Monday night brought the classic “wintry mix” to the Washington area – a custom blend of sleet, hail, ice and freezing rain that translates into good luck getting out of your house. I spent much of today shoveling ice and praying that the children will be back in school tomorrow.
It seemed like the perfect time to write up a review of Yves Saint Laurent Cinema, created by Jacques Cavallier in 2004. Notes are clementine, almond blossom, cyclamen, jasmine, peony, amaryllis, benzoin, amber, musk, vanilla. Here, let me paste in some hilarious copy from Fragrantica: “Cinema can make every woman feel like a star. It is a fragrance for glamorous women who live under the spotlights, self-confident and elegant, women who know how to draw the attention. A seductive flavor reminds of Hollywood beauties from the romantic love movies, glamourous evening gowns, Hollywood hairstyles, high heels, black seamed stockings…”
Uh … no. Maybe this is partly why Cinema’s one of those fragrances that seems very under-the-radar to me in perfumista-ville, because once you’re done with all that bodice-ripping copy up there you’re bound to be disappointed in the scent.
Cinema could easily have fit into my oddball vanilla post from last week and, in fact, I thought about including it, but decided it was worth its own review, given how often I wear it. I worked through five (!) small manufacturer’s sprays, deciding if I even liked it, one of my longer-range scent indecisions, before finally getting my hands on a bottle during the Posse swap.
I can definitely smell the clementine at the top, a juicy burst of orange that cuts the sweetness of the floral notes that follow. I can’t pick any of that list of flowers out individually, just a hazy, sweet suggestion that keeps Cinema from being a straight-out vanilla, and also keeps it from being gourmand in the way that some vanilla scents drive people nuts by smelling too much like vanilla extract. It’s a little powdery (maybe the almond blossom?) but not terribly much so, as I don’t especially like powdery notes and Cinema doesn’t get on my nerves. The drydown is a warm amber-musk with that smoky-balsam benzoin, over a solid base of vanilla. Again, this might be a vanilla scent to try if you’re looking for an edge of vanilla rather than a deluge.
Cinema is one of those soothing scents that seems perfect at bedtime, which is mostly when I wear it, or during the day when I want warmth and comfort the way I want hot cocoa, home-baked cookies and a fire in the fireplace. It reminds me a little of L’Artisan Vanilia, only less weird and with a hint of sophistication, but not too much.
The bottle – a tall, glamorous thing that looks nice on the dresser – is clearly in line with the marketing message, but at odds with the scent itself, which seems perfectly content to put on a cashmere bathrobe and stay in for the evening, reading a good mystery novel, rather than head out for a night on the town.
Endnote: I have a bottle of the eau de parfum, which I find vastly superior to the thin, watery EdT. They also make a parfum, and I’m trying not to duplicate my scents endlessly in terms of concentration, but I’d be curious if anyone has tried it. Cinema strikes me as something that might be quite lovely and different in the parfum.