We have been a bit about our comfort zones, lately, whether staying in them or breaking out of them, or merely musing about how ours may be a little bit different than others and might be decidedly less comforting to the average bear (to steal from Yogi) Last time Musette wrote about a few of hers so I thought I would chime in with a few of mine, which may not be anything that would be comforting to others, but I find myself reaching for when I need a lift, as well as one that, were it readily available, would be on there.
Annick Goutal Sables. This was one of (if not the) first introduction to Niche Perfumes, back in the day. “What?” You might say, “AG wasn’t niche! It was sold in department stores! Right out there with the Calvan Klone and Britnee Hilton-Lopez’ Quadruple Kandee Taffee Phantasy!” That may have been true by the point where the line was (sadly) exiting the mainstream, but it started out at Bergdorf’s as a cool, new line that was an answer to the department store frags. I loved Eau de Hadrien, but really fell hard for Sables when it came out in 1985. I first tried it in a New York winter and the comforting, almost glottal immortelle was an embrace that was perfect for my then, er, prenatal self walking down Fifth Avenue, the din of NY streets and smell of roasting chestnuts in the air. I don’t reach for it often, but when I really need a lift this is it.
Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Kahn. The first one of Uncle Serge that I jumped through hoops to get a bell jar of, back when Lutens tortured us by having export and exclusive lines. Some people actively recoil from it. They get barnyard, unwashed crazy person, or even sewage (or a combination thereof) but on my DeSkank-o-Tron© skin it becomes a warm hug. From a beast, but a nice one. I still have an almost full bell jar of this and nervously scan the Lutens website to make sure that it’s still available.
Dior Eau Sauvage. I have been wearing this since I was literally a teenager- I would ride my bike over the Coolidge Bridge to the Steiger’s in the “new” mall to spend my allowance on a bottle. I am sure that even that version was a reformulation and that the ones they are selling now may be different than the circa 2000’s bottle I have neatly hidden in a dark corner of my cupboard. There are other, newer scents that cover this territory and that have, I admit, turned my head briefly, but I always return to Eau Sauvage. It’s elegant as a racing yawl in it’s simplicity of citrus, herbs, and flowers and as easy and classic as a blue blazer. Don’t get me started on the new one.
So now onto Coty Chypre.
This is another classic that for some reason I never smelled or did and forgot. I think it might actually be a “reference” chypre: the Apollonian Ideal of what a chypre should be. Created over 100 years ago, it was when Coty was one of, if not the fragrance houses (I actually have some others that I got in the same StC order that I will cover in another post.)
Now, nothing this old is going to be perfectly preserved- I have a feeling that some of the opening citrus notes are missing and that I am going right to the heart with it’s oakmoss, patchouli and musk. Well, not a bad place to be. The first thing I thought is that modern sniffers would drop the “old lady” bomb, but then I thought that most people I know who would invoke that are nigh unto Social Security themselves these days. The Uggs and Thong wearing 20-something who wore Pink Sugar back in 2000 is likely driving a minivan full of kids who roll their eyes at Mom’s Froot Loop scented concoctions. Heck, my godchild, who I gifted Bandit and Fracas in her teens (her Mother only forgave me because she could pilfer) is (gasp) 30. So my perceived Old Lady may be their Holy Grail. Vinyl is so back it may be out again (are 8-tracks or cassettes the new thing?) and there’s a new vogue for Polaroid cameras, so maybe this old lady is ready to rock the world back on it’s heels again. I hope so, because she truly does rock.
What are your comfort zone scents? I could have gone on for a week, but I would love to read about yours. Leave a comment.
MKK, Sables, and Eau Sauvage are available at various e-tailers and their websites. I got my sample of Chypre from Surrender to Chance. Photos are from my iPhone and Pexels