Thursday, June 15, 2006

Finding Squares In A Room Full Of Circles

My Fragrance of the Moment is Serge Lutens Gris Clair. It's still only a decant but here I am, almost ready to make the full bottle plunge. It smells very sweet to me today, more Gourmand than herbaceous but that's OK--I'm in the mood for it. It's still a cool type of scent that's traditionally thought of as a Men's fragrance--I'm not sure Gris Clair is marketed just for Women but I certainly can think of a guy or two who would think this was too macho-smelling for themselves to wear (they also don't do Brut or Polo--not even the new Polo which is like a shadow of what we've all smelled before, only lighter). I'm not trying to smell like a guy; my taste in perfume is usually pegged as being ultragirly. I'm just into lavender right now, maybe because I find it comforting.

I think fresh scents can be very comforting, even though it's often said that people who need comforting are generally attracted to heavier, sweeter Oriental fragrances. I believe that would include Gourmand (a subgenre of Oriental) which I think Gris Clair qualifies as being because I certainly find it sweet and sugary (not as sweet as, say, Aquolina Pink Sugar but still sweet). Many people call Gourmand scents comforting but for me, sweets aren't about comfort--sweets to me are about youthfulness, like how kids (and overgrown kids) all worship candy. When I smell a sweet perfume, I get images of ice cream and cotton candy and in the perfumery realm, I tend to think of them as rebellious scents because some traditional perfume lovers still have a hard time accepting them as legitimate perfumes.

As more Men's fragrances are turning sweeter and heavier, going deep into the Oriental realm, I think some of Women's are getting woodier, more herbaceous, and perhaps we should thank FiFi Award winning Calvin Klein euphoria for the combination of masculine-cool and gourmand-sweet which has become mainstream for Women. I don't know about you but I think Gris Clair reminds me just a little bit of CK euphoria, only more airy and subtle (it's still not a subtle scent by any stretch). From the aromatic, gender-switching Guerlain Jicky till now, perfumery seems to have come full circle in little over a century. I like these angular and straight-forward semi-manly ones better than the onslaught of soft and powdery scents for Women I'm smelling lately, none of which appeal to me. Maybe I'll get more and more into the herbaceous ones as long as those unassuming powderies get pumped into our mainstream.

Speaking of Serge Lutens, I have a sudden desire to smell Douce Amére. Here's the blurb on Aedes: "Douce Ameré is concocted with a subtle balance of Absinthe. A fresh oriental, aromatic fragrance that is stylish and warm, softened with cinnamon, tiare flower and tagette. A delicate counterpoint of softness and bitterness". Actually, the word around town is that it's rather heavy and sweet, not very subtle but that's to be expected of a Serge Lutens perfume. I've yet to find one I'd call subtle and that's prolly why I love 'em.

I'm off--it's a gorgeous, sunny day in NYC!