Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Does this perfume exist? I've been searching...

I have a holy grail perfume in my head that I don't think has been created yet. It's what I'd call a baked-bread chypre.

I've been collecting perfumes for a few years now, and have yet to come across it. Vintage Guerlains such as Mitsouko and L'Heure Bleue have a yeasty quality on the right day, but I have something a bit more buoyant in mind. The new Mitsouko edt is like catching a whiff of baked bread and jasmine incense wafting down the street, which I really like, although it's a bit unsatisfyingly linear. Chanel's Bois des Iles is an incredible gingerbread sandalwood in an explosion of aldehydes. And of course there's Bois Farine, but that's more of an limp, unbaked, wet flour smell, which to me makes it completely unappealing. Some iris materials have a powdery, bready quality, but usually they have a sweetness to them that are more patisserie than boulangerie. Mitti attar, which is an attar made of baked earth from India, has an earthy and dry dark bread (rye bread? pumpernickle?) scent, and of course real Santalum album, or East Indian sandalwood, can have a chewy, balsamic, bready facet to it.

I've always loved the smell of beer and yeast, too. I remember childhood drives to Milwaukee, and getting that hit of yeast from the brewery as you entered town. That was a magical moment when I was young, since I was more used to the godawful rotting eggs smell of sulfur that permeated paper-mill towns in central Wisconsin. Yeastiness is a human smell, too. Muscs Koublai Khan has it; it smells like eating warm monkeybread naked under the blankets, after doing (ahem) other things. The dear boyfriend has a clean, yeasty smell that I love, too.

So because of all these lovely associations with bread, I have this totally imaginary baked-bread chypre perfume all composed in my head: it has the smell of bergamot in the top notes, a heart of baked bread, smoky narcissus, iris, and animalic ylang ylang, and a base of dry sandalwood, civet, oakmoss, benzoin, and styrax. Because it's my imaginary holy grail and only exists in a world where I'm Queen of the Fucking Universe, the perfume's basenotes must dry down to an old leatherbound books and baked bread accord.

I don't know how an accord of fresh baked bread would be created, and it's certainly not a common one, that I can tell. So to all the perfume world: please tell me if anything close to this perfume exists! Or tell me: is this a disgusting idea to everyone but me, which is why it hasn't been created? Do you have a holy grail perfume that hasn't been created yet?

By the way, in searching for a photo for this post I came across this awesome blog post about a bread recipe that I'm going to try:

UPDATE: According to the lovely Elena at PerfumeShrine, Serge has heard --nay, anticipated!--my desires and has a new fragrance that smells like toast. Can't wait!

Photo came from here.


kjanicki said...

I can't think of anything with your exact notes in it, but maybe you could get it made for you from a bespoke perfumer like Dawn Spenver Hurwitz?

Have you tried Frederic Malle En Passant? It is wet lilacs and fresh bread or flour.

Aimée L'Ondée said...

Hi kj! Thanks for the suggestions -- I definitely should try En Passant again to see if I get more bread and less rainwater. I'm not ready to go the bespoke route yet, though -- way too pricy and I would feel so disloyal to my collection of vintage lovelies!

Ankica said...

Believe it or not, I was thinking the other day about bread and perfume :D :D

ChickenFreak said...

Oh, that sounds lovely. For what it's worth, CB I Hate Perfume has a "French Bread" accord. (Hey, suggest the whole thing to him?)

Aimée L'Ondée said...

Hm, if I ever meet Christopher Brosius I will definitely mention it!