Sunday, December 09, 2007

Caron Alpona

Alpona (1939) is one of Ernest Daltroff's last creations. Parfums Caron's website connects Alpona with Greek tradition but the name is Bengali (Alpona = Indian ritual geometric design or "a pattern of good fortune"). I wonder where that connection is. I think of Alpona as a Chypre, and fruity in this case is an extroverted bright green, yellow and orange citrus accord. I'd heard so much about it in the perfume community and I was wild about trying it. I'll be honest and say I'm not vibing with this one, but it's a Caron--of course I'm happy to have tried it. Right now on dry down, it's bringing to mind L'Air du Temps because of the carefully rationed, evenly spaced molecules of carnation spice, but stylistically it's also very similar to Coty's Sarah Jessica Parker Covet: a lemony, sharp and salty (?) scent enriched with a murky, heavy undertone. It's flowery but smoothed over so the notes are unclear (aldehydes?), and I wouldn't call it subtle though it has some seriously high-pitched elements.

Through the middle stages, I thought of Chanel Cristalle EDT and Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Nil with its vegetal tone. The opening, my favorite stage, had a crisper, more sparkling quality, like Estee Lauder Private Collection. Chypre often seems perfumey and harsh to me, and vegetal smells often leave me cold (I've never swooned over the smell of carrots, for instance). I prefer my citrus scents sparkling light, sweeter, with less embellishment. If the imposing and leathery Parfums de Nicolaï New York could be turned into a soprano, and if Guerlain Derby were to reincarnate as a summer edition, I think they'd smell like Alpona. Come to think of it, Alpona smells to me very much like Eau de Guerlain (1974).

Alpona is pure parfum from the Baccarat fountains at Caron, and creates an impressive sillage for what seems like a citrusy, well-mannered eau de cologne type.

Notes on Perfume Shrine blog: Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Rose, Orange, Jasmine, Orchid, Thyme, Patchouli, Myrrh, Cedar, Sandalwood, Musk, Oakmoss

Visit The Caron Page at Perfume Shrine to discover more Caron creations.

(Image: www.museudelperfum.net)