Steve at the Scent Bar asked me what my "Scent Concept" was going to be for my upcoming trip to London. The question was funny, and what was even funnier was that I was already working on one.
So far, I think I might be wearing Bruno Acampora Musc. When I've worn it lately, menfolk have piped up with an unsolicited "mmm...you smell good!". I want that "mmm!" response to enhance all my other concepts.
I love "scent concept"! It intellectualizes and elevates the whole process of slapping on perfume. I wish I were more of a scent concept kind of person.
Hey! I was at Neiman Marcus today, and Maison Francis Kurkdjian's CEO, Marc Chaya, was there to introduce two new scents released to celebrate MFK's first year anniversary.
They are "absolute" versions of Cologne Pour le Soir and Cologne Pour le Matin (which means they are EDPs instead of EDTs, with some different ingredients, said the handsome French fellow). Absolue Pour le Soir is now looking like a strong contender for my London Scent Concept.
I'd found the original Cologne Pour le Soir appealing, but ultimately too cloying, sweet and unchanging. But the Absolue version seems like what people are ultimately craving when they seek out something along the lines of Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur: it is animalic, sensual, leathery and incensey.
Charlotte Rampling enjoys home-brewing her own Absolue PLS.
I really think Absolue PLS is the perfected version of Cologne Pour le Soir! (In fact, it sways a bit to the beat of Lutens' Musk Kublai Khan. Perhaps it's the feminine version of MKK?) I excitedly told CEO Marc that it smelled like a church in a zoo, and he laughed politely, probably wondering if he could catch an earlier flight back to Paris.
At the start, Absolue PLS is reminiscent of Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan: that aroma of warm, fragrant weeds and resins. Then it gets alarmingly bestial, but that tapers off a tad, turning into the powdery animal fur niff found in Parfumerie Generale L'Ombre Fauve. It also shares a “bad kitty” vibe with Miller Harris L'Air de Rien and Un Petit Rien.
Powdery bad kitty-bunny
But later, when J smelled Absolue PLS on me, his spontaneous proclamation was "Incense!" I quizzed him on the leather barnyard component, but husb shook his head and restated firmly, “Incense!” The incense is indeed emphatic, more so than in Cologne PLS. It's the billowy, smoky kind, not the piney, sappy kind.
Oh, and CEO dude said Francis K used the original Cologne ingredients (benzoin, rose honey and incense) as a springboard, and amped it up with ylang-ylang, cedar, cumin and sandalwood for the Absolue. He didn't mention woodland critters or sweaty leather, but you can certainly smell them lurking within.
When you namecheck both Musc Ravageur and Ambre Sultan in describing Absolue Pour le Soir, I'm guessing it's not for me. After those two, it was hard for me to even finish the paragraph.
One encounter with Absolue PLS, and it's already in the running for your still-undecided London Scent Concept? Would I be taking too much credit if I believed my insanity was rubbing off on you a tiny bit?
Hah -- I just re-read our earlier exchange on MFK Cologne Pour le Soir, and it's only ratcheted up my desire for the Absolue. I need to stop hanging around with me -- I'm a bad influence. And you wrote this:
It's sweet and sexy, with just a little rasp initially and then a soft undercurrent of earthiness.
Add to which, you said you'd be "pleased as Punch" to wear it. So now we've both retroactively talked me into getting the Absolue. Is that the insanity to which you refer?
I take that back. I put Cologne Pour le Soir on again at 9 a.m. (wrong time, I know) and here we are at noon and I'm a little sickened. It's just so sweet. Not sleazy sweet in that men's cologne way, but more adult female sweet, and yet somehow too sweet and not enough female or adult. Like a fruitcake with a little rum in it. Which I don't like, the cake or the rum. Cologne Pour le Soir is simply something I don't like.
I bet I didn't talk you out of it, though, because it's much easier to talk both of us into things than to talk us out of things.
What? Sorry, didn't catch that -- too busy huffing Absolue, and it's a real Absolu-lu! And I'm almost out of my sample now....