudy, rather than the seasonal norm of 64. I´m wearing a hat and a frown while I type this. My prediction that we´re going to skip spring this year, more or less, and move directly into summer is looking increasingly likely.
This is the weather that makes me reach for some of my sweetest comfort scents – the perfume equivalent of honeyed mead (the way it sounds, as I have no idea how it tastes. Maybe it´s disgusting.) I want warm-radiator scents like Rochas Tocade and Fendi Asja, or cuddlers like Barbara Bui. In this weather, I can actually understand why someone might want to wear something blisteringly sweet like Lutens’ Rahat Loukoum, although I won´t be making that journey myself.
I got together with Louise to sample a couple of wallpaper scents you all recommended which she happens to own. I giggled when I first smelled Laura Biagiotti Roma, which several people mentioned (blackcurrant, bergamot, pink grapefruit, mint, hyacinth, carnation, jasmine, muguet, rose, amber, sandalwood, patchouli, musk, civet, vanilla, oakmoss, myrrh). It´s a big ol´ sexy thing from the late 1980s. Friends, if this is your idea of a wallpaper scent, then you must be sprawled out in bed in a whorehouse, surrounded by red velvet and gold flocking, that´s all I´ve got to say. However, you´re right – eventually after the other notes put their pants on and go home, it settles down into a warm, comforting amber. I came home with Louise´s bottle and a promise to let her borrow it back.
Sonya Rykiel Woman (not for Men) also came up. This is the one that´s always being compared to Barbara Bui on some of the other fora, and I suppose BB’s pneuma might be in there somewhere. Notes are pink pepper, violet, dates, jasmine, Bulgarian rose, black pepper, olibanum, agarwood, leather, and amber. The similarity is strongest for about two minutes at the open, when Rykiel is radiating that powder/almondy, slightly bready sweetness that BB has. However, the drydown is fairly different, at least on my skin. Rykiel is what BB Pour Homme might smell like if it existed – the same concept skewed in a much woodier, peppery direction. Despite its name, I find it a bit masculine – I get a decent amount of leather and even a pleasantly raspy touch of oud, and I think men could wear this as easily as women. Also, people who liked the idea of BB but then smelled it and couldn´t figure out what all the fuss was about might want to try this one, it´s certainly stronger. Also, I bet they smell pretty darned great layered. Btw if you go looking for this online, it´s not the one shaped like a tee shirt. It´s the one with the black cap/box with gold studs on it pictured above, and you want the EDP with that purple lettering, not the EDT with the silver (inferior), and thanks to Helg for the reminder.
Then I ran across the sprayer of Herve Leger in my purgatory bowl, where it´s been since the Chicago Scentsation last year. My thoughts regarding Herve Leger (named after the clothing designer) focus entirely on how extraordinarily happy it made one member of our group, a lovely woman who tagged along with her daughters on our sniffage, although she herself wasn´t that interested in perfume. She was looking for something new, and fell in love with Herve Leger. Seeing the tears of joy in her eyes brought tears of joy to my eyes and several of those around me – because it is just that wonderful and sweet and happy to see someone in full swoon over a new scent. That thrill never goes away.
A little online research provides a couple of surprises. It was launched in 1999 (older than I thought, where have I been?) as a woody oriental and, worth noting, the nose behind this fragrance is none other than Alberto Morillas. The fragrance features sandalwood, amber, musk, orchid, vanilla and apple. The juice is pale purple and I find the bottle a little gawky, it’s the sort of thing that would always be falling over on my dresser and taking a couple of SLs with it, but maybe it’s tied into his clothing aesthetic, about which I know nothing.
Herve Leger is definitely sweeter than most anything I´d ordinarily wear, and I worried just a bit when I sprayed myself whether I´d be sorry. I wasn´t, although at the top I´d say it takes several steps in the direction of syrupy vanilla nose-bombs like Dior Poison or Addict. You wouldn´t want to spray this on like an eau fraiche and then hop on the subway. In the drydown it reminds me a bit of Hypnotic Poison – it has that dense, almost chewy sweetness while still allowing me to breathe, courtesy of the sandalwood. I´m wild for HP but I´ve never bought a bottle, because I wasn´t sure I´d ever actually wear it. This strikes me as a slightly less intense alternative.