I am stuck on …

… another of the samples from my (fairly) recent sampling. I did a serious woo-hoo a bit ago on Arquiste Ella with its 1970s chypre vibe.

I’m not so keen on Arquiste Nanban even though I found the back story and the notes list really seriously intriguing: a galleon with samurai sailing to Japan in winter 1618 full of spices. Notes include black pepper, black tea, Cade (what is this? I can’t find anything), coffee, copaiba balm (looks like a sort of pine or balsam), frankincense, leather, myrrh, Osmanthus, saffron, sandalwood and styrax. Just sounds an amazing combo. I was particularly taken by the idea of tea, Osmanthus, saffron (Theo Fennell Scent) and sandalwood.

Alas, no. On me, this is very pepper-heavy and it comes across as the smell of Band-Aids. That’s not unpleasant, mind. It’s just not what was promised by the notes list. I could see this smelling amazing – but I guess my chemistry just doesn’t do it justice. I want to like the idea of smelling of Band-Aids but I just can’t get myself there.

But while we’re on this perfume, any suggestions for black tea fragrances you love? I have this idea L’Artisan used to do (or maybe still does) a really serious, heavy-duty (Lapsang Souchong) one.

I woke this morning with the film Moonstruck in my head.

In a different world, we would be returning from holiday today. A long-haul flight and then making our way from London back down here. Another time I tell myself.

So, why Moonstruck? I think because I was thinking trip and for many summers we visited NY to see family and stayed in Brooklyn. Decades ago, when I lived in Brooklyn, it was in the Carroll Gardens neighbourhood and I ranged around Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights — parts of Moonstruck are set in all three.

It’s a film I love – really, seriously, absolutely: a quirky story about the love of people for each other and for family, but also for particular music and places. Cher is glorious and Nick Cage is actually reasonably sane and likeable.

At one point, Cher sprays herself with perfume (if I am recalling correctly) but I think (tell me if I’m wrong) it was something decanted into an atomiser – ie, no label.

Anyway, I could see her character using something big and spicy, but also maybe something closer to the body but still having presence. The movie came out in 1987, so perhaps big 1980s something… but her character was a bit old fashioned… So, I looked up which perfumes were launched in 1987 and the only thing that made me go ‘hmmm’ was Byzance by Rochas. But, clearly, the character could have worn something older, quite classical (maybe Youth Dew).

Anyway, have you seen the film? Thoughts? If you have, what do you think Loretta might have worn?

NB Pics Pexels (tea and cow) and Wiki (film poster)

  • Maggiecat says:

    Moonstruck is one of my favorite films! I love when people go through “makeovers” and Cher’ s character is appealing and believable. I don’t recall perfume in this film, but I recall a beautiful lipstick . Now I want to watch it again! ( I’m pretty sure No.5 would be perfect for her or maybe something Italian?)

  • HeidiC says:

    I feel absolutely certain she would have worn Cinnabar.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    Back in the 1980s CHANEL No 5 was readily available in all the drug stores for very little money. It was before they reinvented themselves but still carried the cache of its earlier years, especially among the slightly old fashioned or non fashion forward. So my vote goes to it as Loratta’s fragrance.
    Dark smoky tea is L’Artisan Tea for Two for me.
    Portia xx

  • Patty says:

    Moonstruck is still one of my fave movies. Tea perfumes, I love them! https://perfumeposse.com/2012/12/17/tea-perfumes-comphrensive-guide-to-tea-perfume/ Almost forgot I wrote that one! Bvlgari Black is the best! Russian Tea by Masque Milano is great. CB has a couple of tea perfumes I really like as well. You can’t seem to find it anywhere, the the darkly smoky Goutal Eau de Fier was amaaaaaaazing.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Tx, Patty. will look at link. I remember the Goutal. It was seriously strong. Is it discontinued, like many really different, interesting perfumes?

  • Dina C. says:

    I rewatched “Moonstruck” just this year as it happens, and I also love this one. She’s so likeable in this movie, and Nic Cage is too. Back on New Year’s Eve weekend of 88 to 89 I went to NYC with my best female friend and three guys. We were all single and unattached. The five of us toured around the city and specifically went to Lincoln Center so my friend could pose in front of the fountain and pose like Loretta and have her Moonstruck moment. My vote is for LouLou which came out in 1987.

  • Musette says:

    I own that film and watch it often – she was glorious, as was Olympia Dukakis (“it ain’t over ’til it’s over). Loretta was very old fashioned… I could see her in something warm, like Youth Dew. And I could see Ronny loving it!


    ps. I always channel the brow plucking scene, whenever I’m doing mine own – wish I had those brows!!!

  • Jennifer S says:

    She sprayed it before going to the opera I think?….so I’m thinking maybe it was something not too big but I couldn’t even hazard a guess as to what it could be.
    Love this movie too. One of my favorite exchanges:
    Rose: (on Loretta and Johnny) You love him, Loretta?
    Loretta: Ma, I love him something awful.
    Rose: (sighing) That’s too bad.

    • Musette says:

      that’s a good’un. My favorite is when Rose is walking back with Frasier’s Dad and he asks her why he can’t come in
      “because I am a married woman. Because I know who I am”.


    • Musette says:

      this was the 80s, right? Lookit that hair and that fabbo dress! That HAIR! (did I mention ‘that hair’?) She would’ve sprayed the living daylights out of whatever she wore! LOL! She (and me and everybody else in the 80s) is the reason we now have ‘no perfume’ zones!

      • Cinnamon says:

        I love the makeover scene. I mean she’s wonderful before it — it’s just the whole sort of opening up she experiences.

    • Cinnamon says:

      I think she says ‘I love him awful’. But love the response from her mother. And all the comments about love bites…

  • March says:

    LOVE Moonstruck, and another vote for Tabu.

    • March says:

      Oh, and yes, L’Artisan Tea for Two is delightfully smoky. I’ve heard nice things about Russian Tea by Masque Milano as well, although I’ve not tried it that I can recall. Also — I haven’t seen it in awhile, but Speziali Fiorentini makes a Black Tea / Te Nero that is excellent — just straight black tea. I think there’s a white tea too.

      • Ingeborg says:

        Russian Tea is a good one, but more of a cold weather perfume perhaps?

      • Cinnamon says:

        I’m sure there was another l’Artisan tea scent that was heavier, darker. But for the life of me I can’t find anything. So, I guess it’s my imagining.

  • filomena813 says:

    I have had Nanban longer than I’ve had Ella and I like it much more than I do Ella.

  • filomena813 says:

    Moonstruck is one of my favorite movies of all time. I can particularly relate to it as I am a product of an Italian family.

  • filomena813 says:

    Moonstruck is one of my favorite movies of all time. I can truly relate to it since I am a product of an Italian family.

  • matty1649 says:

    I love Moonstruck as well. Tabu sounds a good fit.

  • Tara C says:

    I love Moonstruck and Byzance, but I agree with Bee she would probable wear something like Tabu.

    Nanban smells good from a distance but up close it has some head-splitting aromachemical that ruins it for me. My only favourite from that line is Anima Dulcis.

  • WWotE says:

    Cade is oil from a juniper. I’m surprised you didn’t find this on Google. Juniperus oxycedrus, vernacularly called Cade, cade juniper, prickly juniper, prickly cedar, or sharp cedar, is a species of juniper, native across the Mediterranean region from Morocco and Portugal, north to southern France, east to westernmost Iran, and south to Lebanon and Israel, growing on a variety of rocky sites from sea level up to 1600 m elevation. The specific epithet oxycedrus means “sharp cedar” and this species may have been the original cedar or cedrus of the ancient Greeks.

    • Musette says:

      I thought it was a juniper I’m a huge fan of junipers – and juniper berries! You looked it up so I didn’t have to! xoxoxo

    • Cinnamon says:

      Not sure why Cade didn’t pop up. Certainly, a lot of people on here know it. I will add to my perfume vocab.

  • Bee says:

    I liked Nanban I think but it’s a long time since I last tried it and did not like enough to buy. And cade is the french word for Juniper – does that make sense in the notes? Love Moonstruck! One of Cher’s best and Nicolas Cage is pleasantly restrained for a change. I think she’d probably wear a drugstore perfume like Tabu or Liz Taylor’s White Diamonds.

    • Cinnamon says:

      No, please not Liz Taylor. Thank you regarding Cade. I’m now surprised I couldn’t find it. Ah, yes, Moonstruck is wonderful.