Choosing the Golden Pearl

Marina of Perfume-Smellin´ Things has created three mods of a signature scent for me, crafted out of existing fragrances, in response to my earlier attempt to construct her Holy Grail.

Today´s post is a report on her efforts. After you’re done reading, scroll back up here to the link to her post today, where she does her Big Reveal of how she made these fragrances.  Rather than construct three entirely distinct fragrances, as I did for her, she created her own base à¢â‚¬” the Colombinade (which she included a sample of) à¢â‚¬” and used that base to make the four mods she sent me.

It made sense to me to try the Colombinade first, and if they sold it at Bergdorf I´d have bought a full bottle in the larger size. I have no idea, I cannot even guess, which scents she used to make this, except to say that she hit all her high notes. There is considerably more than a hint of incense, right off the bat, and it is perfect à¢â‚¬” not too sweet, plenty dark, not too medicinal. There might be some Le Labo Vetiver in here à¢â‚¬” I´m getting my favorite feet. There is also (surprise, surprise!) a hefty dose of skank, although since I said I wanted it à¢â‚¬Å“wearable,à¢â‚¬? and Marina is the Goddess of Skank, I can see her mustering every ounce of self-restraint when composing this. It is reasonably animalic/musky, but not enough to frighten anyone. Well, not enough to frighten me, anyway. You might be a different story. The drydown six hours later is a mouthwatering honeyed musk with incense. Marina à¢â‚¬” we need the exact recipe for this, hon, because unless you have a vat of this sitting around (in which case, can I buy a decant?) I need to make some more. Fall is just around the corner.

Mod 1 à¢â‚¬” March No. 4 à¢â‚¬” Well à¢â‚¬¦ there is a distinct top note of rose. Is this your sneaky way of making me love the rose? It´s an admirable attempt. However, the rose (and it´s a very green rose) is poking holes in my perfect skank with its thorns. The rose mostly dies off in the drydown, leaving me with more of a spicy-incense note. Now, this Mod A is still better than anything I smelled during my sniffage today at the mall à¢â‚¬” but my bar is much higher than that. This would be an excellent choice for someone who wanted a stronger floral note. But it´s not the Pearl.

Mod 2 — Sacred Feminine à¢â‚¬” I wonder if these names are a hint? Probably not à¢â‚¬¦ okay, let´s see à¢â‚¬” hah! Now we are cooking! This is a woodier fragrance than A. It is sparkly, aldehydic opening à¢â‚¬” what is that? Yvresse? Developing à¢â‚¬¦ a ping of something medicinal (in a good way) à¢â‚¬” iris? Now à¢â‚¬¦ the feet sneak in! But that´s okay, because they´re carrying a bouquet of violets between their toes. Hahahhahaha!!! You know what this is like? It´s like when they messed up the recipe for Chanel No. 5 and Coco loved it, so it stayed messed up. You really ramped up the skank on this one! But that floral note is delicious, and I think I´m getting some patchouli in the drydown. This could definitely be the Golden Pearl.

Mod 3 — Rotund Floriental — This starts off promisingly. I get a little fruit in the opening, but not overly sweet, and the rest is a woody floral. I love the first five minutes of this à¢â‚¬” it´s very flirtatious. And then it becomes à¢â‚¬¦ strangely inert. Don´t get me wrong, it still smells very nice, it doesn´t turn ugly on me. But it loses its zip somehow, and a slight boozy note creeps into the drydown.

Mod 4 à¢â‚¬” Temple of March à¢â‚¬” Yum. What is that top note? It´s green and crisp à¢â‚¬” makes me think of raw silk. If Golden Pearl was your exclusive line (and I guess it is), this would be the most niche smelling. That is à¢â‚¬¦ extremely curious. I feel like I should recognize that top note à¢â‚¬” is it one of your classic Diors, like Dioressence or Diorella? Sometimes they love me, after all, and this one is definitely loving me.  Of the four, this was the longest-lasting on me — a full eight hours later it’s going strong.

Of the four mods, Mod 4 was my favorite in the floral direction à¢â‚¬” something about the green-fruit sweetness of the top on that rich base is really working for me. A close second was Mod 2, because how can I resist the smell of those feet? Honestly, though, my favorite of all of them was the base — really, it is perfection.

Marina, thanks so much — this was really fun!!! The rest of you — tune in tomorrow, when Patty and I post our joint review of the JARs at Bergdorf. Patty’s been slammed at work, so it took us a little while to pull it together, and we wanted to do them justice.

  • BBliss says:

    The Colombinade and #4 sound amazing – OK – I’m back because I had to read the reveal, too.
    WOW! I bet the green in #4 is CdG Kyoto – it has a very interesting and marvelous, long lasting greeness, but then falls flat at the very bottom for me. I bet the others boosted it up!

    I’m really, really curious about the base now – who’s going to be hawking Colombinade on ebay? (I’m pretty sure Bergdorf’s wouldn’t go for a “company” with this type of product development!)/:)

  • March says:

    Ina — throw some Amoreuse in there too:o that’ll get your attention, I think we were missing that buttcrack accord. Huh. Wonder if I can find my sample…

  • March says:

    Judith — she think I’m just blowing in her ear about the Colombinade, but I am totally serious. It is a GREAT combo.

  • March says:

    Elle — OMG you probably own all this stuff, don’t you? Hope nobody’s in the office today to smell your mischief — we have the accountant over here today, the Big Cheese keeps glaring at me because I keep going into the other room and dabbing things on (YSL Nu, Chypre Rouge and Palisander, so far — but it’s early yet) I think he’s worried they’ll refuse to come back.

  • March says:

    Marina — I will be SO SURE not to buy any Crown Rose. Gak. That is just the Rose That Ate Everything. Yes, you did a very good job predicting what I’d like! Mod 3 is still making me laugh and shake my head — can’t believe you put all that together!

  • March says:

    Patty — Marina is working on it;)

  • March says:

    Chaya — Aimez-Moi is pretty much violets, feet and the Grim Reaper on me:d

  • violetnoir says:

    This is too wonderful, March. Me thinks there may be some serious perfume talent between the two of you. 😕


  • Ina says:

    Fascinating! Off to read Marina’s post and see if I have all the ingredients handy to creat these gems. 🙂

  • Judith says:

    Coming here from Marina’s blog. Interesting that you went for the incense (it sounded the best to me, too). And Marina mananged to sneak some Carons in on little cat (or violet) feet.:) Both 2 and 4 sound great! But I REALLY want some Colombinade!

  • Elle says:

    So fun!!! I’m going to be working on recreating Columbinade, No2 and No4 today. They sound brilliant! I think both of you have missed your calling as perfumers – well, possibly mad perfumers, but isn’t that the best kind?

  • Marina says:

    Well, I put some, a tiny bit, Crown Rose in Mod, and was overwhelming everything. I kept adding stuff just to shut it up and it Would Not Die 🙂
    I kind of knew that you’d like 4 or 2, and probably 2 rather than 4. If nothing else, I can at least take pride in the fact of that knowledge 🙂
    It is funny when you talk of top notes and middle notes…frankly, who KNOWS which of them became top or middle notes? In case of Mod 4 I am thinking it might be Kyoto.

  • Patty says:

    I need to try some of the Colombinade, that sounds sniff-worthy for sure!

  • chaya ruchama says:

    How I crave violets with feet!

    Actually, I thought of you yesterday, when I purchased a big boy of Aimez-Moi- there are violets, feet, violet leaves, amber, musk, and more…sigh…

    Very fetching, very March…

    Enjoy your quest-
    kisses to you and yours-:d