Perfume Review: Caron Or et Noir and Farnesiana
Review by Tom
Or et Noir
Or et Noir starts with a winey rosy flourish that (although it was beautiful) made me think I could never stand to wear it: not unless I morphed into a still-gorgeous woman in a black satin sheath about to swan my way down the grand staircase, not ready for my close-up but to tell them to fish that worthless Holden bastard the hell out of my pool and bring me another gigolo.
For me rose scents are ones that I judge the most harshly, even more than the dreaded aquatic. There are too many god-awful rose scents out there that one almost forgets that it's divine when done well.
This is done well. After the somewhat raucous opening, the scent settles down into some seriously beautiful roses: soft petals, green shoots, a hint of peppery leaves and the barest trace of sunshine and soil. Truly beautiful.
Farnesiana starts off much more conventionally wearable for me, with it's initial scent of mimosa and vanilla, conspiring to smell something like Amaretto- just a hint, as if the glass of ice came back for a refill. It starts to slowly evolve into heart-wrenching lily-of-the-valley and lilac that's so evocative of summer at home to me that it just needed wet grass to be New England summer 1977. Then the oddly amaretto-like accord comes back in, along with something dusty, like the note in some of the Japanese Commes des Garcons. What year was this made? 1947? It's woody, almondy, musky, vanilla, slightly maternal but slightly disturbing. It is.. wonderful. The drydown is what I wanted Luctor et Emergo to be on me but it went all play-doh.
What I am starting to see here is a trend, and one that is showing me where a lot of the modern niche houses have built upon: sometimes assaultive openings? Check. Florals supplanted by odd notes? Yep. Unusual spiced used to interestingly disconcerting effect? You betcha! Even (gasp!, or gasp for the 40's) androgyny? Sure, of the 4 I reviewed so far, I would definitely wear two (Tabac Blond and Farnesiana) and wouldn't exactly weep bitter tears if the other two showed up in my Christmas stocking. Since however, they are only available in the Paris Salon, I sadly doubt that would happen. But I look forward to seeing what Alpona and N'Aimez Que Moi have in store for me.