I have been very vocal in expressing my disapproval of the choice for the new James Bond. (Mr Colombina will tell just how vocal.) It was my strong belief that Bond has to be dark-haired and, although being quite macho, has to posses a suave sort of elegance and refinement. Daniel Craig is blond and looks like a) East End thug or b) a New Russian with a little bit of a murky past...which, come to think of it, are more or less the same thing. At first I refused to watch the new Bond movie, then decided I will give it a go, just so that I could make lots of very snarky comments during and after the seance. Mr Colombina will again tell you that apart form the initial hrmph at the very first sighting of Craig, no cutting remarks were forthcoming. I hate to be proved wrong and I hate to admit to my mistakes, but...I was wrong about Craig, and the movie turned out to be much, much better than the last...oh, 6-7 Bond films. A 007 movie will never be credible, an element of absolute impossibility of stunts and events has to be present, else it will not be a Bond movie anymore, but the last couple of films took the series from the land of impossible to the surreal landscape of utter nonsense. Casino Royale somehow managed to be almost believable, and I think that it is largely due to Daniel Craig's acting and - yes!- the way he looks. He brought a certain matter-of-factness, down-to-earthiness and an endearing human quality to the character. He is the Bond Next Door...He does still looks too me like a New Russian with criminal past, he is rough around the edges, but this ruggedness miraculously works in his favor in the role and does not prevent him from looking swoon-worthy in a tuxedo.
So why am I rambling on about Bond? Well, I smelled the new Amouage, Reflection for Men not long after watching Casino Royale, and I strongly recommend that the Bond people consider making it the "official" Bond scent. In the next movie Bond should be asked by his girl what cologne he is wearing, and the answer should be, Amouage, Reflection Amouage.
Created by Lucas Sieuzac, the scent has notes of red pepper berries, rosemary, bitter orange leaves, orris, jasmine, neroli, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver. Many masculine fragrances are built on a potentially very attractive contrast of cold and warm, fresh and spicy, but not all can pull it off. Reflection works that contrast and works it well. The beginning edges on being aquatic, but never actually oversteps the mark; it is cool and bracing, like a dive into azure-blue sea. The spiciness is apparent from the start, and, as always, the creators are not telling us the whole truth, because there is much more to that spicy accord than just red pepper berries. I most definitely smell cardamom and even a little bit of saffron. The piquancy here is not dry and sharp but rather soft, warm and "golden"...sun rays playing on the surface of the ocean...Neroli is quite strong in the heart of the fragrance, contributing to the sun-drenched, summery feel. The woods, combined with the spices, are quite stunning, resinous, enveloping, sensual. The fragrance is virile and unexpectedly soft at the same time...an image of a macho man with abs of steel and a tender, loving heart. Because of that softness and smoothness it is not actually unwearable for a woman. I fully intend to force Mr Colombina to wear it (he fancies himself a bit of a Bond anyway, what man doesn't?), but I will wear it myself, with much pleasure.
Reflection for Women, created by none other than the wonderful Maurice Roucel, would be quite appropriate for a Bond girl. Those are always pictured emerging from the sea or frolicking in the water, and this fresh green-fruity-floral with a very strong aquatic vibe will therefore be just perfect. With notes of water violet, purple freesia, tropical green leaves, Roucel's beloved magnolia, jasmine, amber, cedarwood and sandalwood, the perfume smells young and fresh. The beginning is cold and slightly salty, very marine indeed. It has an attractive greenness that compliments the aquatic quality while at the same time taking the metallic edge off it. The heart is floral-fruity, with trademark Roucel magnolia aplenty. The fresh accord runs through the composition, bringing the cold feeling even to the ambery-woody base. Those who like this sort of cool, dewy floral-fruity scents, will most probably adore Reflection for Women. It is most decidedly not my kind of scent. Of the two, I much prefer the men's version, of which I would love to own a bottle.
Both Reflection fragrances are available at parfumsraffy.com, $175.00 for 50ml of men's and $190.0 for 50ml of women's.