I have got perfume samples coming out of the WAZZOO! It’s great!
One of my favourite things to do at the moment is to sit down at my desk with a bunch of samples, look up my favourite perfume sites, crack open a perfume vial and read a review of it at the same time. I know that that probably influences my judgement, but I don’t care. It’s helping my learning curve, reading the names of each of the notes as I smell it is steadily helping me identify the bajillion different scents that go into making a fragrance. I mean, I normally wouldn’t have any idea what the hell iris smells like, until there’s something I can’t get in a scent and whammo! The review tells me its iris. And it makes me appreciate everything more. I might smell a bunch of samples and dismiss them, but if I’m smelling something while learning that it is a masterpiece of modern perfumery I am more inclined to pay attention.
And it’s fun.
Ok, so I got my nine pack of Guerlains yesterday, and my first impulse was to just open EVERYTHING and sniff it all at once. The Perfumed Court have helpfully curbed that instinct, however, by making their sample vials nearly impossible to open. I mean, I am STRUGGLING to break into these bastards. And when I do open them at last, I always spill a bit on my fingers, which makes going on to smell something else impossible because they’d all get mixed up. But! Since yesterday I HAVE managed to get into three - Jicky, Mahora and Après L'ondée. The first two I spilt on my fingers. The third I would like to BATHE in.
Jicky is surprisingly lovely. I wasn’t really expecting to LIKE it, I was more expecting to be impressed with it intellectually and historically – it has been around for over one hundred years, Sean Connery wears it (ok, a lot of impressive historical figures have worn Jicky, but let’s be honest – Sean. Connery), dawn of modern perfume, etc etc. But it is actually really nice, once you’re past the acidic, eye-watering citrus opening and into the lavender-jasmine-civet heart. And on that – civet. Smells like poo. But in a GOOD way. How is that even possible? Never in my life have I thought “You know, what I’d really like right now is to smell like poo - to the bathroom!” and yet this civet (and I think the indolic jasmine) HAS got that slightly poo-y touch and yet it all just adds to the scent. Mixed with the florals, the bergamot, it all just smells rich and interesting. It smells like being hugged by James Bond, damnit, and I like that.
Mahora was a bit of a surprise too, to be honest, because it opens like dunking your head in a vase of white flowers and then it continues in that vein without letting up. I don’t normally LIKE white flowers, I get all overwhelmed and feel like I’m drowning in wax – but this might be something I could wear. It actually DOES soften up a bit after a while, and there’s something like coconut in there as well. Very tropical, like lying in a hammock on some island where by law everyone has to go around with a bunch of tuberose and neroli held in a coconut shell. I actually shouldn’t really be commenting on this much because I had it on about half an hour before needing to take a shower, so I didn’t get any drydown. I have read that it’s fairly linear, though.
Next! Après L'ondée. I am LOVING this. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It smells like dense, wet flowers, violets (I love violet!), neroli, iris (which is kind of earthy, I now know), bergamot (but just a hint, not crazy acid bergamot like in Jicky), aniseed, musk…so gooood. I can’t stop smelling myself. It’s sweet and lovely and lush and smells kind of like rain and wet leaves and the white flowers don’t overwhelm me and I want a million bottles. I think it’s mostly been discontinued, though? I will pay out the NOSE for this, I don’t even care. (My fiancé might.) It’s not an aggressive scent, it’s light and swirling, but it permeates the air around you with, just…JOY. UGH. I am getting hyperbolic about this, but I can’t help it. It’s perfect.
I will get around to reviewing the rest of the L’Artisans eventually, I promise. The only thing I will say is that Mure et Musc smells somewhat like cough syrup. Very sad.