Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Steamy Love Triangle

So I've decided that a full bottle purchase of Serge Lutens Gris Clair can wait for two reasons: 1. because it's so strong that my small eBay decant should last me till summer. I felt the same way about Tubereuse Criminelle which I have a couple of decants of, and I'm glad I didn't break my back trying to acquire a bottle that I'll never use up in my lifetime. 2. It (like Tubereuse Criminelle) simply has not earned a single rave so far, which astounds me because it's such a gorgeous scent. I don't blame the perfume for this but my own chemistry with the perfume. By the way, I know many people feel funny about wanting to wear a scent that gets raves, in the same way people don't want to admit to wanting positive attention of any kind, but I just want you to know that I am a singer and I'm very much over trying to hide the fact that I prefer positive attention over wanting to be discovered whilst trying to hide in the background like a heroine in a romance novel. Geez, they're just different fantasies that still stem from wanting to be noticed by someone, aren't they? Let's be real; one isn't a better fantasy than the other--just that most people can't handle being in the spotlight, period.

But I love Gris Clair and I must own it one day! Now we're down to just two: Chantecaille Frangipane and Le Labo Jasmin 17, and I'm sure I'll rationalize a way to get them both because, after all, my birthday in May is coming up and I'll give myself a fragrance gift like I do every year. :-)

I wore Le Labo Jasmin 17 today and it is every bit the animalic musky scent that true jasmine is. I know this is probably hard for many people to fathom but sometimes I enjoy smelling dirty more than clean, and by dirty I don't mean unwashed per se but definitely not clean and soapy. It's a good musky, like sex, or a lover when he sweats. The scent of jasmine has been compared to the smell of a woman's vagina as well, and a perfume like Schiaparelli Shocking is an example of a very animalic jasmine scent meant to evoke exactly that. Now mind you, I don't mean I'm going around smelling like a vagina although that wouldn't be a bad thing at all--I have no hang-ups about vaginas--but there's something a little naughty about the scent of a jasmine dry down and it doesn't smell of spring flowers that you may have expected when you first put the scent on. Perfume changes on skin over time and the degree of musk can make the difference between a perfume that's appropriate for daytime and one that's best for evening.

The dry down of Jasmin 17 is animalic enough that it reminds me of another perfume by the same perfumer, a decadent Oriental unisex perfume called Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur. The name alone is a clue as to how animalic-musky it is. The notes do not list jasmine but I'm quite sure that that's the ingredient that gives it its sexual undertone. The two perfumes are very similar, only the jasmine is made more suggestive with the addition of heavier, sweeter base notes in Musc Ravageur. Basically, Musc Ravageur is Jasmin 17 at night wearing sweaty black lingerie in the heat of passion. Jasmin 17 is Musc Ravageur the day after, wearing a crisp white suit to work but had no time to shower so she spritzed herself with a nice and flowery cologne splash.

Musc Ravageur is another perfume that is strong enough that I never needed a full bottle of, but Jasmin 17 is one that I would actually use more of since it's lighter. So my question is: do I want to smell like what I described above, or like the other love of mine, Chantecaille Frangipane, which is like a very nice young woman who doesn't smell like sex at all but like the aforementioned romance novel heroine who waits to be noticed because she's shy and "doesn't feel the need" to be in the spotlight because her prince will discover her as she tries her damnest to be a humble servant in the world wearing her floral cotton dress that covers her up to her neck? OK, I'm exaggerating; she's actually a sweet island girl--she at least wears a sundress and now and then shows a little decolletage. Better?