It all started off with my burning desire to eat just one more slice of mille crepes cake (yep, the same cake Anita put in my birthday post) from New York’s Lady M pop-up boutique before it disappeared from our local upscale mall.* Then it turned out fellow perfumista Melissa could meet me there for cake and chat and some informal sniffage. My nose is sort of off-and-on, so I’d amuse her periodically by holding up a card I’d just sprayed with something nuclear and say “damn, I can’t smell a thing!” But I did smell some things. In no particular order (random quotes lifted shamelessly from Neiman-Marcus’ website):
Tom Ford Lost Cherry—I admit it, I find the name hilarious, and the red bottle’s beautiful; it starts off smelling like the world’s fanciest cough syrup and dries down to a nice cherry tobacco. I have read a bunch of rave reviews of this, and I suspect there’s more to it that I simply can’t smell. What I can smell is very pretty but didn’t blow my socks off.
Malle Sale Gosse – “doodles on the blackboard, devious schemes and pranks galore. Petitgrain, neroli, bergamot and rosemary are infused with a cheeky smile of violet and strawberry for a taste of bubblegum, old-fashioned sweets…” etc. The SA declined to translate the name, saying it was “vulgar,” but I’m coming up with nasty brat, more or less. It’s a pretty, summery cologne, heavy on the petitgrain, with a candied-violet drydown. I think it’s really nice, but not different or strong (or weird) enough to be worth the Malle pricetag, in my opinion.
Malle Superstitious — “A classic floral aldehydic perfume structures Alber Elbaz’s free-flowing vision, of an elaborate fabric in which a woman can find her own beauty: Turkish rose oil and Egyptian jasmine, enhanced by a touch of peach, rest on a bed of amber and frankincense imbued with Haitian vetiver…”. I think I actually said holy crap when I sniffed it. It is, uh, extremely ripe to me (and to Melissa, apparently.) As in: well beyond the skank border and into straight-up excrement territory. I cannot imagine wearing it, but that didn’t stop me from compulsively sniffing my blotter over and over again just for the shock value. I know some of you love this scent, and more power to you.
Malle Outrageous — I remember being underwhelmed by this at the time, because anything called Outrageous that comes in a Malle bottle ought to be seriously freaky, and this, despite all its heavy-breathing PR, is a nice little cologne-y thing—“an explosion of bergamot, tangerine and green apple against a lusty backdrop of cinnamon, musk and ambroxan. It’s dramatic, festive and colorful…” yadda yadda, and it’s also what you should buy instead of Sale Gosse if you want something effervescent and wearable and fun for the summer.
Cartier L’Heure Perdue – if Cartier were a woman, she’d be Jacqueline de Ribes ca. 1983 – elegant, impossibly soignee. I remember seeing this photo in a magazine – Interview, maybe? — and coming back to the library several times just to stare at it, mesmerized. I will never be chic enough to wear Cartier, and with all the Heures I sorta lost track and then lost interest. But this. They have it at Neiman Marcus and Melissa is contemplating a bottle, so we stopped and sniffed. I don’t even think I was taking it all in, and I still swooned, holy cow. It is beeYOUtiful. I can’t find a list of notes, just some breathy prose about vanillin and heliotropin and musk and “a feat of alchemy, exploring the artificial through a precipitate of large synthetic molecules…” and I don’t know about you but to me that sounds like a recipe for: powdery mess, play-doh division. Instead it’s …. an aldehydic lactonic fruity floral? Now I’m laughing, that sounds even worse. Go smell it. Googling shows that (aha!) Luca Turin gives it the rare and coveted five stars.
Diptyque Philosykos and Tam Dao EDTs – they’ve made summer EDTs of their classics, and the bottles are super cute and budget friendly and fit nicely in my doll-hand. I had literal goosebumps and a flashback with the Philosykos, which smells every bit as lovely and figgy as I remember, not too woody and a little green in the EDT. Tam Dao EDT actually smells better than I remember – I think availability of the sandalwood went downhill a few years ago and took Tam Dao with it? So either they sourced some more or (more likely) they’ve developed some fabulous new aromachemistry, plus a juicy twist of citrus.
*Good news: it’s been extended through September! Tysons Galleria in suburban Washington, D.C. Why they don’t just open up a store there baffles me, given the business they do.