The same happens with scent.
When I pass a perfume counter, I sometimes spritz what was once "my" fragrance, Lancome's Magie Noire, though the reformulation is a travesty. Magie Noire conjures white wine spritzers, shoulder-pads the size of footballs and "Don't You Want Me, Baby?"
I have a vintage bottle under cello wrap, but opening it would feel like releasing a genie; would I fall under its spell again and maybe phone my Aramis-wearing old flame? Chasing now-defunct perfumes is like restoring a vintage sports car: endless expense for a hint of former perfection.
Presently, I'm looking for an interesting (but not numbingly costly) everyday fragrance for winter. I currently enjoy Diptyque's Philosykos, Hermès' Eau de Merveilles, and Eau de Italie's Magnolia Romana among others, but I've got that wandering nose again.
|Au revoir, So Pretty!|
My friend Natasha made a recent pirouette from Cartier So Pretty (discontinued) to Stella McCartney's Stella, and there she is happily ensconced.
When I saw Colette recently, I dabbed Andy Tauer's sensuous L'Air du Desert Marocain on her wrist; she swooned. That's a penthouse-priced frag, though, and I want a more reasonable daytime splash, neither one-note nor teenagey. That spot is currently occupied by Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely (to which Chandler Burr accords top marks in his book, "The Perfect Scent") but I'm open to change.
Every few months, I've been ordering a selection of 7ml samples from LuckyScent, either their house sample packs or my own selections. I read the descriptions with a grain of salt; scents described as extraordinary may deliver all the allure of car deodorant. Other times, a note I'm convinced I dislike delivers delight.
To find their sample sets, search the Brands menu for LuckyScent Sample Packs. If you have a fragrance-loving friend, or even one curious about scent, the packs are spot-on gifts. There's one for men, too. Other niche vendors who will ship samples internationally are The Perfumed Court and The Posh Peasant.
The LuckyScent perfumes are not drugstore brands, though, and to sample is to learn that, with only rare exceptions, you do get what you pay for; I won't find my stealth bargain there. (Last year, a reader suggested Origins Ginger Essence, which I enjoyed, but like the Jo Malone line, the scent vanished in ten minutes.)
As for the health risks of fragrance, I am going to embrace my vice. The tiny amount I apply markedly improves my spirits (especially in the grip of our deep winter) and Le Duc loves scent, both on me and himself.
No sun, no smoking, less wine than I wish were advised—geez Louise, leave me with something! (Did someone murmur, "chocolate"?) For those few drops' summoning of salt-washed beach or courtyard of gardenias, I am willing to repent... in a future life. (Should I wear fragrance in public space, I choose a natural scent, except in bars. I mean, if I can smell someone's Dark and Stormy from five tables away, can we have a little give and take?)
Next year, I plan to explore more natural, eco-certified fragrances, and have already found that one in particular, Hiram Green's Shangri La, delivers a heady, fabulous chypre—but the price is steep as the imaginary paradise's snowy peaks; the eau de parfum is $US 165 for 50ml.
The Passage closes from today until
January 5, 2016.
Have a merry, restorative, warm holiday.
Thank you, as ever, for reading,
and especially for your comments!
and especially for your comments!