Look to the Cookie

I´ve decided to steal one of March´s Maxims from earlier this week; she may be self-published, but was there any mention of a trademark or copyright? Seriously, I don´t think she´s going to mind.

I, too, have decided to focus on my existing collection, rather than always seeking out the new. There are a lot of neglected scents in my stash and they are deserving of some attention. As Jerry said to Elaine in the “Dinner Party” episode from season 5 of “Seinfeld”, “Look to the cookie.” I can´t remember the last time I had a black and white cookie, but the harmonious commingling of light and dark is certainly an axiom applicable to many things. Cookies, fragrance, life…what else is there?

I´m starting off with Donna Karan´s Cashmere Mist Eau de Parfum. Many of you know I am always at the ready to sing the praises of Chaos, even though it is a reformulation; I adore it utterly.  In fact, I enjoy all the scents from Donna Karan´s signature collection, especially this time of year, because they are warm, comforting and subtle. Unlike her DKNY collection of Delicious fruity-floral bombs, her eponymous scents are something altogether different.  I refuse to classify them as scents for the more mature, sophisticated woman, nor do I think they are akin to literally wrapping yourself in cashmere – I´m not a big fan of cashmere anything, except Cashmere Mist.  Instead, they are more like old friends: the fragrance equivalent of being comfortable in your own skin, by yourself and with others. You don´t feel the need to put up a faà§ade or act in such a way that you become unrecognizable. Cashmere Mist doesn´t pull any punches; it´s all about warmth and comfort and closeness. Not the closeness you feel with another person, but the closeness of being at peace with yourself. Mind you, this isn´t a 24/7 Zen state I´m talking about. Rather, it is about being true and honest and not hiding behind all the b.s. we tend to get caught up in. OK, I´m getting carried away, but you do know what I´m talking about, don’t you?

Cashmere Mist´s notes are Lily of the Valley, suede notes, bergamot, ylang ylang, jasmine Maroc, sandalwood, orris, amber, vanilla, cedarwood, patchouli and musk.  Even with the inclusion of florals and patchouli, the sum of these parts is not overtly floral, or overly patchouli-ish. What they amount to is warmth, comfort, peace. If you´re looking to disturb the peace, Cashmere Mist won´t do it. If you´re craving quiet, Cashmere Mist is all about understatement. And sometimes, that can be a good thing.

The version of Cashmere Mist I chose to write about is the eau de parfum. This was released a few years ago, and has much better staying power than the eau de toilette.  How it came to reside in my collection was through Fragrancenet.com, not long after it became available. I don´t remember how much I paid for the bottles I have (yes, I have 2!), but it was not the current $70.00 for 50 ml. In addition, I have a 200ml bottle of Cashmere Mist eau de toilette, a limited edition at Nordstrom from a couple of years ago, during their anniversary sale. It is still swaddled in the original cellophane. I know – I should be arrested by the nasty porn police.

There is also a new “Luxe” edition for sale, celebrating the 15th anniversary of the scent´s introduction. I have yet to smell it, but I´m in no rush. The contentment I feel when I wear my Cashmere Mist cannot be surpassed. Well, maybe it can, but right now, I´m not interested. I do, however, have a mad hankering for a black and white cookie.  “Look to the cookie.” Therein lay all the answers.

Thanks to March for the inspiration for this essay.  I´m looking forward to reading your musings on your collection, as much as I am looking forward to contemplating my own.

  • The two first scents I sampled following the onset of perfume mania in 2008 were DKNY Delicious Night and Cashmere Mist. The former was a ghastly no-no and the latter an early and enduring hit. I have a bottle of this now, which for some reason reminds me of a cold winter’s morning that year when I wore CM to a meeting in a very flat part of Germany near the Dutch border. Every time I put it on I am transported back to that particular location and occasion! I find it very cosy and comforting as you describe and sometimes also wear it in bed.

  • Winifreida says:

    Well, I decided a couple of days ago to rationalise my sample bingeing.
    I am going to spray on all the stuff that I sampled and did not deem full-bottle-or-large-decant-worthy, at night-time or early morning, only on the arms/hands in case of the need to overspray or wash-off (rare, you never know about the drydown especially with vintage, but sadly a lot of new stuff just goes meh or disappears). I put all these samples in a tray on top of the new samples (sort of lock-down situation), and despite having a crazed epiphany over a couple of Isabeys I got last week, for two days I have stuck to the plan.
    Then something crazy happens. I get a bottle of discontinued Shehezade for nearly free on epay, and March, if you are still obsessing about sandalwood, its some sort of lush woody oriental that smells like the real thing.
    Speaking of weather, we have just had the hottest day of summer so far here Downunder. And this old Sheherazade thing has had me spraying all day!

  • Nava says:

    Oh, good. Glad to know I don’t have to risk tripping over the rock salt and snow shovel on my mad rush out the door to go try it! :d

  • Heidi says:

    Ohh, I do like Cashmere Mist. I have the edt and it’s my spring scent, for when things start to warm up but we’re still having some cool days. I have to say that I did like the Luxe version a lot. I only tested it once, but I thought that it was similar enough to the original, just richer, deeper. Like the notes were all a lush octave lower. I enjoyed what I smelled! But maybe not enough to buy a whole bottle.

    • Nava says:

      Oh, good. Glad to know I don’t have to risk tripping over the rock salt and snow shovel on my mad rush out the door to go try it! :d

  • Amy K says:

    My husband bought me the parfum version of Cashmere Mist at Barney’s back in 2003. I loved it – it really was like a warm, comforting blanket. I’m still kicking myself for not buying a few more bottles on eBay back when it was selling for next to nothing.

  • Robin R. says:

    “Rather, it is about being true and honest and not hiding behind all the b.s. we tend to get caught up in. OK, I’m getting carried away, but you do know what I’m talking about, don’t you?”

    Yes, Nava, I do. 😡

  • Shelley says:

    You know how some couples have re-commitment ceremonies? That’s what this should be…a kind of Peaches and Herb moment…get your earworm on: “reunited/and it feels so good”…

    What am I rediscovering/remembering I forgot the love for? I’ll go DK first: Black Cashmere, but of course. It can go kind of sweet on me sometimes, but I forgive it. It’s one of the few scents I have the lotion and powder for as well as edp…heart, heart, heart.

    DK Gold is another one of those I find myself being a bit surprised at repeatedly surprising myself with. Smooth in that OJ Woman way, where it’s all rich and held together by butter (rather than nails, I mean bubbles, or some other sleight of hand).

    You know what is nice, reliable, and reasonably priced? Yves Rocher Voile d’Ambre. I kid you not. Got a compliment from a seasoned nose on that one, mind you. And makes *me* happy.

    • Musette says:

      That’s one of the only ambers I can comfortably wear. You turned me on to that one and I kinda like it…;))

      don’t tell anybody, okay?

      xo >-)

    • Nava says:

      Gee, thanks for the earworm, Shelley. As if I don’t already hear “Reunited” on the XM 70s channel half a dozen times a week! :d

      BC and I have had our issues. I want to try the EDT that’s out now, because the EDP can be overwhelming if conditions aren’t exactly right. Other than that, I love the bottle. It makes a great paperweight!

    • Nava says:

      Gee, thanks for the earworm, Shelley. As if I don’t already hear “Reunited” on the XM 70s channel half a dozen times a week! :d

      BC and I have had our issues. I want to try the EDT that’s out now, because the EDP can be overwhelming if conditions aren’t exactly right. Other than that, I love the bottle. It makes a great paperweight!

  • DJ says:

    Cashmere Mist was my first fragrance as an adult, I bought in college. I *loved* it. I should re-visit it, because the bottle I had started smelling off to me (or on me).

    I think the Lily of the Valley is a comfort thing to me–my mom has worn Diorissimo my entire life and I seem to like having a small dash of it in my own scents, although not huge amounts.

    rediscovery is a lovely thing. 🙂

    • Nava says:

      LoTV definitely has that effect on people. A cousin of mine loved Diorissimo, but for me, it has to be mixed with something, not straight up and dirty. :d

  • Musette says:

    I am a Donna Karan Loser, I fear:(( I have tried all the fabbo scents you perfumistas love, from Chaos to Donna Karan Gold and every one leaves me wishing I’d not done it, dangit! They fall into the Amouage category for me, I ‘get’ them – they really are lovely – but they just don’t quite work for me.

    And it’s a shame, because they really are lovely.

    Dangit.

    xo >-)

    • Shelley says:

      All I can say is, different strokes for different folks is always in play. Besides…more aldehydes for you, more Gold for me. :d

      >:d<

      • Musette says:

        i KNOW!:d/

        That’s the thing that keeps this from being a tragedy. Fwiw, I do like the app on the Gold. It’s just later….:-&

        xoxo >-)

        • Nava says:

          I wore a sample of Gold to a wedding and I liked it, but not as much as I like the incensey, woodsy, spiciness of the others. I’m not a fan of big florals, but Gold has that “occasion” vibe to it. Is it still out there, or has it made the trip to the fragrance graveyard?

    • zeezee says:

      Then again.. so am I. The Apple Which Shall Not Be Named is the worst of the bunch, but I’m sorry to say that Cashmere Mist is an undisputed scrubber in my world, too. The re-issued ones are “meh” at best. I’m sure it’s my bad taste :)>-

      That said, I like the sentiment of focusing more on your actual collection and less on samples floating about. In fact, it was one of my 2009 NY resolutions. I did well, I think, and I now have a better handle on what is still lacking in my collection. That has of course brought on new samplings and distractions, but I did find a better balance, I think. I can recommend it 😉

  • Nava says:

    Thanks for giving the body cream a thumbs up. There’s your answer, March – the body cream is a definite must-try!

  • Nava says:

    You’re welcome!

    I believe the RoboDuck is now called “Signature” and was re-released with Chaos. I happened to stumble upon a 100 ml RoboDuck bottle in a Macy’s in New Jersey a while back. That has to be one of most interesting bottles of all time.

    I haven’t gone on a black and white cookie hunt here in T.O. yet, but now I’m going to. There are lots of good bakeries in and around the city so my “research” will likely be extensive. :d

  • ScentRed says:

    I’m thinking of re-trying this in EDP or EDT. I spritzed once while passing through Holts and was fully “meh”. However the body creme I got at Xmas along with my beloved Chaos has won my heart. The cream emmanates a quiet whisper of soft reassurance all day long and keeps my skin feeling great too. I’ve also taken to layering the two for maximum emotional armor.

    • Nava says:

      Thanks for giving the body cream a thumbs up. There’s your answer, March – the body cream is a definite must-try!

      • March says:

        I’m on it! As I said in my Sandalwood post, I’ve found that fragrances I sorta-like but find too strong are often right for me in the lotion.

  • March says:

    Hey, doll — thanks for the flattery! This is exactly the kind of revisit of a fragrance that makes the blogs fun. While Cashmere Mist is not my favorite of the oldies, my guess is it’s the most popular (I find the LOTV a bit much, but I should try the body lotion, yes?) And I’m crazy about the original RoboDuck one, I think called Donna Karan?

    And black and white cookies, squeeee! They’re better in New York (what isn’t?) — I find our bakeries really disappointing, although there’s a tasty new cupcake place.

    • Nava says:

      You’re welcome!

      I believe the RoboDuck is now called “Signature” and was re-released with Chaos. I happened to stumble upon a 100 ml RoboDuck bottle in a Macy’s in New Jersey a while back. That has to be one of most interesting bottles of all time.

      I haven’t gone on a black and white cookie hunt here in T.O. yet, but now I’m going to. There are lots of good bakeries in and around the city so my “research” will likely be extensive. :d

    • Louise says:

      ooh, do tell! or better yet, blindfold me and take me there :d/

  • pinkfizzy says:

    What your thoughts on Black Cashmere? I just discovered it, and for me, as you say about Cashmere Mist, it’s “all about warmth and comfort and closeness”, perfect for these short dark gray January days. (I live in Vancouver, BC)

    • Nava says:

      Black Cashmere is the heaviest of the bunch and I can only wear it in really frigid weather. There is a new EDT version available in the US as part of her Exclusive collection (with the re-issued Chaos).

  • hongkongmom says:

    Hi NAVA

    Agree, agree, agree…i was also lucky enough to find penhalogins artemisia very similar…try to smell and enjoy…:)