We had a theater event on Saturday night, a family-level thing rather than elegance. (Diva’s in a belly-dancing performance troupe.) In such a situation I want my fragrance to be more “personal” — having been trapped more than once at, say, the Opera, in a seat next to someone wearing a heady fragrance like Giorgio, I try to be mindful of other people’s space. On the other hand — hey, I’m going out, perfume is as mandatory as shoes. It’s now kind of fall-ish outside. I sniffed a few bottles to remind myself of various scents and settled on KenzoAmour — woody, milky, comforting, not too intrusive.
And so wrong. KenzoAmour is my fragrance equivalent of a favorite sweatshirt, and the second I put it on, that’s how I felt. Even though I was working my middle-aged assets in a mildly theatrical way that night (I have this fun kimono-style sweater in a bronze I ordinarily would never wear, big soft gold earrings, etc.) KenzoAmour, through the power of suggestion, magically transported me back into my velour mommy pants and deposited me on the doorstep of Trader Joe’s, canvas grocery bags in hand. Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!! It wasn’t the DEFCON-2 crisis level of, say, knocking over a vintage flacon of Mitsouko parfum, but still. I had about 45 seconds to do something to it. But what?
So I winged it. I bypassed my current heavy rotator, Esteban Sensuelle Russie (too much short-term sillage), in favor of something else I’ve been toying with — al02 — one of those biehlparfum(dirty-German-word-by-accident)-werke joints that all got mixed together and ignored by perfumistas because if you release 12 or 15 or whatever simultaneously and call them things like eo03, that’s what happens, dawg. (my new favorite slang: dawg. Diva’s boyfriend calls almost everyone, including me, dawg, and it makes me smile every time. He calls Diva the German word for cookie or bunny or something, which melts my heart)…. gah, where were we?
Luckyscent describes biehl parfumkunstwerke’s (Arturetto Landi) al02 as “full of Italian drama” and the notes sound like they’d live up to that — mandarin, lemon, bergamot, peach, plum, jasmine, rose, carnation, cardamom, cinnamon, incense, labdanum, tonka bean, vanilla, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, white musk. It opens with a light, playful citrus, and then the florals unfold, but they do so as seamlessly as a cashmere sweater — this is not a nightmare-ish bouquet of over-the-top florals hitting you over the head. This is an “elegant” style of perfumery that in general I admire rather than want to wear, and yet I seem to be working my way steadily through this decant. It is a cashmere-sweater-and-pearls comfort scent, but so warm and engaging it presents as a charming dinner companion rather than a drama queen. The peach and plum are more dominant (if you hate plum, you probably won’t like this), the jasmine is present but clean, the rose is subtle enough I can’t even pick it out, and the carnation comes into play with the spices that enter as the fragrance transforms from a floral to a full-on spice comfort scent, complete with a vanillic-wood drydown. As lovely as the opening is, my favorite part unsurprisingly is the first few hours after that. The mannered florals at the front remind me a bit of Chanel Beige before morphing into the woods/spice/vanilla love child of Fendi’s Asja and a couple drops of Organza Indecence. Certainly al02 is lovely enough on its own, but layering it with something woody (like 10 Corso Como) renders it more unisex and amps up the wood in a way I find pleasing, although you need less 10CC and more al02 to make that work. It ate most of KenzoAmour’s lunch, unsurprisingly, but the creamy woods of Amour were a nice addition. As usual, I would love to smell this on a man.
I wonder — have you ever found yourself wearing completely the wrong thing? Did you shower? Change clothes? Layer? How did it work out? Or do you just shrug your shoulders and say, hey, I’m going with it. I’m not going to ask if you think I’m nuts, because — I know y’all are as nuts as I am. Insert smiling emoticon here. Also, I guess I need to dig around a little more seriously in the biehls. Anyone find any love in the line besides Marc Buxton’s wonderful, incense-laden mb03, which I think is the only one that got much attention?
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Sylvia asked for the silver nail polish equivalent of Essie’s Steel-ing the Scene or Chanel Kaleidscope, both of which have a slightly greenish-gold tint. I know nothing, so of course I jumped right on her request. Sylvia, based on my brief online browsings, for a truer silver, you could try OPI’s Gone Platinum in 60 Seconds, or China Glaze’s Avalanche (slightly darker and blue-ish?), Platinum Pearl (white-ish), or Platinum (the most silver, along with the OPI). All of these are online at head2toebeauty.com Anyone who actually knows what they’re talking about, feel free to chime in — I think she’s looking for the bling equivalent of Kaleidoscope, which is blingier than Steel-ing the scene (a softer shimmer) but maybe either is fine. Also while I was looking I ran across OPI nail polish for dogs on Amazon — wow, now there’s a product for people who have too much time on their hands! Says the woman who spends plenty of time on perfume (and some on nail polish)… Sylvia, I kind of like that silver one for dogs, too.
Also FWIW I now have my first np heresy — I like Steel-ing the scene better than Kaleidoscope. The color is almost identical; I have it on every other nail, and in regular indoor light you really have to stare to see the difference (Kaleidoscope is a hair more gold). But I like the weird matte shimmer of Steel-ing. The Kaleidoscope glitter is blingier, and don’t get me wrong, it’s really nice, a very elegant shimmer (teeny glitter?) It just doesn’t thrill me quite the way Steel-ing does. Oh, well.
image, cashmere yarn: supplierlist.com