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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ode to High Heels and Perfume Review: Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum

I’ve been feeling disappointed with myself lately…When I was younger, I used to be…well, my own version of Laura Bennett’s fabulously glamorous. I strived to always be perfectly put together. Casually elegant was as casual as I was prepared to go. I wouldn’t think of leaving the house without makeup, not even if I was just popping out across the street to buy some milk, and I always wore heels. Always. To school, to work, shopping at a supermarket, going to the post office…Going out in summer wearing flip-flops, when not heading to the beach, would have been unthinkable for me. I still will not leave the house without wearing at least some powder and mascara, but in the shoe area it has been a long slide downhill into the slobby land of comfort. This morning I woke up and told myself, No More! Get thee disentangled from the dangerously soft embrace of Comfort. Remember the way you were. Wear heels. So I went to the grocery store in my killer boots, the ones with the sharpest toe and the highest heel. It was great. I felt... complete. Oh the power of high heels!

In my rebellion against the mundane, the comfortable and the casual, I wore the scent that I felt was most suited to go with stilettos and with the whole newly discovered glamour-girl self – Paloma Picasso. Created in 1984, this, along with L’Arte di Gucci, is to me the golden standard of a dark, vampy floral chypre. Paloma Picasso, the daughter of Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot, is an artist/designer whose many accomplishments include interior and fur coat collections, jewelry creations for Tiffany & Co. and fragrances for men and women. Her eponymous fragrance, also known as Mon Parfum, is, in Paloma Picasso’s own words, "a perfume for women, not girls." Mon Parfum starts with a blend of piquant coriander and velvety rosewood. The two complement each other perfectly and, right from the start, demonstrate the appealing disparity of the scent, the contrast between the bold, spicy, dry and earthy and the very feminine, warm and richly floral that would be evident at all subsequent stages of its development. The generous, opulent heart, with its dark-red roses, the sweet ylang-ylang and the creamy tuberose, is the headiest, warmest, most obviously and proudly feminine phase of the perfume. Even there, however, thanks to the bright geranium note, the dry spiciness is still apparent. The flowers subside, although never entirely disappear, and we enter the luxurious base, where patchouli, musk and civet add the incredible, animalic depth to the dark florals, and where vetiver has a rich, almost leathery quality. If I had to describe Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum in one word, the word would be Chic.

If you ever have a chance to get your hands on this scent in parfum, please do. Pure perfume is rich and soft. Having said that, EDT and EDP, which are much easier to find, are wonderful too. Of the two, I prefer EDT, since I find that in this concentration the dry/spicy/earthy/green aspect is more pronounced than in a headier, denser, more honeyed and floral EDP. Both are sold at Scentiments.com, $35.00-$46.00.

The shoe image, Stuart Weitzman's Goliath, is from Nordstrom.com.

28 Comments:

Blogger lilyofbp said...

Well, I agree with you in theory about heels, but as I get older, it gets harder and harder. I won't bore or disgust you with tales of bunions, but I was just looking at pictures of the new, chic flat boots:) And, coincidentally, while I was unable to access your blog, I amused myself by starting to work out a swap for some PP (parfum, I hope)! Wonderful stuff!
Happy T-Day!

9:16 AM EST  
Blogger greeneyes said...

My mother used to wear this, and it smelled so pretty on her! I never tried it back in the day because I felt it was too "old" for me. Hm, not anymore! I'll have to seek this out and give it a whiff, or at least get some for my mother!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, M!

9:17 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
There definitely are supremely chic flats that are fantastic. I am sure yours are like that. Do you have a link? Please le me look at some shoes! :-)
And I had no doubt that you'd say you like PP. I just know. *pats self on head*

9:19 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

P,
Happy Thanksgiving to you too! It's funny, I feel like I've known Picasso scent all my life, bt tI can't figure out who among my family or mom's friends might have worn it ...and then some time ago, like you, I finally understood that it's something I could wear too.

9:21 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

I confess that I've always been into comfort. I'm really not into sloppy and won't get the mail w/out lipstick on (but all I ever wear are lipstick and mascara) and I try to live in casually elegant, but slightly edgy clothes - but they're also comfortable. :-) I don't wear heels. I wear glam perfumes to simulate the high heel look and, you're so right, Paloma Picasso is fabulously glam. I *love* the parfum bottle and you've inspired me to start scouring ebay for it.

9:35 AM EST  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

I don't have a particular link (sorry), I just like the look of those boots, so I have been checking out various stores and etailers looking at pictures and plotting an after-Christmas sale buy. But there's not one in particular that has specially caught my eye. Oh, well, yeah--there *is* a special sale on shoes at Bluefly today. . .and there are some that look very nice. But I am afraid to buy shoes without trying them on. My feet are quirky, and it's a pain to send things back. And I do still love heels *sigh*.
On PP, Of course, you knew. . .:)

9:35 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
I just had to jump-start myself with a bang so to say. Wearing the highest heels to the supermarket was it. I won't do it again of course. :-) There is comfort and there is chic comfort. The comfort I was sliding into was training pants and flip flops kind. No more of that! :-)

9:39 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

J,
I agree, shoes should not be bought untried (almost said unsniffed)...and trousers too. Having said, I am going to look at bluefly.com. :-)

9:41 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

You know the biggest problem with age, I have fallen off of high heels so much in my life, that at the age of almost 47 (gag!), it is perilous now to wear them. :) I do have some killer boots with 4-inch heels that I spent a small fortune for and some drop-dead Gucci slides with abouta 5-inch heel that I wore the last time about four years ago (feet were dying by the end of the nigh, but my legs looked AWESOME!

The perfume swounds stunning!

12:05 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I'm afraid I started out in the slobby land of comfort, and I'm pretty much still there, LOL...the Paloma Picasso sounds wonderful though.

12:06 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I remember this one as being pretty emblamatic of the good parts of the '80's: before the the hair became big enough to trap unwary birds and the shoulder pads became bigger than most womens heads (and the bad imitators started fouling the air)

Happy Turkey day everyone!

12:14 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
What size shoes do you wear? Just checking. For no reaosn whatsoever. :-) I want to see those Gucci slides!

12:54 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
Not in a million years could I think of you as slobby. I am sure you make the most comfortable stuff look extremely elegant.

12:55 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Tom,
"Hair became big enough to trap unwary birds" - haaa!
Happy Turkey Day!

12:56 PM EST  
Anonymous timam said...

I applaud you on the heels part. I don't wear high heels myself because I'm quite tall and I can't walk in them anyway, but I think it is very important to be put together every day, no matter the occasion. I can totally relate though as I've been feeling more and more *cosy* lately...
as for the Paloma Picasso, it was The perfume for my mother for the previous 10 years. that's the reason I've had quite enough of it and I admit it has always seemed a bit sharp to me. but it is a big, Grand perfume, no doubt about it.

12:59 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Tina,
One gets married or "commited" and there comes cozyness :-) I know that so well. *nods wisely* I think your mum's tastes and mine are or were similar. L'Arte was her scent too, wasn't it?

1:07 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

I can sympathize with missing the dress-up stuff; there's something decidedly lacking in glamor when you're a mom sometimes... But the heels thing has never really gotten me. I just can't feel beautiful unless my feet are happy, and thus, I inevitabley have always turned towards the clunky and/or dowdy shoes. So dull looking, but my soles feel enlightened ;P

Now if I could just relearn to wear my hair down more often, I'd be awful pleased with myself.

Are those the boots you wore? Good lord, you need Mr. C to be taking you out somewhere awesome if you can brave those!

1:34 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I have cute little kitten heels (back issues) but they're very sexy. I have a lot of boots. I have darling, impractical mules. Shoes are fun. Not as much fun as fragrance, but fun.

I think my first PP-type scent was Chanel Coco EDP. To me it was the height of chic. I'll have to smell some of this!

1:37 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Katie,
Enlightened Soles! I love that :-)
My boots don't have heels quite as high as those pictured...I lemm the ones that I have an image of here. Where would I wear them though... *sigh*

1:44 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
I adore kitten heels!
Coco is definitely up there on the Mount Olympus of Chic Scents.

1:45 PM EST  
Blogger Erin said...

Well, I applaud you, as I rarely get out of the house with all my clothing facing the right way. My favoured beauty product is MAC Lip jellies because my daughter likes them as teething toys. Perfume is definitely the chicest thing I ever put on.

2:15 PM EST  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

I feel this way too. I make more effort when I have meetings or when I spent the whole day at the office, but if I am working from home, it is all about comfort.

It is a nice coincidence, but I wore Mon Parfum this morning, and I did not even know that you were going to write about it! I could not access your blog until now, for some reason.

2:40 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Erin,
She is the cutest litle girl ever. Such a beautiful photo!

4:32 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

V,
We are great minds, we are :-) Did you wear Mon Parfum in parfum?

4:33 PM EST  
Anonymous The Scented Salamander said...

I was thinking about Paloma Picasso/Mon Parfum recently, thinking it would be nice to revisit it. It was my perfume in my early twenties or late teens I believe. The concentration I prefer and recommend for it is the pure parfum one.

Don't get me started on the stylistic and moral differences between living in Paris and in the US. Different societies = different needs. It could write an epic about that.

5:13 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

H,
I think it would be a very interesting analysis.

5:27 PM EST  
Blogger Madelyn E said...

Dear Columbina,
I couldn't believe my eyes ! Paloma Picasso's Mon Parfum I bought on the spot one miliisecond after I inhaled its' exuberant scent ! I must be showing my age - but-- I wore it on and off from '84 until '99. Wow ! To me it represents my carefree youth along with Coco Chanel etc! High heels . well ,no doubt they give you an instant literal and figurative "uplift "! But who can actually walk in them. I reserve them for occasions involvinf alot of sitting and posing - little walking. I'll just spray on a sexy perfume !
Madelyn E

3:31 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Madelyn,
Good point! *spray Mon Parfum*
Happy Thanksgiving!

9:23 AM EST  

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