What is a moldy old picture of Clint Eastwood doing here on the Posse? Well, I was thinking about explaining the lure of foody/gourmand fragrances as a “fatal attraction”, but then I remembered I own a DVD copy of Play Misty for Me, the 1971, pre-Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood gem that scares the bejeezus out of me about a thousand times worse than Fatal Attraction ever has. If you can get your hands on a copy of this, do me the favor of watching it late at night, either alone or when everyone in your household is sound asleep, and tell me this isn´t one of the most terrifyingly blood curdling cautionary tales ever told. Glenn Close ain´t got nuthin´ on Jessica Walter. And Eastwood´s swaggering jazz DJ Dave Garver is off-the-chart sexy-nasty in ways Michael Douglas could never be.
Now onto the topic at hand: foody/gourmand scents. I know a lot of us have a love/hate relationship with this category of fragrance, but there is bound to be at least one scent in this genre that everyone here will fess up to wearing. As for what degree of foody/gourmand you´re into, that is a personal preference. There was a time when for me, the foodier a scent was, the more I loved it. I had no qualms about smelling like apple pie, pumpkin pie, candy corn, cinnamon buns, chocolate babka, pancakes, waffles, French toast, melting marshmallows…I could go on for hours if not days. That phase has passed, and I am now drawn to scents that are, shall we say, a bit more grown up? Sophisticated? Less provincial? Oh hell, call it whatever you want. I no longer want to smell like breakfast food. There; I said it.
This past May I reviewed the Acorelle line of organic fragrances, brought to us by Susan Anapol, the North American distributor of Comptoir Sud Pacifique. When I met up with her at Art with Flowers in Tyson´s Corner Galleria, she told me that her next import was going to be the reissued line of Les Senteurs Gourmandes by Laurence Dumont.
Some of you may recall that these scents were sold at Sephora stores for a time, then yanked from their shelves and website. The line has since been reintroduced in new packaging with some new scents, and some of the old ones discontinued. The current lineup now consists of Vanille Bourbon, Vanille Chocolat, Vanille Frangipanier, Vanille Monoi, Vanille Orientale, Vanille Patchouli, and Vanille Violette. In addition to these, Figue Sauvage, Musc Blanc and Tendre Madeleine are brand new to the line.
Let me start by saying that these are not your children´s vanillas. These are exactly what you want when you don´t want to smell like cookie dough or, ahem, breakfast. The Laurence Dumont stable of vanillas are earthy, warm and sexy. If you´re in the market for a sexy floral with warmth only vanilla can provide, then Violette, Monoi and Frangipanier are worth checking out. Violette is reminiscent of Lancà´me´s Tresor, but Monoi and Frangipanier are stunning choices for all you tropical floral scent-lovers.
I immediately zeroed in on Tendre Madeleine; Yes, I have morphed into an unabashed almond whore and I am not ashamed to admit it. It has nothing to do with Marcel Proust, or the fact that I consumed vast quantities of marzipan as a child. Almond done right is heavenly, and Tendre Madeleine is right up there with Carol´s Daughter Almond Cookie.
Tendre Madeleine has a sparkly bit of bergamot at the beginning and an even warmer mix of cinnamon, vanilla and woods as it dries down. This, along with Acorelle Amande de Blé, Dior Escale à Portofino and Almond Cookie are now my favorite almond scents.
Fig is another note I have a hard time passing up, and is also one that can be hard to get right. The pinnacle of fig is of course L´Artisan´s Premier Figuer, but Figue Sauvage gives it a pretty good run for the money. Dumont´s fig is spicier, though not as creamy as Premier Figuer; the addition of vanilla and sandalwood to the base makes it warmer and more fig-a-licious. Did I just say “fig-a-licious”? I am not well.
As for the rest of the vanillas, again, it´s all about personal preference. Bourbon is the sweetest, but will not give you a toothache; Chocolat has a bit of an Angel vibe to it, and Orientale and Patchouli are the dead-sexiest of the bunch.
These reincarnated Dumonts are $59 for 100 ml of eau de parfum. You can find them at Art with Flowers in the DC area; also at Henri Bendel in NYC and at Plumm in the Americana in Manhasset NY (my old stomping grounds). Online, they´re at lushoasis.com.
OK, now it´s time for you, dear loyal Posse reader, to fess up: What is your favorite foody/gourmand scent? Go ahead, make my day.