Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Perfume I Love That's Totally Not Me

Last week, I spent a few days in Napa Valley, California at an exclusive conference that my boss asked me to attend in her place.  Envision a group of thirty national healthcare muckety-mucks doing muckety things at a muckety hotel.  We ate delicious food for three days and addressed a number of first world problems. On the last night, we boarded a bus and visited a winery that was hosting our group.

All part of the conference, of course.

Perfume filled the air with the usual suspects; D&G Light Blue, Estee Lauder's Sensuous and Clinique's Aromatics.  But during lunch on Thursday, I sat by a woman who smelled...intriguing.  At first, I didn't know how I felt about her perfume, but it grew on me over time.  For the rest of the event, I could tell exactly where she was in the room, even if she was out of sight.  And I began loving that perfume with the perfect sillage; fresh but sweet, powdery but elegant.

So not me. 

The fact that I couldn't identify it - at all - was bugging me to no end.  At the winery, after tasting the Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet, I finally had the guts to approach her and say, 'I've been smelling you for the past two days and I must know your perfume - it's really beautiful.'  She turned around with a surprised look and said, 'it's French.'  To which I said, 'yes, the best ones often are.'  To which she said, 'it's by Fragonard, but I can't remember the actual name.'

She may have been blowing me off, but being a buzzed perfume stalker, I didn't really care.  Plus, I immediately felt better about not having recognized the scent, as I'm not at all familiar with that line.  (Why couldn't it have been Caron or Guerlain or Montale, dammit?)  Then she said, 'I'll look tonight and let you know tomorrow.' 

On the bus back to the hotel, she turned around from a seat up front and yelled toward me, sitting near the back (this behavior is acceptable, even to mucketys, after a certain amount of wine), 'I just remembered - the name of my perfume is Eclat.'

Of course, I googled all reviews of Eclat from every source I could dig up as soon as I got back to my room.  Top notes are listed as bergamot, lemon and freesia.  Middle notes are frangipani, orange blossom and gardenia.  Base notes are marshmallow and amber.  Eclat is likely not suited to me at all.

But it is beautiful.  And I remain intrigued.

Image from


  1. That sounds wonderful!

    I am also a little surprised she couldn't remember the name of the fragrance she had been wearing for days. I always know what I'm wearing and can't imagine putting on something on that I couldn't remember the name of unless it was a sample or something.

  2. oh man, now I want to smell her, too!

  3. Hi Daisy - I, too, was surprised that she didn't know the name of her perfume. I mean, hello, it's the most important decision of my day! But it was a fun way to be introduced to a perfume that was entirely new to me, even though I don't think I'll ever wear it. However, I do reserve the right to change my mind...Thanks for your comment!

  4. Hi Carol - I like the new name - the experience of discovering a new perfume in a setting like that was totally unexpected, but certainly welcome.

  5. I used to wear 'Ralph' all the time, and scent for me is really nice! I think I need to try this new perfume you mentioned. Thanks! :)

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