Sharry Baby – on Vacation ?
If you were a water buffalo would you wear a clock?
Beats me, but they both grace the bottles of Lelong pour Femme, lookin´ kinda goofy. Unlike a lot of vintage designs (Chanel & Guerlain are uppermost in my mind), the LpF bottle has stumbled over into camp (the parfum has an actual working clock on? In? the bottle…well, I´m going to just leave that alone, though I am giggling at the lame-o explanation for the clock. You can go to the Lelong website and giggle along with me.)
But the perfume? Oh, baby! Sharry Baby. This is some luscious stuff.
Now I´ve got an earwig (those of a certain age will know this ‘wig). Dang. And the worst of it is, it´s a bubblegum earwig – the exact opposite of what Lelong pour Femme is all about.
To quote the Lelong website: This unique floral oriental fragrance melds bright mandarin and bergamot, which add a sparkling effect to the rich top notes of magnolia flowers, garden lilac and Kadota Fig Intenscent. The timeless beauty of jasmine, rose de mai, tuberose, ylang ylang, and iris is highlighted with the distinctive signature notes of sharry baby (there´s that damned earwig again!), orchid, purple cattleya orchid, and white cattleya orchid. A smooth oriental background of creamy sandalwood, vetivert, oakmoss, and musk completes these fragrances.
Okay, “Kadota Fig Intenscent” just sounds goofy; but in the pantheon of Goofification, that´s paltry, so I´m going to let it pass, along with the clock and the water buffalo horns.
Because the scent is a silky, sensuous delight. Lelong pour Femme. For me, it was a stealth introduction - a lovely and generous lady sent me a little vial of vintage Vacances but we all know that you´d have to boost about 6 Lexus rims to pay for a bottle of that stuff. So…to keep me out of jail (and broaden my limited horizons), she also sent me Lelong. Wasn´t that nice of her (have you noticed that nobody in the perfume world ever has a 12-step program? Instead, it´s like a half-step program. Can´t afford X? C´mere, sit by me and try Y. It´s only half a mortgage payment! Wicked enablers! Wicked!)
Anyway, because I am an idiot I waited awhile to try it, sure that nothing could touch Vacances.
I wuz wrong. But it didn´t come over all at once. For awhile I thought of Lelong as Vacances Lite´ (because I was hoist on the Patou petard. Patou is Patou but who the hell was Lelong? Hey, I have my snobby moments just like the next alien but, you know, it´s something quite different and deeper. Where Vacances really is all white-hot sunlight and clanging masts in the harbor, Lelong is the waning of that day – what happens when you come back to the villa after a day on the yacht. Vacances´ yachting whites are off, you´re apres-bain, sipping an aperitif and the midnight blue evening gown awaits. The room is aglow in golden light and the blue-black sky is the perfect foil for the lights of the harbor beyond. You´ll be back to the seaside in just a little while, enjoying that delicious shiver as his dinner-jacketed arm slides over your bare skin as you glide across the dance floor, open to the summer evening…
<ahem!>…….okay. I´m okay. Really. Just give me a minute. Okay.
I can´t figure out why they are so similar in smell – Vacances´ notes (per Jan Moran via Sali @ Pink Manhattan, thank you both) are:
Jean Patou Vacances (1936 Floral Oriental)
Top Notes: Hyacinth, hawthorn, galbanum, Heart Notes: Lilac, mimosa, Base Notes: Musk, woods
There is some overlap, especially the lilac, but not enough to explain their strong resemblance. Most of the lilac scents I´ve smelled are pretty evanescent – is it possible for lilac to hold its own in both of these scents – enough to allow for their differences to recede? I´m so confused. Vacances is green and eager. LpF is more golden and relaxed. To pay homage to that stupid clock, Vacances is 10 and Lelong is 8:30 p.m. I wore Vacances to death back in the 80s but at that age could´ve never pulled off LpF – it´s pretty but it´s definitely an adult perfume. I can´t imagine Vacances in the cold weather, Chicago in February would suck the soul right out of it. Lelong´s got an extra bit of oomph, which lets it hold its own in frigid temps (I wore it today. Its 24F. It did just fine). It´s not a winter comfort scent, in my opinion, but is definitely a scent I can wear in the winter when I want to recall the clanging of masts in the harbor. And the midnight blue evening gown.
And all those Lexus owners can breathe easy!
Ps. Orchids? – if anybody can tell me what a Sharry Baby orchid smells like, I would love to know. I´m sure it holds the key to all this… and it might help get that bubblegum earwig out of my head! Thank you.