White Floral Queen Part Five: Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan Purrfume Oil... And a Prize Draw
I had wanted to include this fragrance in my White Floral Queen series from the start, but I was trying to stop torturing myself (and others) and refrain from reviewing discontinued perfumes. Recently as I was browsing the fragrance blogosphere, I saw an announcement; Pink Manhattan Purrfume has returned! The perfumer has recently brought it back for a limited run of maybe a year or so. Now I can finally write about it without having to deliver the bad news that it’s another unobtainable one.
This perfume is actually an oil, so you know it’s going to be strong, and also that it will not change as much over time after being applied as alcohol-based scents will. When I wore Sali’s other scent, Persephone New York, I realized just how potent this formulation could be. If you over-apply, you have to be ready to take the consequences. As much as I like both of them it’s not a problem for me, but I would not wear either one to a business meeting. They need to be deployed strategically for maximum but carefully targeted impact.
Pink Manhattan Purrfume was Sali Oguri’s first fragrance, and it was quite a cult hit at the time; it was voted one of the top 10 fruity scents of 2005 on Luckyscent. It is exceptionally feminine and very sweet, being a delicious blend of gardenia, peach, hibiscus, French vanilla and musk. Now, this scent is really redolent of gardenia, and does not resemble the tuberose that comprises the character of many “gardenia” perfumes. It’s rich, buttery, and clinging. The peach is like a really good peach sorbet, creamy and refreshing at the same time. An unusual hibiscus note gives the fragrance a light and slightly tangy quality that plays “purrfectly” with the sweeter notes. The vanilla in this scent is bright and happy, not dark at all, and is a good match for the radiant cheerfulness of the floral and fruit accords. Musk in the base is mild and fresh and not in the least obtrusive or heavy. Everything else is subservient to the gardenia and the peach here, though; they are the stars of this show. If you think you don’t like gardenia you probably won’t want to try this, but even though it’s really quite strong, pairing it with the peach and hibiscus makes it smell like a picnic on a perfect summer day, and it’s not like any other gardenia scent I know of. Yes, it has some of that buttered popcorn quality that gardenias can develop as the flowers age, but I happen to love that part. The fresh notes keep it from going over the edge in that regard. (I did not detect any of the “bleu cheese” aroma that some heavier gardenia scents can have.)
So what does happen to this perfume oil when applied to the skin? The gardenia blooms its head off and the peach becomes an entire orchard. The way it smells bring to my mind the clichéd compliment of “You look good enough to eat.” This is not a diva scent; it’s too dewy and translucent for that. It’s more like the girl next door, but in the idealized version from the movies; her hair is freshly washed, her skin is impossibly smooth and glowing, and all the boys want to ask her out but they are too shy; surely such a perfect girl must already have a date for the big dance? All the poor fellows can do is turn red and stammer and blurt out something simple like “You smell pretty!” That’s what the Purrfume is all about - smelling pretty. No hidden agenda here, folks, nothing complicated or difficult to understand. Just straightforward I-love-being-a-girl stuff.
At first I thought, what am I doing wearing this, it’s much too “young” for me. Then I realized that if I feel young on the inside, to heck with what I am “supposed” to wear at my age. One of the perks of getting older is the freedom to stop caring so much about what other people think of you and just do whatever strikes your fancy. If I want to put on a hot pink summer top and rock the Purrfume, I am not going to let any notions of proper decorum stop me. (Youth really is wasted on the young a good deal of the time.) I always was more of the girl next door type anyway, so why not make the most of it? Who knows - maybe some blushing swain will tell me I smell pretty.
We have a special treat this time –several winners of the prize draw will each receive a carded sample of the Purrfume AND a Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan CD! This contains six of Sali’s atmospheric and innovative pop songs, and was originally released along with the fragrance as Sali’s “Sensorium of Song And Scent.” Just mention in the comments that you would like to be entered in the draw. Winners will be chosen over the weekend and announced shortly thereafter.
The Purrfume is currently available only from Sali’s web site and comes in a 1/3- ounce roll-on perfume oil for $95. Trust me when I say a little bit goes a long way. (And you can check out the music tracks on CD Baby’s Web site.)
Image credits: Photo of a very peachy-looking “girl next door,” actress Halle Berry, from solarnavigator.net; Pink Manhattan Purrfume bottle from salioguri.com.