Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Anticipations, Quickies, Cheapo Finds, and Ambivalence

Do you have any scents you're yearning for, or a frustrating ambivalence, lately? Here are my recent anticipations, tests, finds, and fickleness.

Most anticipated new releases:

Robert Piquet's Futur (as reported in Sniffapalooza Magazine)
Lubin's Gin Fizz (as reported by Carmencanada in Grain de Musc)
Ego Facto's Me Myself and I
Ego Facto's Jamais le Dimanche (a new brand currently only available at Marionnaud, as reported by Octavian Coifan at 1000fragrances)

Recently tested:

Parfums de Nicolai Odalisque
Just like other PdNs I've tried, the topnotes are just an unreproachably lovely bouquet with a gentle touch of green sparkle, so well blended that I can't tell where the lily of the valley begins or the iris ends, because it all just melds so smoothly that it...then starts to bore me silly, for some reason I just can't fathom. Why me? Why can't I love these? So unfair.

Strange Invisible Perfumes Urban Lily
Ummm... I can't say yet if this is urban. Moldy lily of the valley juice crushed weeks ago into a sidewalk-crack by passersby, maybe? Tabac
Beautiful. An unambery, non-gooey, non-gourmand tobacco leaf scent. I'm still not sure I've found my tobacco holy grail, though.

Jasmal by Creed
Waxy to the point of fruitiness and green jasmine. So simple I tend to think it isn't necessary, until Joy parfum is just a little too creamy and complex and brainy to deal with on a Texas summer's day. Sweetens into a banana-jasmine in the drydown.

Givenchy III
Raspy, silvery-green, and velvet-furred like lamb's ear leaves. The coriander always has me entranced up front, but then I end up getting a bit tired of it; it feels a bit too linear, even for a confirmed green chypre lover. I love it, then I'm bored, then I love it, then I don't. Another one I'm ambivalent about, to say the least.

Messe de Minuit by Etro
The first time I sniffed this, in the dry, dry, cool Texas winter, it repulsed me like a dank, moldy basement. Now, with some spring moisture in the air, it is a lovely citric-tinged incense with a musky undertone.

Cheapo finds:

Vivienne Westwood Libertine
This is making me doubt my sanity. I actually LIKE a fruity floral. With pineapple (shudder) in it.

Bvlgari Black
Thank goodness I was able to return the stinker watery bottle of this I bought off eBay a while ago, and now have a good bottle from a reputable online retailer. I already knew I loved it, but I'm newly overjoyed by the rubbery black tea topnotes.

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel
See recent review for my slavering adoration.

Perfumes I'm afraid I've fallen out of love with:

Oh dear, I have full bottles of these and I'm not sure I can stomach them anymore. I may need to wait until next winter to make a final stay-or-go decision on these, but I'm feeling fickle and overloaded with perfumes I don't love. I may need to clear out some bottles from the collection.

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A wet black bough, or, I discover Grey Flannel

The perfect March scent is not what I expected at all. I'm finally getting out from under the workload, and the SWSX madness has awakened me a bit from all-work-no-play tedium. I've been working my way out of a perfume lull, as well. It's just getting warm enough in Texas for me to starting wanting something crisp, austere, and preferably androgynous. I've got enough girly perfumes, and my mainstays through the winter have been vintage, bosomy, animalic floral parfums like Joy and My Sin. So I was at TJ Maxx one mid-March morning, and what do I find for $16... Geoffrey Beene's Grey Flannel.

This is what I wanted Black March by CB I Hate Perfume to be, but wasn't. I was disappointed with Black March: it's nice, but too aquatic for my taste, and disappears too quickly. Why is it that aquatic scents don't capture that cold, wet, blustery, wind-chapped-cheeks feeling I actually want? How do they manage not to be envigorating? That aquatic note is like a still pond, not a rainy day, I guess.

I seem to remember having recoiled like I'd been slapped on previously sniffing this wonder. Now I'm fantasizing about finding a man just so I can spray him down with it. It's that good, people! Hm, I wonder if my next-door neighbor would let me...okay, better not go there. That initial smack of citrus and violet (is it also violet leaf, I wonder?) is a little scary at first, especially if you've grown to loathe department stores' harsh, chemically masculines, 98% of which seem to flay your nose with violet leaf topnotes, but hang in for a sec, don't judge, and ... ah, there it is: like a comforting wool sweater after walking through the woods on a moody, scratchy March day. I get rain-soaked, just-budding March branches, and the dewiest, unsweet violets nestled in wind-whipped, bitter green leaves that probably come from the geranium and sage notes, but which to me smell like artemisia. That's probably because I have tons of artemisia in my yard, so smell it all the time. As I compulsively sniff my arm, I keep thinking: not just bitter-sweet, but bitter-warm and bitter-soft, to boot. Perfection.

Notes include: lemon, violet, sage, geranium, oakmoss, patchouli, cedar, sandalwood.

So why did I ever feel the need to go niche to find a moody, rainy-day atmosphere perfume? Do yourself a favor and hit a Marshall's or a TJ Maxx and buy some of this stuff before they change it.

Image of Loch Ness from Sunny Scotland.