Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cristalle VS Chance: Little White Dresses

Hyacinth follows in the green floral trend of iris and violets, and it's a lovely note, albeit one that's always been iffy on me. Sometimes, it dries down so badly on me, it resembles the smell of a public phone receiver, which is not a good smell in my book. In the bottle, I find the scent of hyacinth both springy fresh and also rather old-fashioned flowery sweet--but in a good way. It can smell planty and it can also smell honeylike and warm under the sun. It can smell cool and reserved like the color blue, or "aristocratic" as the color purple. How this "green" note registers in my mind varies in an extreme way.

Hyacinth is actually a green floral and a white floral, a hybrid note. If I crossed jasmine or peony with lilacs in my mind, I might recall the relatively well-mannered yet slightly heady hyacinth note. It's a floral note that to me is almost bombshell and carnal but controlled and clean (maybe a bit prim) with a romantic character more so than a cutting edge one. Actually, I think hyacinth smells very chic in my current two favorite perfumes, Chanel Cristalle and Chance. They're quite different from eachother and come from different eras, yet they give out the same message: "I don't give it all away but my heart is full of dreams".

Today, I thought Chance might really be a Chypre because it's almost like a continuation of Cristalle, or a younger version of what I envision to be the well-mannered little white dress classic. Then it dawned on me that Cristalle must be a white floral as well as being a Chypre leaning toward green. Sure; why not? In fact, today, Cristalle reminded me of L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons and I thought how funny that I'd read someplace once that La Chasse is a Chypre, although perfumistas corrected me that it's a white floral for sure. What can I say? I really think it's both. Does it have to be one or the other? What if it can't be definitively one or the other?

In any case, I'm really loving these two plus Annick Goutal Songes (not a hyacinth perfume) which I'm planning to get in EDT this fall. At this rate, I may have to try Guerlain Chamade again. Chamade is a challenging hyacinth, densely aldehydic-powdery warm and heavy, and slightly soapy-green. I found it very retro and hard to wear but gorgeous. Maybe if Chanel No.5 and Cristalle were crossed, the result would be Chamade (Chamade is born in 1969, making it just a couple of years older than Cristalle born in 1974). Which fragrances are you loving these days? Any hyacinths in your life worth sharing about?

Tonight's Music: Mudvayne "Fall Into Sleep"

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Fragrance Foundation Says Stick To Orientals

I've lost interest in Oriental fragrances ever since I read some nonsense on The Fragrance Foundation website that dark-haired people are more suited for Oriental perfumes. This reminds me of when I went to a perfume shop to look for a light floral perfume only to be told that a dark Oriental would suit me better because I'm an Oriental (true story), and I vowed never to buy from that salesperson. I'm sure some people are happy to be told that the fairest scents are reserved for them and their "kind" but I think it's time we put an end to stereotyping which doesn't consider individual tastes. Should blondes listen to light Folk music and not Rock? Should I quit wearing pink because I'm not 12 years old? So anyway, no more Fumerie Turque for me. I won't buy it this fall. It's not even like I wanted to stop loving it but the feeling is gone. I'm sure I'll forever love my vanillas but it's funny how one negative association/experience could destroy feelings of pleasure once derived from a scent.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Paco Rabanne Eau de Metal (and thanks to my friends)

Thank you all so much for your support in the past few weeks regarding my gig at CB's. The Show last night was a success and I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful friends in cyberspace. I have received many personal notes from musicians and perfume friends during the course of preparation for the event. You have encouraged me with your overflowing abundance of positive energy and love. May the love you spread come back to bless your life a thousandfold!

I also wanted to share with you the news that the Fumerie Turque spell had broken a couple of days before the gig and I ended up wearing Pink Manhattan with a light spritz of Spring Flower not quite layered but wafting from one or two unexpected points. Today, I'm wearing a rare and discontinued love of mine called Eau de Metal by Paco Rabanne, a bright and clean yet soft and harmonious blend which Jan Moran classifies as Aldehydic Floral (she once kindly answered my inquiry on her website and referred to Metal as a youthful rose-based blend--I do feel it's rather reminiscent of Ralph Lauren Romance but simultaneously softer with more clarity and sparkle, all with a retro vibe). I couldn't find any information on Eau de Metal online (although I had heard it was created a few years after the creation of Metal), but I'm very happy to have found these notes today on Google:

According to

Paco Rabanne Metal For Women

Metal by Paco Rabanne was launched in 1979. It is a jubilant floral perfume with notes of bergamot, ylang ylang, peach, white iris and rosewood.

Well, what a surprise that I've had an iris holy grail all this time!

I also found a second set of notes:
Paco Rabanne Metal--1980
Notes: lavender, jasmine, rose, carnation, lily of the valley, cedar, Tonka, musk, sandal

(Edited to add) On this site where you could read the history of Paco Rabanne, it's stated that Eau de Metal, the version I prefer, was created much later, in 1986. To my surprise, both Metal and Eau de Metal are listed here as men's fragrances.

I don't know if this perfume was ever brought back and reformulated but I'm seeing bottles in silver instead of the white ones with white caps which I own. Metal perfume was created by Robert Gonnon who also created Cacharel Anais Anais (1978, with Roger Pellegrino, Paul Leget, and Raymond Chaillan), Lancome O de Lancome (1969) and Sikkim (1971).

This bottle design also happens to be my all-time favorite perfume bottle: so mod!

Have a lovely weekend.

(Images: Beautiful bottle design by Pierre Dinand inspired by a Rolls Royce radiator grille (and also compared to the shape of New York City's UN Building) and originally designed for Calandre perfume (1969). Pictured are Metal by Paco Rabanne (I couldn't find Eau de Metal pics online) from and

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

CB's Lounge 8/10 Gig Coming Soon!!

Fumerie Turque Revisited

Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque is a serious perfume--it's about as sexy as strolling inside the mind of a wise old monk. Combine that with the scent of a medicine cabinet and you've got my signature. It must be two weeks since I've gotten hooked; by God, I think I've found it. It only took me about 7 years of searching and experimenting with at least 1000 other perfumes to find a love that consumes me. I recently read on a wonderful blog that this blend contains dates, which instantly--finally--revealed the meaning of Fumerie Turque to me: hookah pipes! Another thing I realized is that as heavy as the scent is, it stays very close to the skin with that airiness I've mentioned maybe once or twice before. I wear 3 spritzes at a time which last fairly well. Oddly, so far, no one else seems to smell this divine elixir on me, even in relatively close proximity. Fumerie Turque, on me, is a subtle aura of spicy-sweet-arid smokiness that almost resembles the scent of powdered green tea, the refined kind used in tea ceremony.

The drydown has a definite rose drydown which is slightly naughty-musky, and every now and then, I think I get a woody-syrupy whiff of Vivienne Westwood Boudoir (but seldom, really, considering how insanely heavy and rosy-woody-ambery Boudoir is in comparison). I believe I've broken my own "rule" which is to never fall in love with a soft and powdery scent, especially one that feels rosy and old-fashioned, not to mention hot-spicy in a somewhat carnationy, cinnamon & clove way. Today, I thought I smelled shades of L'Air du Temps and Worth in Fumerie Turque and I'm scaring myself. Surely, Fumerie Turque is edgier than those...It's almost like L'Air du Temps with the attitude of Aqaba or Nahema. Or is it? Can a bombshell also be understated, introspective and serene? Do you think there's a chance a bombshell perfume might even be intelligent?

My final thought tonight is that I think the day I buy a full bottle is the day this love will end, so I'm better off waiting for as long as possible. I wonder if Serge Lutens will ever release this perfume as an export fragrance and whether I'll feel the same way about it if/when that time comes. Of course, I wonder if tomorrow morning I'll still feel the same way, which is another reason to run with my decant for awhile. Something tells that the more I tell myself to look at the others which are more readily accesible, the more I'll ache for my sober, passionate beloved with a colorful, ineffably rich inner life.