Sunday, December 10, 2006

Classics Trend Part II

So the year's almost out and we've smelled all the new popular frags out there: Calvin Klein Euphoria, Juicy Couture, Vera Wang Princess, Kenzo Amour, Arrogance Mix Lime Sugar, Christian Dior Miss Dior Cherie. We're still buying longstanding favorites: Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Aquolina Pink Sugar. Celeb scents are still at the peak of popularity and we've yet to smell more coming out next year (Marilyn Manson's new one will Smell Like Children). Even those who aren't serious perfumistas have their BBW sprays and Victoria's Secret scents. What's left to smell? White Linen. Have you seen the big plug as of late? I think with the resurgence of "classics", we might see Aldehydic Florals make a comeback in some shape or form. After all, the buzzword for this olfactive family is "sophistication". Aldehydic Florals as an olfactive family basically smell powdery, following after Chanel No.5, the powderiest classic perfume of all.

If you like green and powdery fragrances (the type of scent that was popular in the '60s-'70s), you would probably embrace a throwback to this genre. As for me, I have yet to find one to love, and I've tried them all, from Caron Infini to Trigere Liquid Chic, but when Estee Lauder White Linen is getting written up about in the pages of a magazine, I know we're in for something different. After all, White Linen is a quitessential American classic, supposedly worn by Mrs. Bush (Incidentally, the former Mrs. Bush is known to wear White Shoulders). It's supposed to smell like expensive linen, unsweet and crisp (sharp-powdery, not unlike No.5 but sharper and soapier, with violets), and while I understand the concept, I neither find it, nor its scent, appealing. I think you have to despise sweetness and, perhaps, any references to sex, to like this one.

Is fashion getting more conservative now? Even Disney (on TV) is running a spot for girls' fashion tips: they're told "fashion's getting girlier". They're telling girls to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize...they've even got Raven wearing The New Look big hat and cinched waist with a long A-line skirt. What's next: lace gloves and parasols? Will we see a Miss Disney beauty pageant sometime soon?

Here's another throwback to a bygone era: Has anyone heard of Toujours Moi (Always Me)? It was launched in the 1920s by Corday and is now made by Dana at drugstore quality. I've only briefly smelled it once and thought it was a powdery-sweet, somewhat generic old-fashioned floral, but I've seen it listed as Oriental so I'll retest it and let you know what I think. Anyway, here's another one that recently got mentioned in a fragrance-related article in the Times, and I thought--wow! That's not one you hear about every day. Let's see what this perfume's about--and voila--could you get more "classic" than the 1959 ad I found? It screams riches and exclusivity, an Old World style of living. Even the bottle looks like it's got layers upon layers of fabric on it, just to remind us of the excesses that can be afforded by the affluent. Toujours Moi perfume was a muse for a composer who created an album called "Perfume Set to Music" in 1948. I haven't heard the Toujours Moi piece, but the album it's on is described on Amazon.com as classic, post World War II orchestral music. So, I think, along with the sophistication of Aldehydic Florals, we're going to see more forgotten classics make comebacks, too.

Maybe the world isn't really listening and we'll continue to wear Juicy and low-waisted jeans, but I'm wondering where all this will lead us. If anything, maybe a classics trend will keep No.5 on top. After all, it must be shocking for the industry to find Thierry Mugler Angel, a Gourmand, can sell more than No.5. Do I see Gourmand taking a step down? No way, but they can surely try to make us like something less sweet and more "ladylike" in the coming year, or, as long as this classics trend stays properly in its place.