Friday, September 29, 2006

Annick Goutal's Eau de Ciel

Eau de Ciel is honeyed lucerne and clover flowers warmed in the sun. Avoiding the literalness some niche scents strive for Eau de Ciel is more of an evocotive painting that transports you to a memory of summer you cherish. Sweeter in the cool weather, greener in the heat, Eau de Ciel is full of shades and moments. Just when I think it has little staying power and has vanished it wafts like a gentle breeze that makes you look around for the simple beauties it speaks of.

Eau de Ciel, "Water of Heaven", Annick Goutal describes it as "aerial, fresh, soft, tender, natural". Not a description that would normally make my mouth water--why didn't they just include the word "vapid". How wonderful that I found Eau de Ciel and was not turned away by this wan blurb.

The first day I wore Eau de Ciel I wanted to paint it all over my body and forget every other bottle of fragrance I owned. This is a rare and wonderful response that took me completely by surprise!

Eau de Ciel is so perfect, so beautiful it makes me want to name a child after her.

Notes are Brazilian rosewood, violet, Florentin iris and lime blossom.

Painting is "View of Buffalo Pass" by Richard Galusha.

For 5722 images of hay as well as an exhaustive study of hay in literature I suggest you visit Hay in Art. You will not regret it. If you are an obsessive lover of reference material like myself you will be filled with awe!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

OOoo°°Purple Haze°°ooOO

A day of fragrance dallying. While glancing at a forum over breakfast, still unscented, I saw the word ~~rose~~. Never a favorite suddenly I had to be rosy and blushing with petals. Such an impulse and thankfully I do have one rose scent, Stella. Other people seem to smell this better than I do, the wateriness washes it all away. A beautiful draught of amberry rose that refreshes even as it vanishes. Thoroughly modern with not a single moment of powder--and of course it escapes any soap associations which is probably why it is in my collection.

Some hours later, over lunch with another forum scan, a mention of Paco Rabanne's Ultraviolet. I have a sample of this rolling around the bottom of the rather packed sample box, and after a lot of ferretting I found it. Powdery and candy-esque, reminscent of that flavour in childrens lollies immediately recognizable as "purple". Not sweet enough to put me off, and I was enjoying the powdery play when it unexpectantly went sour on me. Reflected on sour candy for a bit.. warheads, sour straps and other tartly purple goodness. Perhaps if it was dry and hot this would have been refreshing, but I eventually decided I was pushing the association buttons to no happy avail.

And so, come evening, on to Alien. Odd woody jasmine, woody the way an old vine would be, still spitting out some unenthused blossoms. Strange synthetic note that brings to mind the wonders of plastics in an almost reverent way.. Oh where would we be without them? Let us pay homage to how they have revolutionized our lives! The drydown has been likened to grape gum in the same way some experience Poison, but it seems to speak more of the old gum wrappers left in a wooden drawer, only faintly retaining their original scent. Now for some reason I find this whole experience worth repeating, judgeing by how much I have used of the bottle. I used to go back to the Guggenheim time and time again as a teenager as well, never sure if I liked a lot of what I was looking at. Perhaps not being able figure out my own response is what makes it so interesting.

Purple haze all in my eyes, uhh
Dont know if its day or night
You got me blowin, blowin my mind
Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Laudering With Intent

I recently spent some quality fragrance time at the Estee Lauder counter, and what a lovely time it was. I've always enjoyed Lauder, if not to wear at least to sniff. Old school big scents, I can happily sample knowing I will spared some of the tedious current obsessions in modern fragrances. No billowing fumes of tonka bean, breathing their fetid marshmallow warmth all over me, what a relief! Last outing I sampled 4 new fragrance offerings as proffered by the perfumeconnection gals, each one heaving "tonka tonka tonka" in my face. A bad experience, I was happy to return to the refined 70's notions of Lauder.

Some of the Lauder line is like a really groovy retro wallpaper, you adore it though it is too loud to consider plastering on your living room walls. But.. you appreciate it. You are glad it is there. You want to keep it around and you know it would be a design tragedy were it to disappear under a sea of mushroom and pastels. My recent samplings were of Pleasures and the newly released Pure White Linen.

Pleasures was probably the only Lauder I hadn't tried (other than Aliage which does not exist in this country). The name itself stayed my hand, though Pleasures Exotic had been card sprayed for me by a promo person when it first came out. When an enthusiast on a forum recently described it as "crisp" I was mortified; a little nomenclature snobbery had kept me from "crisp"! How very awful! Within moments of trying it I fell in love with the top notes. They were something I had been always looking for. A crisp green cut floral, evocotive of aldehydes but not heavy with them. Beautiful, a truly perfect moment. Unfortunately the drydown was more than disappointing, the crispness melting into a fussy hotel soap. This did not soften with time but retained a nostril burning harshness which was very sad. I could see I would be hitting the bottle for that top note high with alarming regularity. I did sample Pleasures Intense hoping for a greener experience but found it was an intense version of the drydown right from the start.

Pure White Linen was another matter entirely. Pure White Linen is beautitful through every stage, and will have it's own blog entry in the near future. Meanwhile I would like to thank Estee for yet another pleasant and refined sniffing experience. Her fragrances always give me a lot to think about.

Picture is one sample of Australian designer Florence Broadhurst's beautiful wallpaper.