Friday, April 3, 2009
Three for spring that won't break the bank (and a drawing!)
Spring? Huh, you say? Spring? It’s snowing/raining/flooding/freezing. But don’t fear, my pretties, it will come. Trust me on this.
I’ve been shopping. Stocking up on all those “Eaus” our usually hot springs and miserable Georgia summers demand. In big bottles, too. Here’s what I’m thinking: once the Burghers of Brussels are successful in removing any ingredient that might cause a rash in one of ten thousand of us, such as hydroxycitronell (are they joking? Hydroxycitronell?!) as well as oakmoss and who knows what else, many of our beloved summer scents are going to smell like a melting popsicle and probably last about as long. So I’m hitting the online discounters for (I hope) their older stock in full bottles. Some of these are surprisingly inexpensive. Here are a few:
O de Lancôme: suggested by Helg from Perfume Shrine. I asked on Perfume Posse if anyone knew of a citrus that might last. After the laughing stopped, Helg suggested this one, among others, as a lemony citrus with a little green bite. This has been around since the early Seventies, although it has been reworked. (Bottle purists be advised: it does come in a hard acrylic bottle, which I assume has to do with the low price.) And it does last, especially for a citrus, even on me. I’m thinking: work, gym, walks, lunches, wear it wherever I want. A decant in my handbag, as with all of these: the modern equivalent of smelling salts on a July day. Notes include the usual citrus fruits plus petit grain, jasmine, honeysuckle, basil, rosemary, coriander, oakmoss, cedar, sandalwood and vetiver. On me, the citrus notes predominate.
In Love Again (YSL): Okay, this isn’t news. It’s a Jean-Claude Ellena, from 1998, relaunched in 2004, and I’ve heard it described as a rehearsal for Un Jardin sur le Nil. But the surprise, at least on me, was the drydown. I sprayed it on a T-shirt, went to sleep in a cloud of sweet grapefruit, and work up in a garden of subtle berries and flowers. Okay, the name is kind of dumb, but the fragrance is really nice! Notes include grapefruit rind, grapes, bilberry (which I believe is from Australia), tulip tree flower, water lily, blackberry, sandalwood and musk.
Silences (Jacomo) Read Helg's review here. I can’t add much to it except to say that this is one of the most unusual scents I’ve ever experienced: mossy, dark, intense bitter green. Helg says that this one came out just before the release of Opium, and, as all the other companies fell all over each other trying to duplicate Opium’s success, it was mostly forgotten. I’ve never tried the vintage Vent Vert, unfortunately, but I bet this one is in the same ballpark. My husband describes it as “sultry.” If you like dark greens, get this while you still can; it’s ridiculously inexpensive on the online discount sites.
(Note: there is some confusion about the versions; there was a reformulation at some point. The most recent version features, according to Jacomo's site, narcissus absolute, iris “from Florence,” rose, blackcurrant absolute, galbanum, calendula, Bulgarian rose, lily of the valley, oakmoss, ambrette, sandalwood and vetiver.)
If you’d like to receive samples of these three, three mills of each, in a sprayer (c’mon, I’m not going to tell you how inexpensive these are and then send you a lousy 1 ml vial) leave me a comment and I’ll do a random drawing. Deadline is Sunday, April 19, midnight US E.S.T.
Narcissus photograph by Keith M. Borow. All rights reserved.