Today’s post is a bit of a grab-bag.
Angie bought The new Etat Libre d’Orange Tilda Swinton Like This in Paris and wore it beautifully, and Patty reviewed it last Thursday. (Notes: mandarin, ginger, winter squash, jungle essence, everlasting flower, Moroccan neroli, Grasse rose, vetiver, heliotrope and musk.) I thought I’d put my two cents in. I experienced it after the first ten or fifteen minutes as very much a skin scent, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect given that list of notes, although a quiet skin scent seems so … Swinton to me. You have to be pretty darn close to whoever’s wearing it to smell it, although as I believe Angela mentioned, it does come up to you in bits and wafts. In my limited experience with it, compared to Tilda, Eau des Merveilles, for instance (which I find a bit similar in feel) is a sillage monster. So don’t be ordering Tilda unsniffed if you aren’t willing to settle for something that wears as close as a favorite tee shirt. It does have a little of that peculiar metallic/orange blossom vibe that S-Perfumes’ Sloth had, to reference a really obscure scent.
Speaking of skin scents, on this trip I also gained a new appreciation for the other scents of Olivia Giacobetti at IUNX, which – even if you aren’t fans of her work – is a fun store to visit, in a little room off the entrance of the Hotel Costes. Each scent is set up with a cone affixed to the wall which you sniff from, and there’s a little fan that goes on automatically when you lean in – it’s a neat way to sample and gives you a good impression of the scents. I never got to try the original IUNX waters before she closed down the first time, but I still have my original decant of L’Ether, and it is great stuff, probably my favorite from the line. I put it on while I was writing this to remind myself how much I like it. It’s stronger than the others (notes are myrrh, benzoin, rosewood, saffron, maplewood, sandalwood), a woody, slightly sweet saffron-incense that feels like a kissing cousin of Passage d’Enfer. If you’re a fan of her ethereal scents it’s well worth a sniff. (UPDATE: a commenter below says you can buy the small 10ml bottle of this separately at the store; I misunderstood that it came with the big bottle.) Splash Forte is sort of the world’s best cinnamon mouthwash in a scent, but if you’ve got Lutens’ Rousse I’m not sure you need it. Also, I wish they didn’t sell the IUNXen in those ginormous 200 ml(?) bottles. Since my nose wasn’t fatigued and the shop is clean and spare and not overwhelmed with other scents, I could appreciate the laundry/steam-iron-esque (sound familiar?) L’Eau Blanche (linen, white iris, teak wood), which I found more appealing than the new Serge Eau, and L´Eau Sento, (“a tree stands near peaceful waters in Japan. Its moisure-filled blond wood is smooth and warm. Close your eyes and feel the heat of wood-infused steam…” seriously, that’s all I can find), Denyse described it in an email to me as “green and incense-y, like a luxury spa,” and I think that’s an excellent description. She said she’d like her apartment to smell like that, and I have to agree. They also sell the Hotel Costes scents in there, the original and the new Costes 2. Costes the first is too rose-y for me, lovely though it is (it’s also done by Giacobetti, notes are lavender, bay-tree, coriander, white pepper, rose, incense, woods and light musk.) Costes 2 is benzoin, Ceylon cinnamon essence, Turkish rose, Tunisian orange blossom and gaiac wood … come on, you know you want it. Look at those notes. You want it, don’t you? I waffled for awhile about this one while still in Paris; did I need it? (Although you can get it here at Lucky.) It’s another wallpaper scent, a skin scent of the most excellent, whisper-of-spice, breath-of-wood sort that makes all us OG fangirls squee. But here’s the thing: after the spiciness at the top has settled and we’re well into the drydown, I swear on my skin it smells kind of like Barbara Bui. Which is not a criticism, I mean, I love love love Barbara Bui, but I haven’t decided whether this is sufficiently different. Possibly. I think I need a decant for further consideration.
I’ll wrap this up by talking for a minute about the new, much-anticipated L’Artisan Nuit de Tubéreuse done by Bertrand Duchaufour. Angie, Louise and I were lucky enough to be able to try it in Paris, thanks to Denyse. It’s in production now, and apparently they were passing around testers at Sniffa in NYC a couple of weeks ago, so I know some of you have already had a chance to try it. I still have the Paris scent strip (on which I wrote “secret”) sitting here. Historically, I’ve had more admiration for Duchaufour’s scents than a desire to wear them – I find signature BD compositions like Timbuktu and Eau d’Italie Sienne l’Hiver murky and sour, like old vase water, and (for me) mostly unwearable. All I can offer on that front is a shoulder shrug – we like what we like, you know?
IMPORTANT UPDATE #2: commenter below says it’s at Barneys NYC, which surprises me, as my Secret Perfume Insider Decoder Ring insists that it’s in production and I should “try again later…” oh, wait, that’s my magic 8-Ball. I’ll try calling Barneys this morning or wait for Carter to report back! There is A TESTER at Barneys (and other places, for all I know … didn’t you all smell it at Bendel for Sniffa?) But Barneys will not have the actual BOTTLES in for “several weeks.” Price will be $95 for a 1.7 and $135 for a 3.4 This info courtesy of Atique (“ahTEEK”) at Barneys, and wth here’s his direct line since he was nice and helpful: 212-833-2002.
So, that’s all great, March; how is that Nuit de Tubéreuse already? Well, I can’t add anything to the review Denyse did; what else is there to say? Except this. I took a deep whiff of Tubereuse, first on the scent strip and then (after shameless begging) on my skin, and then I said something really elegant and March-esque. Something along the lines of: damn, they are going to sell the sh!t out of this thing.
Because it’s just that awesome. It’s commercial in the best possible way — interesting but totally wearable – and if you like tuberose, I can’t imagine your hand wouldn’t drift down to your credit card as if you were in a trance as soon as you sniff it. It doesn’t go the Fracas route (powdery Sex Bomb) or the chilly intellectual route (Serge TC or my beloved Carnal Flower.) Cribbing from Denyse again – she uses the words rooty and resinous, and there’s something … there’s something in BD’s tuberose, spicy and wet and green and milky and poisonous all at the same time, that made me feel like I was in the presence of something dangerous, which tuberose is and should be, and that it was so stunningly beautiful and not weird, so it has to sell despite its white-flower handicap. After all, my understanding is that the white-flower-bomb La Chasse is one of the biggest L’Artisan sellers in the US, if not the biggest, and that thing’s a sillage monster. If Kim Kardashian can do a big ol’ white flower bouquet as her recent signature, God love her, then maybe white flower sillage monsters are the new pink pepper. A girl can dream. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the rollout of this one in the summer, I think.
Notes for Nuit de Tubéreuse, consolidated by me from their website: cardamom, clove absolute, pink pepper, citrus fruits, white flowers (tuberose, orange blossom and ylang-ylang) rose essential oil and absolute, mango, tuberose root, angelica, gorse, sandalwood, palisander, musks, benzoin, styrax.
PS The imaging feature on here continues to be broken, and will likely stay that way until we nag Patty to move us to another host. In the meantime, I did finally upload a few pics to FaceBook, for those interested. Photos of food, of course! And the passage d’Enfer, and some other things.