Wait! I haven’t finished telling you about my Streetwalk up Boul Mich! sooo…where were we? lessee..(we did Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom…did we do Chanel? Quick Chanel: Howard LOVES Sycomore. Made ‘mmmm’ noises at Jersey. huh. Eau de Cologne and Bel Respiro are still perfect- oh! my SA left, dangherhide – but she did leave a lovely young man in her place. We yakked about how many bottles of Cuir de Russie perfume he could sell in-store, if only they had it (hint: LOTS!!!)… the boutique clothes for Fall are kind of weird but I’m too fat for it to matter (there is no line designed less for the full figure than Chanel) so that wasn’t painful at all….okay..now, on to the Real Fun.
So..we all know there are many different types of SAs. The Great White Shark, Sweet-but-Clueless (and my personal favorite) YouCannotBeSeriousYouExpectMeToWaitOnYOU?….love ’em or hate ’em, though, let’s face it: SAs are there to SELL YOU STUFF. A lot of them could just as easily sell shoes. Or refrigerators. And that’s fine. I’m the consummate marketer/sales gal and let me tell you, it’s hard to get my liver all quivery over a reaction arm adjustment rod. And I doubt the guy in Women’s Shoes is personally invested in that pair of Manolos, no matter how fab they are. But somehow, with perfume, it feels different, doesn’t it? Perhaps because we’re so crazed about it, we want everybody else to be crazed, too. We don’t expect the same level of passion from the refrigerator guy.
Which is why, when you find SAs who are real perfume lovers, it’s just a wonderful thing. The Chicago Barneys has two incredible women for Frederic Malle, Kristina and Marie (they had 3 but Lydia isn’t there right now, dangit). Sitting with them, chatting about perfume, is a real delight. They love perfume. Yes, they love Malle- they’re supposed to (and anyway, who doesn’t?)..but beyond that is a deep and abiding interest in perfumery. Which makes talking with them about Malle more like a conversation between perfumistas and less like a sale-in-progress (but don’t worry , Barneys: they get plenty o’ my simoleans. And the simoleans of my friends and colleagues. And sundry strangers who wander into my gravitational field). But I digress:
So here’s what happened THIS time: we were yarking on about perfume and I was talking about my ambivalence towards Noir Epices, which I’d tried – and failed – to love several times over. And Kristina asked if I’d ever tried the body lotion. See, that’s how they are – they know I am a Scented Lotion Ho. So they dangle the baited hook. Marie hooked me on Carnal Flower body butter and Kristina had me giving my left kidney for the last jar of Fleur de Cassie (alas, all gone now)….they may be charming and gorgeous but they are rough on the wallet, these women….anyway…..back to Noir Epices. I admire the perfume but never really got it. On my bare skin it reads vaguely muddy and jumbly – it’s allllmost there…but not quite, with the spices overwhelming. I always thought of it as dark and brooding.
Ahhh…but slicker on a bit of the body lotion. And watch the whole composition unbend, straighten out ..and soar straight to heaven, with your heart clenched firmly in its orange-scented claws. The body lotion is..sparkling! is the best word to describe it. Deep and complex – but sparkling. On the Malle copy, much attention is paid to the spices but I think in the body lotion, without smelling like Tropicana, the orange takes center stage. Not Bigarade orange. Warmer, zestier, a fully-composed perfume scent. Spritzing the perfume atop the body lotion is, for me, the perfect pairing (though I’m also aching to see how it fares with Denyse’s Seville…). As the combo dries down, it becomes a sparkling chypre, which is as close to Paradise as a perfume can get. I wish Noir Epices came in Body Butter, though I suppose I should be grateful it doesn’t – I would probably go through a jar a week! On its own, the lotion is a subtle near-skin scent YBBB) which even the most perfume-phobic office mate couldn’t object to (if they do, send them to me. I will deal with them accordingly).
I know this is Not Great News. Like my sweet darling Joe said, we need a lemming for a $100 body lotion like we need another hole in our collective heads. But I aver that it’s little luxuries like this that keep us from choking people in their sleep (and not all those luxuries need to be 3 figures, btw. I love this weird little $12 muguet cream I got at Marshalls – well, ‘loved’ it – it’s all gone now)…. the world can be such a skritchy place… something about slathering on a quality, deeply-scented cream or lotion takes me out of my stressful, wackadoo life for a few minutes and.. just makes me feel special. Noir Epices body lotion makes me feel special, indeed.
Henri Matisse Apres le bain 1920. What I wouldn’t give for a few moments’ meditation, apres le bain….le sigh.