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.