Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Hot & Spicy Top 10 Fragrances



My summer's been all about discovering olfactory as well as culinary pleasures, sugar and spice and everything nice to use an ol' cliche about what it is to be a girl (and I haven't been a girl for many years, although I still resonate to things nostalgically girly); my midsummer Top 10 list looks like my early summer Story of Eau list but with lots of spicy additions. I've discovered that although coriander isn't a favorite note for me in perfume, I've become completely charmed by Fifi Chachnil and its modernized ambery Oriental composition with a candied-anisic, almost licorice twist (could there be caraway seed in here?). How else could I describe it? Well, I've reviewed it before and compared it to Houbigant Chantilly (with obvious differences in the quality of the current version) which to me is a predecessor to a whole family of post-Shalimar ambery Orientals - a family that includes Calvin Klein Obsession, Must de Cartier, Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur and a host of other sweet and spicy, smolderingly fragrant concoctions.

These days, I'm most often wearing my favorite citrus eaux (Tom Ford Neroli Portofino and 4711 which I've been comparing this week) but trading off with the occasional ambers to keep things interesting. I'm having lots of fun comparing Fifi Chachnil with Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque, Guerlain Cuir Beluga, Must de Cartier, Calvin Klein Obsession, Organza Indecence and many others. I think Fifi Chachnil is similar to a lovely vintage perfume named Corday Toujour Moi (1924), with the modernized aspect most resembling a cross between By Kilian A Taste of Heaven (2007) or the the "gingerbread-y" trendsetter Dior Addict which came before it, and at the risk of making people cringe at the comparison, the licorice note resembling Hard Candy Liquid. Anyway, these spicy scents are most delectable because of the treasure of a dry down that is characteristic of all of these: vanilla, the very essence that made textbook Oriental Guerlain Shalimar legendary.


Whether you're incorporating a touch of harissa or gochujang in your summer recipe, or cooking up some mititei to wash down with something ice cold (my choice: homemade lemon squash), a little heat is nice to spice up your dish, but it turns out spices also work well in fragrances for a midsummer reverie. At this rate, I might be reviewing the famous Yves Saint Laurent Opium soon - a classic spicy fragrance that could be described as the feminine counterpart to the gentlemanly drugstore favorite, Old Spice. Together, these two would have a baby named Tabu but that's a story for another day.

Aside from these, I'm wearing Pink Manhattan Purrfume again, my go-to olfactory peaches-and-buttercream! Oh, the sweet life!

Enjoy The Olympics 2012 in London, and Happy Summer!

My current Top 10:
1. Fifi Chachnil
2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
3. Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque
4. 4711
5. Guerlain Cuir Beluga
6. Must de Cartier parfum
7. Calvin Klein Obsession parfum
8. Givenchy Organza Indecence
9. Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur
10. Kenzo UFO