Saturday, April 29, 2006

Clean Fragrances

Craving a light, clean scent after wearing nothing but heavy perfumes for a couple of days is sort of like cleansing the palate with a taste of gelato between first and second Italian dinner courses. In a world where smelling like laundry detergent or soap has become a sort of ideal among non-perfumistas, I don't want to be another one to follow the trend (I never liked that--I always want to go against the grain) but right now, I'm in the mood to find a holy grail clean scent. Unfortunately, this means white musk in most cases, a type of musk which I often have an aversion to. To me, it smells powdery and synthetic and cloying in the air even if others say it smells clean. I haven't liked any of the ones that people have raved about, most notably Philosophy Amazing Grace, Trish McEvoy No.3, Gendarme Carriere. I really tried to like them and even have decants of Amazing Grace that I've hardly touched. So what do I do? So far, I have one staple fragrance for spring and summer that I've been wearing for a few years now called L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons.

La Chasse aux Papillons (chasing butterflies) is a light white floral with a somewhat classic vibe. It's a young and semi-sweet but fresh, citrusy floral which, if you're not a white floral lover, will no doubt smell heavier than it does to me. But thankfully there is no white musk soapy smell in it--the base smells like oakmoss to me and it has a very natural dry down. I can think of few perfumes that are this feminine and delicately beautiful. It's not a perfume I'm wildly complimented on, yet it seems to always feel appropriate for situations where I need to be lighthanded with my scent. Of all the perfumes I own, this one seems to be the most versatile, at least during the warmer seasons. It's also not too retro-smelling--I don't care for powdery green perfumes that remind me of floral soaps, either.

If I could find a clean scent that's as effervescent and delightful to wear as La Chasse aux Papillons, I'll make a switch in a heartbeat. As for now, no other perfume has fit the bill. I might as well stick to my beloved favorite; just because gelato is served, it doesn't mean you absolutely have to have it or to even like it. Happy Spring!

La Chasse aux Papillons (Floral) 1999
Notes: Linden blossom, lemon tree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose