Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SOTE: Cuir de Lancome SOTD: Chanel Cuir de Russie parfum

I'm on a leather kick lately. And a boot kick. Wore my gorgeous new rubber boots and Cuir de Lancome last night to get out for a drink with a girlfriend. We had such a blast, and it was so lovely to get her out of the house and get her laughing. She's a new mom, and the sleep deprivation and anxiety has really been getting to her.

The minute I woke up this morning, I knew the scent of the day had to be Cuir de Russie. So I have that luxurious thing on, and my leather wedge boots that lace up in the back. I feel much better than yesterday. Every time I wear Cuir de Russie, I think all I ever want to wear is leather scents, and I go on a rampage looking for yet more. But it really is so rare to find good birch-tar-based leather scents. My other favorites are the saffron-infused suede of Cuir de Lancome, the extra-tarred, extra-cloved vintage Lanvin Scandal parfum, the endearingly furry leather of L'Artisan Dzing!, and the heavenly burnt rubber of Bvlgari Black. I would love to get some of Heeley's Cuir Pleine Fleur, but am worried that when I want the luxury leather thing, I'll inevitably go to my Cuir de Russie.

I'm probably weird, but my nose doesn't really read the isobutyl quinoline-based scents as leather. They are more like ashtray. Not that I dislike ashtray -- vintage Cabochard parfum is my favorite ashtray scent, and the recent Diorling reformulation is a close second. But I just can't do Bandit. Well, maybe I will someday when a bottle of the vintage parfum falls out of the sky and into my lap.

But until that day, what should be my next leather, do you think? What's your next leather scent going to be? Knize Ten? Etro Gomma? Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque? Maybe I should wait for Traversée du Bosphore?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SOTD: Amouage Ubar

Emotional upheaval again. Shaking with anger and rejection? Check. Barely clinging to composure in the office? Check. So I pull out my stash of perfume samples from my purse. Whew! I find a great scent to help stoke one's inner turmoil and nobly restrain one's more uncivilized urges: Amouage Ubar.

The soaring lily of the valley, the basso leathery civet, the succulent rose and jasmine in between the two -- it's just balanced perfectly and on the grandest sustainable scale, it seems to me. It practically confers noblesse on the wearer. It's grandeur makes you pull yourself upright and keep hold of the raging conflagrations inside. It's a liquid version of winning your spurs -- hmm, maybe you can deal with it all. In ought to be knighted for your surpassing self control! OK, maybe that's taking it a bit over the top. Again.

Amouage Ubar is ridiculously expensive and beautiful. I got my tiny sample from The Perfumed Court, I believe. You can find other, much more informative reviews at Perfume Smellin' Things,
Perfume Shrine, and Now Smell This.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Serge Lutens Sarrasins

On my first test of Sarrasins, the initially lovely, juicy bergamot and jasmine top notes (for a few moments on a par with Montale's Jasmin Full) turned into a plasticky grape soda on me, sadly. As it dried down, however, it started to grow on me. That first try may have been an unfair assessement, given that I tried about a half-dozen perfumes in the span of an hour on that particular day.

Now that I try it again on a day when I haven't been overdosed with perfumes, I love it much more. A delicious, subtle, musky, sweet-savory leather reward awaits those patient enough to sit through what seems at first to be merely another restrained, middling-sweet, barely indolic jasmine. The effect sneaks up on me. It's a perfume equivalent of beautiful Moorish tilework that, though it first may seem to be only a humble necessity, can attain a breathtaking artisanal opulence. Sarrasins is low-key and unintimidating for a jasmine perfume, but like those meditative geometric patterns in Moorish tilework, its effect is a harmony that transcends its unassuming materials.

Bois de jasmin says: "Sarrasins includes notes of bergamot, jasmine, carnation, woods, musk, coumarin, patchouli."

Perfume posse has a great review of Sarrasins, too.

Sarrasins is only available in Paris and samples are available at various perfume decanters. Just chalk it up to the days/weeks/paychecks I'll have to spend at the Serge Lutens shop once I finally get back to Paris!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

SOTD: Chanel #19 extrait

Confession: I have what I would consider an extravagant amount of Chanel #19 in extrait. And for someone with an already ridiculous collection, that's saying something. Before getting such things was as obscenely expensive as it now is on the flea bay, I bought two (why on earth did I think I'd need two???) 1-oz flacons of extrait. It was early in my perfume obsession, is the only way I can account for such silliness. Now I know better: if I have a half ounce of something I absolutely love in extrait, I'm pretty much set for life on that one. When I have a lot of something, I feel the need to wear it frequently in proportion. With #19 this is difficult, because it just doesn't go that well with sunny weather, and, um, well, I live in Texas, of all places. Not to mention the buttoned-up quality of the scent, which has often been described as having a bitch-on-wheels kind of severity. I only wear it to work, because it just doesn't fit with my weekend life in laid-back Austin. But today! In overcast, post-Hermine, muggy weather, I biked to work in #19, and it was perfect. So for today at least, I'm a bitch on wheels, wearing #19 to kick some editorial ass.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SOTD: Caron Narcisse Noir extrait

The scent of the day, in my current recalcitrant mood, is the expansive, sweetly terrifying Narcisse Noir in extrait. I don't think my bottle is vintage, because it has that soapy rose heart with which many recent Carons have been marred. But I don't care. It's the big, sloppy, honeyed orange blossom opening that drew me. Maybe the story about Gloria Swanson having the movie set of Sunset Boulevard sprayed down with this narcotic hot mess matches my own sulky mood today, as I drag myself off to my own, much less glamorous workplace.

Luckily for my coworkers, Narcisse Noir pulls itself together as the rose gives the emotional orange blossom a talking to, and by the time I actually get to work it'll have dried down to the somewhat incensey and synthetic sandalwood base.