Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lanvin My Sin

I'm amazed by how sweet and floral My Sin is. I expected something more sharp and spicy, woody and aldehydic, like Arpege, but I see now that the concentration of aldehyde was very shy compared to post-Chanel No.5 perfumes. That could explain why Caron Infini (originally launched in 1912), an Aldehydic Floral, is still not considered the first of its kind. It probably smelled closer to My Sin than No.5. My Sin smells like these little obscure French perfumes I got on eBay, with names like Cinq à Sept, Air France, many by R. Vernay. Most of these are very sweet floral blends, with lots of tuberose, but made complex, like Beautiful with Chypre and Oriental elements or, like Replique, some without the spices but with all the vavoom. Gorgeous. They smell like perfumes once did, opulent with everything but the kitchen sink, maybe before people tried to so rigidly classify them, and even separate the genres as they do so consciously and artificially now. Maybe perfumes back then were just...more, without fear of being more.

My Sin is to me, like a voluptuous and dazzling Givenchy III or Cristalle EDP (plenty of oakmoss here), crossed with a very rich floral like Jardins de Bagatelle or Gianfranco Ferre and of course an aldehyde perfume, maybe a weak Bois des Iles...Carol's Daughter Pearls and Etat Libre d'Orange Vraie Blonde come to mind, but My Sin is even less aldehydic (granted, this is vintage, and the aldehydes could have faded...but the floral ingredients are still powerful, maybe thanks to a good deal of animal-derived musk). I imagine this is a parfum fourrure, rich and powerful enough for cold weather like in Russia, where they say Madame Zed, the mysterious perfumer without a full name, came from. All that's to say, it's a strong perfume. Florals don't all have to be dainty or sharp. They can be languid, sweet and yet intense, like jewel-toned hand-beaded velvet brocade: traditional frou-frou with intricate patterns to weave an aura of mystery. My Sin, like the lovable black cat of superstitious fame, is really just a nice woman next door, no crime against society or humanity.