Friday, October 3, 2008

fleeting impressions

I have not been around these parts for a while, and though I've been reading about and smelling plenty of fragrances, I just haven't had the time to post a whole lot. But here are some windshield surveys of a few perfumes I am wearing lately:

Apres le Mousson: This one, a Hermes scent created by Jean Claude Ellena, gets a bad rap in some quarters, but I really enjoyed it during the overly warm weather a month or so back - back when I would be hot and tired and cranky and my non-air-conditioned car would be breathtakingly stuffy, and my tank top would be sticking to my back, and sweat would be dripping down my neck - I would catch a whiff of my perfume and have an actual moment of delight in the middle of all that misery.

Angeliques Sous la Pluie: Not much to say about this one yet except it's a clear cousin of Apres le Mousson; another Ellena salty-damp-spicy creation that smells delicious.

Secret Obsession: This one was love at first sniff - or, smile at first sniff, which is my favorite personal reaction to a perfume. I've read stuff calling this one loud, but it seems fairly quiet, or maybe soft, to me. The floral notes are definitely subservient to that "warm woods" thing in this one, yet the woods are very nicely complemented by other stuff going on underneath and all around, including a plummy note that bursts through when you least expect it to, and a green/dry (chypre?) thing that was more than welcome. A not at all obnoxious and not exclusively "feminine" fragrance, one that bears about as much resemblance to the original Obsession as Vivien Leigh does to Pamela Anderson.

CB I Hate Perfume, Musk Reinvention: Something about the woods in Secret Obsession reminded me of Musk Reinvention, so I pulled this one out to wear again and was struck, again, by how magnificent it is. I may be right that the wood in this one is related to the wood in the other, but there the resemblance ends - this is an overt, masculine fragrance, albeit one that somehow escapes being obnoxious (though it certainly makes you sit up and take notice). After a while, it's like the best-smelling auto repair shop you've ever been to - grease, leather, sweat, dirt, rubber, solvents, Corn Nuts. And in the middle of all of that, a little bit of mint!

I was with my sisters in Sephora the other day - my younger sister B might be the master of the perfume windshield survey. Here are her one- to two-sentence summaries (I hope I've remembered these right):

Hermes 24 Faubourg: "Very nice. Smells like money."
Bulgari Parfumee The Verte: "Food-y. Not my thing."
Armani Code: "Ooh, I like it. I'll have to go back to that one."
Kenzo Flower: "Something familiar about it! Does it smell like something Mom used to wear? Or bake?"

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