“Are you finding everything you need?” The grocery clerk asked me with a look of concern. I had my nose pressed up against a bag of cat litter. “Oh yes, I’m fine” I replied. “Thank you.”
I guess it did look a little weird, but anymore a person has to smell almost everything before buying it. Even cat litter. And I do make an effort to smell nearly everything that goes in the cart: apples, strawberries, flowers, pineapple, fish, lotion, deodorant, dryer sheets, tp, coffee and soaps. I get a wiff of things to make sure they’re ripe (or not), to make sure it’s not nasty or ridiculous (such as lavender scented cat litter) and I’ll revisit it afew times before committing if something seems a little off or needs further investigation. Which reminds me of my most recent foray to the fragrance counter to try Prada’s fragrance Candy. I tried it on several times, not sure of what I was experiencing and thinking that I must be missing something big.
The first visit produced a “definitely no” response: too simple, sweet and not really interesting. The second time was pretty much a repeat of the first time, not a lot of depth, sugary with musk notes but overall it didn’t do anything for me, again. It didn’t change much over time and it didn’t last very long. Undaunted I went back again, sure that I was missing something. Maybe I had an olfactory blank spot I hadn’t known about?
But by my third and fourth try I was beginning to wonder what all the ruckus was about. No I didn’t have a blind spot. It wasn’t me, it was the perfume. Why were people going bonkers over this? Not that it’s bad; it just doesn’t make me want to stick around and pay attention. But while I love a simple, clean line I also want it to be beautiful, too and this just comes across as a fragrance that is, like old art teacher once said about an unfinished painting, “getting there but not quite there yet.” Overall it’s sweet and caramelly with a background wash of musk. Some investigating also revealed that it contains “a sensual balsamic vanillic accord of benzoin.” Gads, I thought, I should love this one with these ingredients but alas, no. It needs a little more to take it from being a nice, little bonbon to an inviting confection.
I really wanted this to work, and I’d certainly given it a go. On the other hand, a very exciting find was Serendipitous by Serendipity 3. This lovely creation is described as an oriental vanilla and its notes have been given in various sources as containing either some or all of the following: cocoa, coconut, Tahitian vanilla and bitter orange. It’s a gourmand scent; the cocoa is there but doesn’t make you feel like a candy bar, there seems to be musk somewhere too, giving it depth and fullness. The floral notes, maybe the bitter orange, provide a higher note that sails above the warmth of the sweet. And it has good staying power, I’ve noticed it on my skin several hours later. So after a liberal dose of Serendipitous all I can think of is “Oh yes, I’m fine, thank you very much!”
Do you have a favorite sweet gourmand fragrance?