I love Monday. You know why? Because Hecate and Buckethead, the 4-year-old twins, are back at preschool. It’s been really warm here. Yesterday they got tired of waiting for snow, so they made their own — two boxes of Kleenex tissue, shredded into tiny bits and tossed around their room. It was pretty mild in terms of what they can do, but still a bit of a drag. It’s my fault, of course. I spent the day walking around the house in a fugue state, sniffing my wrists. If I were a better mother they’d be locked in the dog kennel in the family room where I can keep an eye on them.
Anyway, today´s post is dedicated to Maria B., a commenter who thanked a fellow commenter for “writing out the names of the scents and makers, (because) some of us need the extra help.” Maria B. (and all you newbies and lurkers who have still not commented): do you think I abbreviate “C&S” to taunt you? I do not. I write “C&S” because it saves me from googling Czech & Speake (?) for the 53rd time in an effort to save myself from looking like a doofus for spelling it wrong. I mean, it´s not like my street cred is golden to start with, bandying about technical terms like “buttcrack” and putting up pictures of Santa´s village and shirtless young studs (hey, here’s a nice one!) If all I wrote about was Avon maybe I´d be okay, but I barely speak English, and now that new releases are named Ilang Batoango and Les Fleurs Danse Pour Elle … you see what I´m saying here. (Also, have you, uh, noticed how many fragrance bloggers also speak French and/or Russian? They leave comments for each other like, Ð¢Ð¾Ñ‚ Ð¼Ð°Ñ€Ñ‚, Ð¾Ð½Ð° ÐºÐ°Ðº ÑÐ´ÑƒÑ€Ñƒ ÐºÑƒÑ€Ð¸Ñ†Ð° ÐºÐ¾Ñ‚Ð¾Ñ€Ð°Ñ Ð¸Ð·Ð±ÐµÐ³Ð°Ð»Ð° Ð¾Ñ‚ Ñ„ÐµÑ€Ð¼Ñ‹. Ð’Ð¾Ð·Ð¼Ð¾Ð¶Ð½Ð¾ Ñ Ð¿Ð¾Ð»ÑŒÑŽ Ð½ÐµÐºÐ¾Ñ‚Ð¾Ñ€ÑƒÑŽ Ð¸Ð· Ð¼Ð¾ÐµÐ¹ ÑÐ°Ð¼Ð¾Ð¹ Ð´ÐµÑˆÐµÐ²Ð¾Ð¹ Ð²Ð¾Ð´Ð¾Ñ‡ÐºÐ¸ Ð² vial Ð¸ Ð¿Ð¾ÑˆÐ»ÑŽ ÐµÐ³Ð¾ Ðº ÐµÐ¹! What´s up with that, anyway?)
But I digress. My point is, I´ll try to do better about the abbreviations. If you´re unclear on something, leave a comment saying “what are you talking about?!” Don´t be shy. Okay, let´s get on with the candy:
Lanvin Rumeur, vintage version – remember how much I liked the new Rumeur, because it´s sweet (but not too), and don’t you love that cute little bottle?! And how the vintage gals all moaned about what a travesty the new version is? Well, guess what? They were right. We have been euchred, and the folks at Lanvin should be dragged to a public place and sprayed with Baby Phat Goddess until they weep for mercy (how many sprays is that – two? Three?) I have no clue what´s in the original, but it dries down into the sort of wine-tinged leather you´d douse yourself in after you rouged your nipples and laced up your corset. What a fool I was.
JAR Shadow – I knew it was kicking around here somewhere! I ran across it looking for the Isabey Gardenia. Oh, that´s uber-jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal, his fragrances are spendy and unconventional and veryverysecret and you have to go to Bergdorf and sit in a little room to smell them. Which is not intimidating, it´s totally fun, so if you´re ever in NYC, don´t be a goober – go already. You´ll thank me. There are seven of them, I think. Shadow is a little creepy – they don´t release any notes, and I have no clue what´s in here, either. If Close Your Eyes is the hogpen on the farm, then Shadow is the root cellar – dirt, smoke, pickle jars and the odd bottle of wine. I can´t say I like it, but it´s so compelling I can´t stop myself from sniffing it.
Lalique Le Parfum – I now have, I think, three vials of this from various sources, which I keep ignoring. Notes are: Bergamot, Bay Leaves, Red Pepper, Jasmine, Heliotrope, Almond, Patchouli, Vanilla. My problem is, all I can think to say is, it´s so pretty!, and how uninspiring is that? The conclusion I´ve reached is that maybe “so pretty” isn´t my cup of tea, and that´s okay. It´s a little late now, but if you´re casting around for a gift fragrance that isn´t taking any risks but is unabashedly pretty, and you don´t know what to get, consider this one. If you poke around online you can find the EDP for less than $100.
Miller et Bertaux Spiritus/Land also came up a few times in the comments on my Santa post. This should be on everyone´s to-try list if you like interesting, dirty scents – as in dirt, not skank. From the intense, improbable burst of ginger at the opening through the tobacco and right into the ginger-woody drydown, this is one of those fragrances I appreciate the more I smell other things. Easily unisex, interesting but not difficult, clever but not annoying … what is not to love? (Okay … it could have more lasting power.) Re-smelling it I totally understand why many of you mentioned it as a scent for this season – that unsweetened ginger kick combined with the slightly green woods is December in a bottle.
Hermessences Paprika Brasil – Notes are: pimento, clove, paprika, iris, green leaves, woody notes. Did Jean Claude Ellena fall down and bump his head? What … is this? Do irises grow in Brazil? What I am smelling is peppered iris – L´Artisan Piment Brulant (sans cocoa) meets Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir. Am I complaining? Nope; I actually really like this, although I wouldn’t pay $180 or whatever the going rate is. I know the general feeling on this one was disappointment, with words like “wan” in the reviews. I´m not a huge fan of the Hermessences in general, so maybe I´m a contrarian indicator. If you like orris and want to try one with decent heat as a foil for the usual cold earthiness, this one´s for you.
Notes for nuts: When describing Fendi Theorema I said I found a hint of Chaos in the drydown. I tried layering them, and if you have both of them sitting around, maybe you should too. Then ask yourself the question: is it immoral to smell that good? (Answer: no.)
Caron Parfum Sacre. Illustrating March´s perfume equation of two wrongs (Caron + rose) making a right. Notes are : Lemon, Pepper, Mace, Cardamom, Orange Blossom, Rose, Jasmine, Rosewood. Vanilla, Myrrh, Civet, Cedarwood. Patty tolerates my lack of appreciation for Caron, and she does her duty by sending Caron samples to me fairly regularly, hoping the light will go on. There´s a glimmer with this one. Yes, it does have the Grim Reaper Caron base, and the rose does not love me. But somehow … it works, doesn´t it? It reminds me a bit of Serge Lutens´ Rose de Nuit. A slightly soiled high-button silk glove of a scent.
dsquared image: modemodels.com