Our mid-Atlantic summer has finally arrived with a vengeance. It’s 98 degrees and humid, and I … could not be happier, really. I’m a summer soul. I don’t want to go run a marathon or anything, but sitting on the screened porch at night with some lemonade, watching the fireflies and the occasional shooting star, suits me right down to the ground. The teeny, massively fragrant Darlow’s Enigma climbing roses I planted two years ago are scenting the porch and pretty much entire back yard. They’ll bloom until October, even in the shade, for those of you who are looking for a versatile climber that isn’t a big long-limbed space-hog from hell.
The weather now hardly seems more wrong for a new floral-oriental perfume discovery, but it’s actually (weirdly) working in the heat, and I can’t resist its charms – Femme by Sabon.
Sabon is a soap-n-scrub outfit I’d never heard of, they have several retail stores in NYC, as well as Chicago and Boston, here’s a link to their website. They have a few perfumes. I got a decant of Femme from Anita. Notes are: ylang ylang, Italian bergamot, floral notes lightly spiced with cloves, Egyptian jasmine, vanilla, sandalwood and musk, leaving “a soft, lasting, powdery aroma.”
There is an exception to every rule, apparently. I am not a fan of powdery scents, and while Femme is fairly powdery at the outset, it doesn’t overwhelm me the way that, say,
White Death Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi does. The powdery top feels dry rather than cloying, and it’s balanced by the bergamot and cloves; it’s playful. It’s a powdery-floral for the first half hour or so, and it reminds me a bit of Habanita during that phase. Then the powder settles and the dominant notes are cloves, vanilla and sandalwood, with the floral notes in the background. Again, that doesn’t sound like a winner in hot weather, but somehow it really does work. I put it on tentatively the first few times, then threw caution to the wind and drenched myself, but it never did overwhelm. There’s something suede-like in the drydown that makes it interesting. The jasmine’s clean, and so is the scent, but it’s sexy in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. Or maybe jasmine, ylang, spicy vanilla, and sandalwood with a hint of suede is just a flat-out sexy combination. But you can cuddle up with it too. It’s like a really well-made white cotton summer nightgown that manages to be sweet and flirtatious at the same time. The longevity is decent; after five or six hours it’s a spicy-woody vanilla skin scent that isn’t massive but doesn’t smell thin or cheap, either.
The kicker? This stuff’s $42 for a big ol’ 100 ml bottle. Isn’t that bottle cute? It’s kind of retro, yes? Retro, just like the price. Seriously – I am often sampling fragrances at the $200 mark or more (retail, tax + shipping), now that $200 is the new $100 in perfume-ville. To find something so pretty at a quarter of that price brings a smile to my face. Now, would one of you go get me some more lemonade and maybe a teensy little slice of that red velvet cake from the icebox? Thanks, I’ll be right here on the porch.