Thursday, November 20, 2008

Costume National Scent & Scent Sheer

Spicy, incensey, woodsy and base-heavy, Costume National Scent is a change of pace from anything light, sweet or peppy. Marketed as a shared fragrance between men and women, Scent is a dark blend that's slightly off the beaten path of mainstream fragrances. Basically, it's a minimalist spicy woody scent, the type of scent I might recommend to someone who literally likes the smell of fireplaces and saunas. It's a warm and dry, extremely low-pitched scent, with spices for top notes, lending a mildly prickly-sharp attack. Amber "carmelizes' the woods a little, making it seem tactile and dense, even clingy and pasty, but there's a smoky, powdery feel to it as well. I could compare it to Comme des Garçons very easily, and like many fragrances in the avant-garde line, Costume National Scent sports an aloof attitude while all the time being dramatic and intense. If "breezy" doesn't suit your mood or style, try this bold blend of Christmas log cabin, religious monastery, add a dash of runway model jaded-and-unsweet pseudosmile.

The listed notes can fool us into thinking it's more floral than it is.

Costume National Scent (2002): jasmine tea, hibiscus, woods and amber

For a slightly breezier variation, Costume National Scent Sheer, the Eau Fraiche version, provides some lift with a fruity, slightly aqueous-ozonic quality cutting the intensity of unsweet woods. Scent Sheer is made to float on a white musk base like a thread of delicate incense smoke wafting through fabric. Scent Sheer is what I'd describe as a sporty woods fragrance. There's a subtle dryer sheet quality to this, keeping with the warm and dry theme but giving it a crisper character than the original Scent. By the same token, it's not a higher-pitched composition necessarily but rather the same original composition presented with the addition of some higher-pitched notes - in other words, it's not wildly different from the original, so you may not actually need both.

Notes on
Costume National Scent Sheer (2003): White Amber, Apricot nectar, Hibiscus blossom, Musks