Well, here’s one I’m proposing – we’re going to call it the Signature Scent Challenge. The challenge is: I want you to pick one fragrance – yes, that’s one fragrance – and try to wear only that fragrance and no other for a week. You know … a signature scent. We’ll all meet back on the blog Monday, November 8 and report in.
Now you are thinking, why, March, why? Why would you suggest such a terrible thing? Well, I’m curious. At one time in my life I only wore one scent (Paris … then Poison … then Coco.) I either put it on or I didn’t, but it was the only scent I owned. No hand-wringing, no decisions, no “does this scent make my butt look big?” or “does it go with green?” or “can I wear this to yoga?”
Let’s all time-travel back to those simpler days, shall we? Because I theorize that after a week, we each might have some interesting observations about a) the perfume we selected, having spent so much one-on-one time with it, and b) our relationship with perfume.
Questions we will answer then include: who among you managed to last a full week? How did you choose your scent? Did you find your feelings about the scent changing over the week? Did you learn anything new about it, its behavior, or yourself? Play along if you want to (no hard feelings if you don’t) and let’s meet back here for your results week after next. on Monday, November 8 — that should give you some time to prepare yourself mentally…
Okay, today’s post, a quickie based on a revisit – Annick Goutal Songes.
Our Top 10 of Fall post is on Friday, and Songes won’t be on there, but it could be. I love wearing big white floral scents in the fall. It seems counter-intuitive, I want them mostly in spring – and they really, truly bloom in humid summer, if you can stand it – but smelling them mixed in with woodsmoke, damp earth and drifts of fallen leaves is also quite lovely.
I’ve outed myself as an Annick Goutal fangirl on here before, but I never loved Songes. I tried it several times and found it terribly off-putting, I still am not sure why. It’s possible the formula’s changed, of course, but I don’t think that’s it. I think I’ve changed, more open to heady white florals (Songes is certainly that) and perhaps more comfortable with the sweet/bitter duality of the scent. Notes for Songes include frangipani, tiare flower, Sambac jasmine, frankincense, vanilla, copahu balm, ylang-ylang, vetiver, sandalwood, amber, and styrax. My review today is of the EdP, which I find richer and more complex than the EdT.
For many people, Songes is more of a Tahitian-white-flower bouquet up top, with plenty of focus on the frangipani, although the jasmine comes into play pretty quickly. On me, though, it’s mostly about the jasmine, and what a glorious jasmine it is, managing to be a bit jammy, green and indolic all at once. Eventually the jasmine is joined by vanilla and sandalwood and the balsamy drydown suggested by those notes – and it has the same sort of dry, resiny jolie-laide bitterness at its heart as the oddball Vanille Exquise.
Songes manages to project an aura of expensive naturalness – it smells both sophisticated and “pure” (although I’m not suggesting it’s in any way more or less synthetic than any other fragrance.) It’s an interesting, other-end-of-the-spectrum contrast to the smell of Donna Karan’s Pure, which manages to smell mostly and annoyingly of laundry musks. Songes isn’t as aggressively in-your-face as, say, Montale’s Jasmin Full, although it’s a heady scent, particularly sprayed on, and a light hand might be called for depending on one’s surroundings. I certainly wouldn’t trespass on other people’s noses by wearing this to a medical building, for instance, or the gym; the sillage on me reaches Fracas levels.
Songes manages to do for jasmine what L’Artisan’s Nuit de Tubereuse does for tuberose – displays it in a setting of other notes that are carefully selected and placed to allow for maximum jewel-like effect. It literally made my jaw drop; how had I misjudged this so badly? While Songes is more straightforwardly jasmine than NdT is tuberose, it’s still a complex thing designed to make me reconsider entirely what it is I look for in jasmine. It also serves as a happy reminder that trying – and retrying – and retrying again a scent that I strongly disliked is often rewarding in the long term. Another sign you know you’re a perfumista, right?
sample: private source