I’ve been stalking the Tom Ford counter at the Saks up the street for a sighting of the new F*cking Fabulous. I’m aware that it’s allegedly an exclusive (Bergdorf in NYC maybe?) but this ain’t my first rodeo, and if the point is to make a quick buck while riding the shock wave, Tom Ford’s our guy, so it could be at my Saks today.
Thus far, however, F*cking Fabulous is not there. You know what is there? So many bottles. Dozens of bottles. Waaaay more bottles of Tom Ford than I will ever keep up with, on massive display right next to Kilian’s huge, impressive display, also with dozens of bottles. Yes, let’s pause for a moment and acknowledge this deeply first-world problem: too much perfume, too fast. When I dove into the fragrance world ten years ago, it was possible to keep up with everything coming at me, both mainstream and niche, without too much effort. Now that trickle has become a thousand-year flood, and the best I can do these days is to hang onto the side of the boat and stick my wrist out and see what lands on it.
So, no joy on the F*cking Fabulous front – which, by the way, I’m not personally expecting to find f*cking fabulous, because I don’t find most of the TF oeuvre fabulous, and the older and crankier I get, the more his blatant sleaze irritates me. I wish he’d stick to lipstick, which he does very well. (My, I am cranky! Even in this beautiful October weather, which felt like it took months to arrive, which… I guess it did, didn’t it? I celebrated by wearing SL Fleurs d’Oranger to the office, since nobody was there to be offended by it)….where was I?
Oh yeah, Saks.
The nice SAs there don’t even trouble me much, as they know I almost never buy all the stuff I spray. I think the last whale I harpooned at that Saks was the Guerlain Incens Mythique, which I sampled one rainy day four years ago, and which fell into my purse as fast as I could hand them $285, and I’ve had not one regret. Now that’s a satisfying perfume story. I don’t take a purchase at that price point lightly, and for all the fragrances I own, I bet I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve blown a bundle on perfume on a whim. In bygone days, isn’t that exactly the sort of whim we might happily have indulged?
But what fragrance would I leave Saks with now? I wandered around and played a mental game, revising the rules as I thought of them. In this game, I’m invited by grateful store management or the perfume fairies to just take something. It can’t be for resale or my nose will drop off. It can’t be something safe like a backup bottle, and it can’t be something I already know I want. It has to be an impulse, like that long-ago Guerlain…. no, not Encens Mythique, the other Guerlain. My first smell of Jicky, right there at that particular Saks, followed by Mitsouko, when a spell so potent settled over me that I fear the SA thought they’d have to lock me in the store overnight because I would stand there transfixed and never leave. The gentleman at Guerlain did admit later that Mitsouko was not his favorite, although he sniffed it on me and pronounced, with something like satisfaction, “now that is what it is supposed to smell like.” My God, I miss those days, where my burgeoning perfume fixation felt like a first visit to an opium den. I was drugged with scent, and I wanted to be there, in that moment, forever.
Clearly you’re not getting a review today. I smelled a lot of things at Saks but nothing I wanted to write about, except to complain, and that made me sad. So. Tell me about the time you threw caution to the wind and said I’ll take it and have had no regrets. You know, the fragrance you took a risk on (maybe bought unsniffed? or wildly expensive for you at that time?) that would make it into your sleeping pod on Luca Turin’s proverbial spaceship to Mars. Tell me about that scent – why it moved you, why you went for it – in comments. I’ll pick somebody at random for a goody bag.
PS – I just did a search… is it humanly possible that I didn’t review Encens Mythique on here? What. The. Hell. It’s pretty close to a signature scent for me, as much as any perfumista can be said to have one. Well, at least I have something nice for an upcoming review!