Hey, everyone – thanks for all the wonderful warm anniversary wishes, I really enjoyed reading them upon my return. We decided not to take the laptop because there we’d be, on our trip, compulsively checking it since we’re both kind of addicted. Instead we devoted ourselves to eating embarrassing amounts of sushi, and lipstick shopping. (Erm, okay, that last part was just me.)
Someone asked, what fragrance did I wear to my wedding? The answer is: probably nothing at all. I was young and a little disorganized and, hey, it was my first time getting married. And we’d had this huge summer storm the night before, the power was out in various places and so the wedding breakfast for guests was candlelit and fairly hilarious (food heated in the neighbors’ gas oven.) I wasn’t there; I was too busy trying to get my hair done and get across town with my nervous dad, locate the cake, etc.
I will tell a story here for the amusement of one lurking reader, before moving onto perfume. A friend made my dress, white embroidered lace in a simple strapless column style quite popular now, with a wonderful detachable satin train that fell directly from a large bow in the back; I wore elbow-length gloves to complete the look. In those days, though, the popular style was those enormous Lady-Diana-meets-bride-of-Shrek gowns, which is way too much dress for me. If my mother had been alive she’d have told me to wear a shawl or jacket to cover my shoulders modestly at the ceremony, and my mother-in-law never saw the dress until it was too late to do anything about it. Anyhow, my dress (or rather my bare shoulders and decollete) caused a minor scandal in the staid Episcopal church of my in-laws. The priest stopped a wedding there once when he realized the wedding flowers on the altar were silk. There was a 20-minute pause while someone ran down the street to the grocery for some real flowers for the altar, that must have been awkward. But nobody was ready to take on my formidable mother-in-law, a longtime member of the church, regarding my wanton deshabille. So the show went on, albeit with some muttering in the pews. Here’s to you, A, for sticking up for me. I hope your martini glass is full as we speak.
So my timing’s a little off weather-wise, but I felt I had to mention how much I enjoyed the Carla Fracci Giselle that Patty blogged about, which led me to get some (hey, I’m susceptible too!). One of the many things I love about perfume is the low-end discoveries. Here I am, getting a little jaded about stuff in $2000 crystal flacons made from ingredients gathered at dawn on the summer solstice by velvet-cloaked castrati (okay, I made that up) and then I run across some discount dreck that seriously smells great. Such is (are?) the depths of my ignorance that I had to google to discover that Carla Fracci is a ballerina famous for her role as Giselle, and why she needs a perfume is beyond me, although I still want to smell Renee Fleming, what can I say? Introduced in 2004, Carla Fracci Giselle has notes of ylang-ylang, cinnamon, freesia, jasmine, tuberose, vanilla, coconut, caramel, musk and white honey.
We all like what we like, and I still tread pretty carefully at the sugar-coma end of the perfume spectrum. Straight-up super-sweet gourmands from Laura Mercier or much of the Comptoir Sud Pacifique line are impossible for me. However, I seem to have a remarkable tolerance for sweet/syrup if you add a dollop of strange/spicy; I love Givenchy Organza Indecence, Poison (Hypnotic and Original), even the oft-maligned Dior Addict.
Giselle (my sample is an EDP) wears a little lighter than most of these – more in the Organza Indecence neighborhood, with a generous top of something sweetly green that makes me think fleetingly of what Estee Lauder scents would smell like if Patricia de Nicolai created them, if that makes any sense at all. The florals are front-loaded, with the ylang ylang and freesia leading the pack. Then they fade and I get a lot of vanilla, and I was tempted to write it off as a less-interesting Indecence until the cinnamon, musk and honey started to assert themselves. I can’t smell the coconut or caramel at all, which is fine by me, and Giselle never becomes foody.
I’m not elevating this to the status of The World’s Greatest Perfume, and there’s something a bit off in the first five minutes – that mildly plastic-y note I get from Laura Biagiotti Roma – but only if I put my nose super-close to my skin. Considering you can buy an EDP for $35 online, I can forgive it a small rough patch. If I work through my generous sample I’ll consider adding this to my arsenal of guilt-free sweet stuff. I’m actually kind of interested in the body milk (7.3 oz, $27!), and SSTC has the parfum – I bet that’s worth a sniff, anyone tried it? Eight hours later I still get a decent drydown, enough that the girls told me unsolicited how much they liked it when I went to say goodnight, and I like that it doesn’t cross that line that Indecence occasionally does when it’s just too sweet and I regret putting it on. And I really want to try that new PdN Vanille too…
Carla Fracci image: guidoharari.com