So. Did you just get back from Pluto? If not, you know most of the US is in a massive heat wave. Nature seems determined to fry us into Bac-O’s, then blow us out to sea via derechos which I just learned about. Did anybody who is Not A Meteorologist know anything about derechos prior to watching the Weather Channel a few nights ago? Down here we just call ’em Straight Line Winds and they can tear up a cornfield – or a town – in minutes. Luckily for us, no derechos. But it’s back up to ‘sizzlin’. It’s been hitting 94F – at 9p, which is just ridiculous – but, like Honey Badger, I. Don’t. Care. I sit under the fans (I hate air conditioning) sipping minted lemonade and wafting some hefty sillage. No…not ‘that’ kind of sillage, you rudesbies….PERFUME SILLAGE. One of the benefits of working mostly alone and, when amongst others, usually outside is that I can bust a cap in the ass of some massive scents without massive repercussions. You already know about Carnal Flower and Tribute in the 90+. I’ve waxed eloquent on the Glory What Is Mitsouko in triple digits. These Bad Girls take on a whole new meaning in the steamy heat. But Ive been there and you are sick of hearing about them…and it’s still Hot as Balls, to coin Missy March’s term…
So…what’s next? The heat made me a bit cranky – so I fired back with sheer bloody-mindedness. Let’s talk about leather. And amber. Both of those are considered cold weather scents. I say pfooey. Pshaw. Pfffbbbt! I mostly hate amber. I REALLY hate Hermes Ambre Narguile (aka The Nazgul)…except…hey! I tried it this past week, when it was hot enough to glue my shoes to the road…and it was incredibly beautiful, lush and complex. It mixes well with burning sunshine and sweaty brow. What smells like oily plastic in the cool weather liquefies in the sizzling sun into this rich, topaz-y goodness. I doubt I will ever wear it again – because I still hate amber – but I just had to tell you all how, in scorching temps, this morphed into a thing of beauty.
Montale Oud Cuir d’Arabie. Yet another ‘plastic’ scent made perfect in extreme heat. Maybe there’s something to the leather/heat thing – in cooler weather Cuir d’Arabie (and it’s Mean Girl cousin, Pd’E Cuir Ottoman) make me slightly nauseated – there’s a cheap plastic, not-quite-doll-head smell that I can’t get past to get to the leathery goodness inside. Or …it’s more like an old leather jacket that’s been left in a cold car – I don’t like the smell of cold leather, all crackly and stiff. Unlike Cuir de Russie and vintage Diorling, which, in winter, warm up and burst into gorgeous! on my skin, these stay cold and congealed in the colder weather. It’s like….hey! you know what it’s like? It’s the difference between cold maple syrup and room temp maple syrup. Cold, it is pretty one-dimensional. Same with butter (which is why I can never understand why restaurants serve ice-cold butter). Once they warm up, all the notes and aspects of these foods (and these scents) start to swirl and meld in the nose and tongue, releasing all the nuanced bits. I have a lovely decant of Cuir d’Arabie (and the dregs of a bottle of the Cuir Ottoman) and I nearly gave both away. What can I say? It was November. And I get flowers now!! – the tobacco in Cd’A gets all rosy and sweet, with the dry woods keeping it from becoming cloying. If I lived in the desert I might have to have a full bottle of this! As it is, I suspect I will be seeing the bottom of the decant and the bottle by August’s end. I’m also going to try Cd’A over some hefty Rosine body cream. I’ll let you know if anybody drops stone-dead from that combo ( Weekend Update: That combo is INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!! I used the Rosine because I have it but I suspect any good quality rose cream would do. WOW!!!)
Are you finding weather-related surprises in your perfume wardrobe? I’m hearing murmurings of some Big Whites converts and even (gasp!) some ROSE converts in this extreme heat. C’mon. ‘fess up. You know you wanna.
Photo: Buster Poindexter. Lawd, sometimes I miss the 80s somethin’ FIERCE
Photo: Camel races in the Saudi desert. No, none of those frags smell like hot camels. Profilin’, I know, with the Arabie/Ottoman thing and all …sigh. But it’s a fab visual and I amuse myself, picturing ol’ Buster there, martini glass in hand, atop some galloping ungulate.