Many people feel a compulsion to slow down and look as they drive by a car accident or fire. I do something similar with fragrance. I am addicted to indoles. Wow… I feel better now. I have a strange relationship with musky and indolic scents. I actually like the smell of skunk (have half of you stopped reading now?) and I really enjoy a mild taint from Brettanomyces in wine. Basically, I like funk.
In preparation for Mother’s Day this year I sent my mom a slew of samples trying to get an idea of something she would appreciate. From past experience forcing her to sniff and sample hundreds of fragrances, I know she generally likes rose, tuberose, and Orientals. The three scents she wears most often are Carnal Flower, Chinatown, and Tresor. The bulk of what I sent her were Serge Lutens and Amouage with a few others mixed in. She doesn’t own anything by either, and I decided it is my job to fix it.
Over the weeks of her sampling things I would try to get her impression on various scents. She liked many, but nothing had really taken hold. I got a call from her one afternoon. “Oh, Derek, I LOVE this. I’ve been smelling myself all day! I just can’t get enough. Where can I get it. I want a bottle now.” After about 5 minutes of her waxing poetic about this mystery scent, I finally got her to name it. Serge Lutens Sarrasins. “It was so, so funky at the beginning. Almost like pure funkiness, I loved that part. Now it’s l this dark, sexy leather and jasmine. It’s so elegant. I feel like this is what Sharon Stone would have worn in Basic Instinct.” I was elated she had taken such a strong opinion of one of the scents, and particularly one I thought was so beautiful.
So now I know where I got my love of funk from. And got a beautiful bottle of Serge Lutens Sarrasins for Mother’s Day. She needs to be thankful I have friend who is living in Paris right now. And I guess I should be thankful she gifted me with her unique nose.