Cinnamon wrote about this one earlier in the week– on her it was a total scrubber. Actually, being a kind person she wrote us to say that she was going to skip reviewing it because she basically had nothing nice to say. Now since the rest of use are firmly in the “If you don’t have something nice to say, come sit by me” camp we urged her to write it. After all, it’s a major company in major department stores. I personally will if not grade on a curve at least be nice enough to save my bile for the big boys who can afford a hit to the flanks- much like if I am at MacArches I will state that the new MacCrunchWrap TunaMacSupreme is swill, the home-made tuna casserole you serve I will just choke down and declare delightful. I just won’t ask for the recipe.
In any case this email exchange that morning actually got my lay a$$ off the sofa and out for a walk over to the Frederic Malle Boutique on trendy Melrose Place (seen here in a screenshot from the uber-odd Gucci ad with Faye Dunaway from a few years ago, which was brilliantly skewered by the hilarious Deven Green) I stopped at the Santa Maria Novello store to buy some of my favorite pot-pourri (tip- when it loses it’s juice you can put it in the ashtray in your car. It’s still strong enough to scent that small space. Newly opened it’s overwhelming) and was given the bad news that Nostalgia- the wonderful scent of theirs that smelled like an old Jaguar (or I suppose Alfa) was gone, a victim of IFFRA. Grrr. Anyway, I went to the Malle shop and found that one of my favorite SA’s from the dear, defunct Barney’s had landed. We had a nice chat and he made me a sample. I was really glad to see him again, and am plotting the way to get him to marry me so I can get an employee discount. He mentioned that some people were comparing Heaven Can Wait to L’Heure Bleue, that the Malle was like a “younger cousin” and more approachable”
So, was it a scrubber? A cousin? I wore an overdose of the Guerlain yeserday and a heaping helping of Malle today and contrasted and compared.
First, L’Heure Bleue kicks Heaven’s butt. Heaven is like pulling up at the Valet in a new S-class Mercedes and feeling all top-of-the-walk just as L’Heuere Bleue’s two-toned liveried 40’s Rolls pulls up to let out Catherine Deneuve, who is taking her friend Marianne Faithfull to lunch.
Not to write that Heaven is bad, because on me it’s far from it. I can see where it went wrong on Cinnamon- that ambrette thing in the opening is off-putting on me in the same way that the aniseed one in the Guerlain can be. But while the Guerlain warms somewhat as it wears (but never completely, it is the “blue hour” after all) the Malle goes on cold and stays that way. The florist-fridge iris in Heaven Can Wait is chilled further with vetiver while the iris in L’Heure Bleue, though coolly powdered is warmed with that Guerlinade base of vanilla and benzoin.
Now, I do like Heaven Can Wait. If nobody had suggested a comparison I might have gotten the similarities on my own, but as it was stated I had to try it out. Of course the Guerlain is over 100 years old (doubtless reformulated many times) and it kind of shows: 12 hours later L’Heure Bleue still smells of L’Heure Bleue and you might feel you need to live up to that. Heaven Can Wait (if you don’t want to scrub it off) is far more accessible and “easy” to wear. It’s also $395 for 100ML ($275 for 50) while the Guerlain is $125 for 75ML when ordered directly from Guerlain (which you should do at least once- the packaging alone makes you feel like a princess..) I have the latter, and don’t think I need the former.
Oh well, there goes that marriage..
And just for the heck of it, here’s the opening from the Patty Duke show. “Identical Cousins”
Photos are mine, IMDB’s, a screen grab from YouTube, and Pexels.
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Again, sorry for the glitch, but it’s WordPress, not us.