1) For unknown reasons, the comment notifys that come to my email inbox when you comment are a little spotty, so apologies if I missed you. While we’re on the subject, I’m slamming through a couple of work-related things right now. If you’ve emailed me, and you don’t hear back, just email me again. Even during the best of times I lose track of emails – ask any of my friends who’ve been annoyed by this. I am excellent at some things, and email correspondence is just not one of them. I admit my failing and ask only that you not take it personally. Please. Nag me. I will answer.
2) Art With Flowers at Tysons II in VA is having a perfume shindig on Sunday, for those of you in the DC area who’ll be in town, looking for something to do. It’s from 12 – 6, the guest is Keiko Mecheri, and I haven’t gotten my invite postcard yet but Bill who runs the store says there will be tons of samples, goodies, they’re getting in the new (export?) Serges MKK and Borneo, and I think he said the new L’Artisan Tubereuse, but don’t hold me to that one. I’m probably going to be there mid-afternoon. If you haven’t visited and you’re looking to try some niche product and meet some new people – well, here’s your opportunity. They’re tucked away on the top floor of Tysons II (the fancy one with Neiman Marcus and Saks) down at the Macy’s end. Their phone number is (703) 903-6837.
3) So, thanks everyone for your words of support and encouragement on Monday – it sounds like I’m not the only one feeling a little burnout and wanting to spend some more time with some of the beautiful scents I already own — hence the title of this post. I’ve been playing over the past month with a cluster of scents with some overlapping characteristics, but that post hasn’t quite come together. So today I’m heeding my own advice and blogging on just one of them, a quirky, gorgeous thing – Parfums de Nicolai Maharanih.
My guess is for every dollar PdN spends on perfume production, 97 cents goes into the juice and three cents goes toward the packaging. I am all for substance over style, don’t get me wrong; but their cheesy bottles and boxes make me laugh. They look like cheap dupes, even though you’re buying it from their store. I wish their line were carried somewhere – anywhere – so that more people could know and love it. The only place I have ever seen the line in a store in the U.S. is at the wonderful Clyde Chemists on the Upper East Side (Madison and 74th?) and I have no idea whether they’re still there. Finally, I love that PdN makes 30 ml bottles (carried at LuckyScent and Beautyhabit) that are quite reasonably priced.
I have been trying and trying and trying (and failing) to fall in love with PdN’s Sacrebleu, which by any and all measures I should love. It has the perfect notes (blackcurrant bud, mandarin, peach blossom, jasmine, carnation, cinnamon, clove, tuberose, vanilla, tonka bean, sandalwood, incense) and it’s a riff on/homage to Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue, which I love love love. Furthermore, Patricia de Nicolai is the granddaughter of Pierre Guerlain and was trained by Jean-Paul Guerlain, so it’s destiny between me and the line, right? So what is my problem with Sacrebleu? I don’t know. I love the first 90 seconds of huge green and fruits, and that amazing tonka/incense drydown after five hours, but the middle part is … flat? Too flat on me. I’m not giving up, though.
Maharanih, on the other hand, makes me smile every time I put it on. It’s got that peculiar, tart-candied top note that I think of as very PdN – like the orange smell of St. Joseph baby aspirin, only this aspirin is being handed to you by angels in heaven while the harps play. I mean, it’s so beautiful it’s ridiculous, but in this unabashed, cheerful way. Coming out of that funky little bottle with a label that looks like my 7-year-old glued it on? Man, talk about hiding your light under a bushel basket. The notes are sweet orange, bitter orange zest, rose oil, carnation, cinnamon, patchouli absolute, sandalwood, synthetic civet.
With the orange orange ORANGE (baby aspirin), which is perfect because it’s sweet but also sour, comes the rose and the spices, and that would all be too sweet and cloying except through some perfumer’s sleight of hand that I do not understand one bit it’s not – it dances up off my hand and over my head like a kite in the sky, pulling me along cheerfully behind it. I’m careful with the atomizer because at least on me a little of this goes a very, very long way, and I’ve learned not to apply it right before I’m sharing an enclosed space (like a car) with someone who’s not wild about perfume. It’s much rose-ier on my daughter’s skin, but I can smell the rose too, and this would be one of a tiny handful of fragrances with prominent rose that doesn’t trouble me, mostly because the rose is being kept firmly in check, perhaps even throttled, by that orange orange ORANGE. Did I mention orange? Oh. Also I should probably mention the dirty knickers. I always thought it was the indoles in the orange, maybe with the spice of the rose, but our friend the civet is lurking there in the orangerie, lending a hint of delightful reek that keeps this angelic fragrance grounded on terra firma. This is girly, but not innocent. It’s for big girls, pinup girls, saucy, naughty girls and – in my opinion – for those boys who are man enough to wear Fracas.
sample source: my own bottle