Monday, September 24, 2012

Hanging Out With Perfumes That Smoke

Last week, I received my birthday perfume, the lovely Aoud Damascus.  And I do love it, although I'm slightly miffed that the staying power doesn't rival that of White or Black Aoud.  Inner Critic just interrupted to ask, 'can't you ever be content?'

I have my moments.

Yesterday, as the obsession continued, I revisited some of my favorite fall perfumes from the 1980's and 1990's that I had boxed up and put out of sight.  I'm in the mood for heavier perfumes right now that speak of gathering in and preparing for the winter.  Perfumes that are always ready for a party and aren't afraid to misbehave. 

Perfumes that smoke.

Rumba:  You know I love Jean Claude Ellena, who made this creation way back in 1989, long before he became Mr. Understated.  Mr. Hot and Understated.  Rumba is a masterpiece in my opinion, but I have a hard time wearing it because I detect cinnamon through the drydown, even though it is not listed in the notes.  Dude, cinnamon hurts my nose.  Maybe its the combination of tuberose and carnation in the heart notes, or it could just be how everything from oakmoss, tonka bean and cedarwood comes together at the end.  Regardless, I love the dusty, burning, incense vibe that lets me know Rumba has drawn a Marlboro Red from the pack and just put a match to its tip.

Jivago 24K:  Floral and vibrant, 24K was released in 1994 and starts off with a minty note (Daphne often interprets florals this way).  I pick up rose and jasmine, which dries to an amber, musky base.  Certainly, there are other notes, too, like blah, blah, blah. The base notes remind me of Fragonard Eclat in that they're marshmallowy and chemical in a pleasant, drying paint sort of way.  But the secret of 24K is the hint of tobacco in the drydown that keeps popping up to say, 'didnt' see that coming, did you?'  Elegant and smooth on the outside, Jivago 24K still knows how to party.  She just insists on a cigarette holder to protect her opera gloves.

Sonia Rykiel Le Parfum:  Always in my memory, this perfume is a sillage monster, but in reality, as I wear it on my skin today, I realize that's not exactly true.  In fact, aside these other perfumes, Le Parfum, released in 1993, is kinda subdued.  Le Parfum is tricky in the fact that it only truly works - to my nose, anyway - in the fall.  Even then, there's a little too much apricot all the way through, although that's what makes it reflect the notes of autumn so well.  And Le Parfum smokes, alright, but you never see her with a cigarette.  You only know it because of the oakmoss/civet sillage that follows her everywhere from her last cigarette in the car.

Niki de Saint Phalle:  Listed as a green chypre, I'm not sure how I would classify this perfume, released in 1982.  Oddly powerful but also innocent, Niki has spice involved, but avoids the whole 'who put cinnamon in the perfume?' thing.  Niki is also green...not exactly piney, but definitely strolling through the forest. Wearing this perfume, I want to dress like Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac with her black, witchy clothes and lace up boots.  Niki may have stopped smoking cigarettes years ago, but I swear someone just sparked up a doobie. 

What fall perfumes make you want to misbehave a little?

image from


  1. I'm with you on the Niki, I must have a liter of it, mostly in the uber-cool astrological bottles.

    1. Hi Marla - the astrological bottle are cool, indeed. What sign is Niki anyway?



Related Posts with Thumbnails