Sunday, April 23, 2006

It's Like Choosing a Spouse

This week, I had planned to wear so many more perfumes than I got the chance to, but I got to wear things I hadn't planned on and even discovered more perfumes to love, so it was a good perfume week. Now, I can't just go buying every single perfume I fall in love with, so I'm trying to narrow my choice down to one (for now--because eventually I plan on buying them all *evil laugh*).

Serge Lutens Un Lys: I got a decant of this on eBay after I realized that the one I had was either used up or had evaporated/leaked out of the decant container. I'm glad I got it to test with because I can now test it side-by-side against Chantecaille Frangipane, the one I think is similar to Un Lys. I haven't had the chance to give it the full test run it deserves, but from first sniff I can tell you that Un Lys is a much headier flowery scent, one that really smells predominantly of lily even with its vanillic base. I have to ask myself whether I like smelling like an actual lily (with a tinge of lilac note) or not, and if I do, how often, or perhaps more importantly for me, how *much* I want to smell like this flower, no matter how infrequently.

Chantecaille Frangipane: This one seems to be a winner so far, but sometimes I wonder if in the long run I'll get bored because it's just a nice-smelling perfume, not particularly evocative and not a knockout that smells like a true classic-in-the-making. It just doesn't smell like a Joy or a Chanel No.5 or even a Poison or an Angel. Maybe it's a great perfume and I just fail to see its merit but I tend to believe that classics are made of some aspect about it that's bold and/or extreme, and Frangipane just isn't any of those things as it doesn't seem to have any element that makes it stand out. By the same token, it's very pretty! What more does a perfume have to be? I'll take it a step further and say it's also yummy! You know what? It's a great perfume and one day I will live to eat my own words.

Serge Lutens Gris Clair: Wow. Here is a bombshell perfume and I don't care that it's manly. It's got a big personality, belongs in the city, has its own career and knows how to party and by god, it's practical since the cool top notes can help clear your sinuses! I feel bold enough for it and it was pretty much love at first sniff, except it would be one of the only non-white floral perfumes I would have ever loved. The question is this: could I make a spicy sweet scent a signature or will I inevitably go back to my white floral addiction? It has to be said that I think Gris Clair is a great perfume. As sophisticated as it is, it's sweet enough that it satiates my need for Gourmand, which is another plus since I love vanilla so much. But if I had to pick either vanilla or gardenia (or another white floral), I might not be able to choose since I love the combination even more than either note alone - neither of which is found here, and yet, I'm smitten.

Le Labo Jasmin 17: If I didn't have such a discerning nose, I'd be happy with Marc Jacobs Blush, but even though this is similar, it blows Blush out of the water being higher quality, more natural-smelling and more complex. As a blend it's still rather simple, not drastic or cutting edge, which is fine. It has character, leaving the impression of a delicate springlike floral even if deep down it's really a sexual, animalic, musky and challenging scent (it shows its true self on dry down). I think Jasmin 17 is a great blend that's underestimated because it's so light (and some people who prefer heavy blends like to hate lighter blends condescending them as airhead scents--I think what they don't like is that lighter scents are often perceived as smelling more youthful) and effortlessly beautiful (too easy to hate that). ;-) So would this fit the bill as a signature? I'm not sure if animalic is the way I want to smell most of the time (the dry down lingers the longest), which takes me back to the mainstream yet loving high tech arms of Blush.