Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Smell Funny

I have S.A.D., I've decided.

Seasonal Aromatic Disorder.

All I want to wear lately, perfume-wise, are big honkin' white florals. This made sense a couple of weeks ago when it was still getting into the 80's every day, but the last week or so it's been close to freezing every night and still pretty cool (for Austin) during the day. Plus, the light is definitely wintry, and we've had lots & lots of rain & drizzle & mizzle & other unpleasantness. By rights, I should be hunkering down with my musks and spices and ambers. Instead, I've been waltzing around smelling like a tropical veranda underneath my cashmere sweater.

I'm not someone who adheres to the seasonal theory of smell with super-strictness. Living where I do, and being as great a fan as I am of big orientals and ambers, I've learned to appreciate them in the warmer weather as well as the cooler. (Wearing a deep, rich, dark oriental like Tolu in the heat will bring out qualities in the fragrance that you might not notice when it's chillier, so it's well worth the experiment.) But I do typically crave the heavier perfumes once it gets cool.

But lately, it's all about the flowers & sunshine. Here's some that have been capturing me. If you're interested in trying any or all of these, click on the photos to be taken to The Perfumed Court, the interweb's best resource for samples & decants of high-end fragrances. (Note their banner down the side of my blog. Click on that any time you need a Frag Fix.) Besides selling individual scents, the lovely ladies there can put together sample packs based on a particular note you'd like to explore -- jasmine, for example, or tuberose. Pretty brilliant.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Bergamote 22 by Le Labo

Sunshine in a bottle. I'm not usually a fan of lemon-based scents, mostly because they're often all sugared up, and lemon seems to be the default go-to note for fragrances when the creators want it to be "inoffensive" and generally pleasing to the widest range of people. Most lemony perfumes bore me to tears. On the other hand, I adore bergamot -- it's got spunk. Bergamot is lemon's much sassier cousin. This is additionally punked up with some grapefruit notes (another favorite of mine -- add lime and it's my citrus trifecta), but the thing that really makes it work for me is a really beautiful smooth musk at the bottom of the composition that makes it cling to my in skin a way that's bright and warm and yet sexy at the same time. Like a beautiful blonde girl with a husky voice. Delicious stuff -- I was hooked from the first time I sniffed it. I'm wearing it now. I smell great.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Lys Méditeranée by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I love lily. Not everyone does. It's a big smell, intense and heady and for people who are aroma-phobic, it can be overwhelming. I have a good friend who loathes the smell of lilies because it reminds her of her beloved mother's funeral (a very good reason to dislike it and further proof of the incredibly powerful associations smell can have with memories). I try to remember to never wear any of my lily perfumes around her, and it eliminates several of my favorites, including this one. Since I can't have fresh lilies in my house, despite my love for them (they are incredibly toxic to cats -- consuming even a small amount can be deadly), I'm even happier when I find perfumes that give me good lily-osity. This is a big, bright, pure lily, with a touch of orange blossom. Heady & wonderful.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tubereuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens

One of the weirdest fragrances I have ever met, and I am positively addicted to it. This is one of the Lutens non-exports, meaning the only way to acquire a bottle is to get it from the boutique in the Palais Royal in Paris, or get someone to pick one up for you. Did I get some when I was in Paris last month? No, I did not. Do I hate myself for that now? Yes. Yes, I do. The opening of this perfume is a strange and hilarious blast of some sort of mentholated leather -- some people say gasoline. It's impossible to describe and, to be honest, a lot of folks loathe it. Not me. After the initial wacky depravity of the opening, it dries down to what is, on me, actually a fairly demure tuberose, sweetly feminine with just the tiniest edge of... something else. Something a little risky.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Carnal Flower by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

King Hell Champeen of All the Tubeys, despite what all you Fracaddicts say. I've talked about this fragrance here before, so I'll spare you the raves. I will say, however, that the last several months I've noticed that this scent is being flogged mercilessly in all the fashion magazines' perfume sections, and this makes me a little sad. The company seems determined to raise its profile in the American market, and this perfume seems to be what they consider their way in. (This and a bland little number that they're offering exclusively at Barney's which was tremendously disappointing on several levels.) Perfume Snob I finds this a little disheartening -- I like the idea of being the only person I know wearing this. Not that they're wrong to rave, goodness knows, it's a magnificent fragrance.

I'll give you a break from the sniffer chat now and be back in a day or two to finish up this post with a few more of my favorite frags. Happy sniffing!

Photos: Barneys.com, salons-shiseido.com

Stumble Upon Toolbar

1 comment:

tmp00 said...

You know, I used to be the same way, I'd only trot out the incense or the musks when the temps dropped/ The house that changed my mind? Lutens. I tried a couple at Barneys in heavy AC, then July LA heat. I realised that these were made for that heat- they bloom in heat in a way that they don't in the cold. So in winter I've started wearing Hadrien and Acqua di Parma or Iris something, something that will lift me up on a cold drizzly day.

You don't smell funny, you smell divine...