Shooting from the Lip
My rip-snortin’ jaunt from ballet girl to punkette to pop singer to TV host & all the messy stuff in between
Perfumes: The A-Z Guide
Witty and provocative reviews of 1,800+ perfumes
What the Nose Knows
A fun and quirky romp through everyday smells
A cultural history of smell
The Emperor of Scent
Maverick Luca Turin's entertaining tussles with perfume and science
The Perfect Scent
An insider's look at the creation of two bestselling fragrances
A Natural History of the Senses
An aphrodisiac for all five senses
The Secret of ScentLuca Turin's scientific look at perfume
Essence and AlchemyThe voluptuous history of natural perfume.
My perfume collection is laughably un-springlike. If, say, Scheherazade needed to borrow something for a hot night at the harem, she’d be in luck. I have oriental mystery by the casbah-full. But for the tender, temperamental season of renewal, I’m not really prepared.
So when Ayala Sender of SmellyBlog rounded up a group of us “smell-and-tellers” to participate in a spring scent project, it was my cue to dig through my samples. Here are six that sang the most affecting melodies:
Van Cleef & Arpels Gardénia Pétale
I call Gardénia Pétale a “gardenia sorbet”, because it’s sheer and refreshing, rather than the full-fat ice cream of an Estée Lauder Tuberose Gardenia or Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower. Gardénia Pétale is a sleek ingénue next to those badonkadonks: light on her feet and not so prone to theatricality. Jasmine, with its olfactory reference to suntan lotion, supplies some of the sunshine here. Your good mood when you wear Gardénia Pétale supplies the rest.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Fleur de Narcisse 2006
Not everything evoking spring smells “pretty” -- not even flowers. L’Artisan Parfum has bottled up the 2006 crop of narcissusessssssssssss from the daffodils’ favored French stomping ground. And let me tell you, these narcissi ain’t no sissies.
In fact, I can’t even make out anything approaching floral in Fleur de Narcisse. Instead, the insinuating blend of smoked hay, tobacco, moss, and faint rootiness invokes the pregnant earth, bloomtime imminent, with the freeze of winter not yet forgotten.
Cartier L’Heure Promise
I first encountered L’Heure Promise when I reviewed Cartier’s five Les Heures de Parfums. Initially, I was just paying a courtesy call on L’HP, eager to hustle over to L’Heure Mystérieuse, the incense bomb bellowing, “Puckrik! Get your hindquarters over here NOW.”
I didn’t really think L’Heure Promise’s sharp, dry iris was my favorite time of the perfume clock, but then, the nuzzly-as-a-puppy-pile sandalwood drydown made me reset my watch.
This one is as “laundry fresh” as I’m ever gonna get, clean with a hint of salty skin. It’s a quietly optimistic perfume, just the thing for a season of new possibilities.
Sexy teen Heidi spent all morning milking the goats in a sunny flower meadow, and this is what her sweater smelled like when the sweaty village boy unbuttoned it later.
Guerlain Après L'Ondée
Après L'Ondée is a watercolor iris living in a vibration between powder and smoke. Its paleness has an almost metallic sheen. Après L'Ondée starts with the faded sweetness of vintage lipstick, and finishes by putting the idea of green in your head, without ever really smelling like plants or leaves. A symbolic transition from indoors to outdoors -- the perfect match for spring.
Dayna Decker Bardou Essence Crème
In the entire weekend of Sniffapalooza Spring Fling 2010, I bought only one perfume, and it was Bardou. The Dayna Decker line has some song and dance about being all natural/no parabens/animal friendly, but all I know is that when I opened the jar of Bardou “body butter”, I just wanted to dive in and live there.
It’s the freshest, greenest, most alive rose I’ve ever smelled. While Bardou comes in an eau de parfum as well as a high-tech body gel, it was the perfume cream, thick with shea butter and jojoba oil, that really put the fling in my spring.
The sheer decadence of smearing what smells like an entire rose field at dawn over my winter-desiccated skin is almost obscene. And the feel of the cool, dense crème is rich, but not too greasy.
My teeninesy carp about Bardou is that the pepper which supplies a bit of a punch at the beginning is the last guy to leave the party at the end. But I’ll tolerate the pepper sidekick, if it means I get to hang out with that superstar rose.
Please bunny-hop over to these participating blogs to read their spring scent choices.
All I Am A Redhead
A Rose Beyond the Thames
I Smell Therefore I Am
Notes from the Ledge
Perfume in Progress
Roxana Illuminated Perfume
The Non Blonde
Thanks to Ayala Sender for getting us all to smell on command!
Fumies, what are you wearing and loving this spring?