Thursday, March 13, 2008

Christian Dior J'adore

When J'adore launched at Saks in the year 2000, the full page ad featuring Carmen Kass dripping in gold was published in The New York Times Magazine. I went to Saks that very day to smell it. When I arrived at the counter, the sales assistant scowled when I said I wanted to try the new J'adore. He was much nicer to the lady who stopped by the counter after me and told him she'll pass on the J'adore but she'd be into smelling the new Christian Lacroix. I bought J'adore anyway, and loved the sweet, full-bodied full-on Floral perfume with an extra sticky blackberry-plum-woody-musk backdrop supporting the highly redolent champaca-plus-classic-rose-violet heart. It was a sweet and sensual color scheme of royal hues: red, purple and gold--a bit low-pitched and intense, modern and old-fashioned-flowery--at once youthful (rose-violet is always like a posy) yet goddess-like (jasmine-like white floral-plus-sandalwood-like amaranth wood is like an Indian marriage made in olfactory heaven), so heady it was almost a modern day Joy in all its golden headspace glory.

The scent matched the Venus-like image perfectly--the image of the girl-woman who enslaves us and puts us in our place: for the young, she was a reminder of not being mature enough, and to the rest of us, a reminder we'll never be young enough again. J'adore smells like that impossible being who rules the universe from that subversive kingdom. It could explain why we're drawn to it, and also repelled and threatened by it, so vehemently a love-hate scent as it happens to be, the divisive effects of man-made misogyny all in one innocent perfume.

Some might say it's sickly sweet, and I could see how the honeylike floral profusion can be too much--even I feel like it's easy to tire of. However, I knew I couldn't have been the only one who loved it when I saw that it won a FiFi in 2001. Wear J'adore with pride--as a new classic should, it'll always have loyal fans.