The Week in Scent
Article by Erin
Inspired by Luca Turin’s “Guardian Angels” on his now sadly decommissioned blog – and with the kind permission of Colombina – I give you The Week in Scent.
Sunday: On me, the Different Company’s Osmanthus seems to smell like the soapy apricot of barbershop disinfectant, but I heartily agree with Turin’s other choice for Sunday: Jicky. Luminous, warm and yet pale, this Guerlain classic is a reflecting pool of a fragrance, the scent for a contemplative (if secular) and still-aired day in the park or at the library. I find another perfume that blends the earthy and the ethereal with poise is Hermes Hiris, Olivia Giacobetti’s hymn to the iris. The counterpoint of vegetal (carrots, hay) and airy powder notes lends itself beautifully to a day when a cat might make the best company.
Monday: Stuff all that hippie nonsense about the energizing powers of grapefruit, sage, rosemary and pine – are you going to Scarborough Fair or to work? What you need today is *coffee*. One good option is Yohji Homme, the discrete gourmand, a kind of A*Men for the office. Blending trendy sweet Starbucks touches with more traditional cologne staples, it’s a great choice for those soft-spoken types with impeccable tailoring who do mysterious, complicated things with other people’s fortunes. L’Artisan’s L’Eau du Navigateur has a high-test start, vaguely salty, that will jump start you in the morning, but it calms very quickly in the inevitable way of L’Artisans into a clean-smelling white musk that will not offend the crowd in the elevator. For other choices, check out colombina’s post on her quest for the best bean-based scent.
Tuesday: The rhyme says “Tuesday’s child is full of grace”. It’s also cheap night at movies and furthermore, based on the Latin for “the day of Mars”, Tuesday is dedicated to the Roman god of vegetation and cattle. Okay, so I’m stretching here – wear whatever you want. *I* am going to sashay about in fruity leather. Edmond Roudnitska’s Le Parfum de Thérèse (Frederic Malle) is the elegant and intelligent scent of a film star. (Many, like colombina, see Garbo. I tend to think of somebody more angular, like Dietrich or, in sharper color, Anjelica Huston.) A surprisingly watery melon note overlaid with a tickle of spice gives way to a lush jasmine and plumy rose heart, before settling into stand-out couture leather. Mauboussin’s heart-breaking Histoire D’Eau Topaze by Christine Nagel is another favorite of mine, starting with a blend of mandarin and mulled wine spicing (nutmeg, cinnamon) and morphing via a dusky ylang-ylang note to a dangerously adult, sheer and yet animalic leather. It’s stunning and cool in a classic, very, very French Coast way.
Wednesday: Hump day, legendary for being the day of suicides, separations and the like, can bring out a yearning for incense scents. Indulge yourself in a little melancholy without succumbing to outright brooding (no Messe de Minuit in the workplace). The peppery cool of L’Artisan’s Passage D’Enfer would be perfect. For a less grayed out feel, Miller et Bertaux’s #2 Spiritus/land will fit the bill. I also like Gucci Pour Homme, despite the slight cheesy-sexy Relic Hunter vibe to it.
Thursday: As Jean-Paul Sartre wrote of three o’clock, Thursday is always too late or too early for anything you want to do. The only thing to do is try to keep your head in the game with something light but thoughtful. Ormonde Jayne’s Champaca, Eau de Sud from Annick Goutal or Bvlgari’s Omnia all work: sheer and bright, but with deepening spice and/or smoky notes.
Friday: For those not hardy enough to party, Friday is the day of relief. I look forward to jeans, take-out food, rented movies and comfort scents. In warmer weather, Maurice Roucel’s Tocade (Rochas) is flirty enough for the end of the week, but as colombina has noted, it is also the ideal perfume to wear to bed. A good Serge Lutens is – sorry anise-haters! – Douce Amere. For the fall and winter, there are many options: boozy Frapin 1270, Caron’s glowing Farnesiana, the kinky warmth of Bvlgari Black, smoky sweet Vanilia (L’Artisan) and i Profumi di Firenze’s Ambra del Nepal. To really up the cold-fighting factor, take refuge in the heat of scents like SL Chergui or Andy Tauer’s L’Air du desert marocain.
Saturday: Time for your va-voom perfume. Many vouch for Agent Provocateur, Vivienne Westwood’s Boudoir, Frederic Malle’s Musc Ravageur, Shalimar or Monyette Paris. For me, though, ’twill always be Gucci’s Rush. Despite the overheated swoon of it, there is a milky skin quality there that means it doesn’t wear me.
The images are from gallery.addlepated.net, salon.com and jardimdeflores.com.br.