Thursday, May 18, 2006

Subtle, Not Lukewarm

Today: Chantecaille Frangipane (again, since last night). It's so subtle and yet so perfect with a semi-powdery, semi-musky, semi-sweet fruity-cocoalike aspect. But thankfully, lukewarm it's not; subtle, yes, but it fulfills my desire for a sweet and delicious skin scent. It's also to me just modern enough that it doesn't seem like a round, smooth, powdery, retro type of fragrance but more of an angular counterpoint between fresh (water notes) and sweet (white florals and Oriental/Gourmand notes) with a hint of powder to blur the sharpest edges. It's musky but not a sweaty musk; it's to me dry and slightly sharp (like ginger musk) and maybe just a tad BO-like, in a good way.

I don't understand the appeal in fragrances that don't lean on one side or the other or seem afraid to risk juxtaposing extremes on both sides at once. I like "hot" or "cold" or "hot and cold" but not lukewarm. Subtle is different--subtle to me means a smaller dosage of something interesting.

A total tangent: The Hermes I tested yesterday turned way too flowery on dry down so unfortunately it's a no-go for me, but I'm so happy to have had the chance to test it. It always makes a difference to test run a perfume for an entire day because you can't always smell the dry down stage inside a store where a cacophony of scents get in the way of perception. I've tested perfumes that I thought I loved, only to buy them, bring them home and realize that I didn't like them at all. "Take it slow" is good advice from a sage I came across on my perfume journey.

It's gotta be all or nothing for me; I won't settle for lukewarm anything.