I'm wearing Keiko Mecheri Bois de Santal this morning. It's one of those familiar perfumes I initially think I've smelled a hundred times: a subtle, nicely blended woody-floral that stays close to the skin and wouldn't offend a Sunday School teacher. It's perfectly pleasant and satisfying.
But just as I was about to make yet another crack about "Coldplay in a bottle," I realized I don't actually own many "Coldplays in a bottle." My collection leans heavily in the direction of Radiohead in a bottle. And Nina Simone in a bottle. And Kraftwerk in a bottle. And I don't even think I have smelled this a hundred times. So I just picked up the last $35 bottle on eBay, in the interest of balance. Though don't hold your breath on Coldplay.
I just got my sample of Etro Sandalo, so tomorrow the competition is on: left side will be Etro Sandalo, right side Keiko Mecheri Bois de Santal. And you know which one I'm rooting for.
Oh! This will be exciting. Like a slug race.
It is like a slug race. Especially after wearing those Cartier Les Heures du Parfums. It's like spending a few days with Fitzgerald, then discussing the merits of Bret Easton Ellis versus Jay McInerney. But here's what I know so far....
First, these two are completely different from each other: Sandalo is smooth and warm and more traditionally perfume-y, whereas Bois de Santal is angular and cedar-y, a sweaty note dominating the sandalwood.
In fact, Bois de Santal doesn't smell like sandalwood at all (it's more of a woody floral), whereas Sandalo definitely does. Or at least how I perceive sandalwood, which puts me in the mind of oily driftwood on a warm beach day. So those are big points for Sandalo, but I must also say that after an hour, and with the same amount of sprays, Sandalo has already faded and is sitting very close to my skin (like a millimeter away), while Bois de Santal is still bright-eyed and sweaty.
Somewhat unexpectedly, I like them both. As much as the top five things currently on my perfume wish list? Not even close. As much as Jay McInerney? Definitely. More so. Much more.
Well, once you start bringing the Cartiers into the equation, all slug race bets are off. That's just ridiculous! It's like eating what you think is perfectly delicious Indian food from your local carryout, when someone suddenly produces (inexplicably piping hot) trays of Indian food from Brick Lane in London. And in your example, the perfumes being compared aren't even all Indian food!
But yes. Those Cartiers sparkle with life and gradually revealed layers. Sandalo just sits there on your skin...like a slug. But a very fragrant slug.
I'm glad to hear you confirm that Sandalo wears close to the skin, because I like to wear it for yoga classes, thinking that I can focus in on my nice scent and not have it bother anyone else.
"Bright eyed and sweaty". Like me on the plane at Heathrow after one of my Duty Free binges.
Ha! Yes, Bois de Santal isn't Indian food at all, not metaphorically nor, of course, literally. And I can definitely confirm that Sandalo doesn't project and lays there flat as a pancake. But, oddly, it lasts for a few hours. Which is a little annoying. It's like listening to someone whisper for a really long time. Still, I imagine that's ideal for yoga class.
Continuing my steady descent from those first two Cartiers, tonight I wore Comme des Garçons' new Artek, an almost comically derivative perfume that combines 60% of the pencil-shavings accord of Hinoki and 40% of the (once) postmodern ozone-y smell of CdG 71. And nothing else. It's part Hinoki, part 71, and if anyone disagrees with me, I'll sock 'em in the eye. That's how grumpy I am since smelling those Cartiers.
I keep sniffing my XIII La Treizième Heure vial while simultaneously trying to talk myself out of marching right downtown and buying a bottle. For the next month, I'm all about restraint. And grumpiness.