In Search of Comfort: Kenzo Amour Le Parfum, Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang, Sinfonia di Note Coeur de Noisette
It is COLD, people! Yesterday morning there were snow flurries! A cup of hot tea (Takashimaya Rose!), a warm blankie, fluffy socks, a good book (it's time to revisit Agatha Christie, methinks) and a comfort scent are right now the items of absolute necessity. Here are some comfort perfumes I discovered among new releases.
Kenzo Amour Le Parfum. Kenzo can do no wrong this season, from the beautifully androgynous Power to the innocent/sexy Winter Flowers to this spicy-incensey cashmere shawl of a perfume. The regular Amour was a little too bland for my taste, Amour Indian Holi a little more distinct but still too subtle. With the addition of more incense and amber, Le Parfum aquired just enough oomph and depth to get my attention. Frankly, I would have wanted MORE incense, because the big blast of it which I witnessed in the first stage of Amour Le Parfum's development was the best part of the fragrance. As it is, the scent is fluffy more so than it is resinous. I would love-love to find a fragrance that combines incense and fluffyness in equal proportions. Now THAT would be extraordinarily comforting. (Note to self, layer Le Parfum with Messe de Minuit or Avignon). Having said that, I find Amour Le Parfum extremely enjoyable and wearable. It is soft, cuddly, surprisingly long-lasting and sillage-full. Truly an olfactory equivalent of a cashmere shawl, perfect for this weather. This is the perfume for the fans of the late and lamented Barbara Bui fragarnce, only richer, spicier and with more incense.
Estee Lauder Amber Ylang Ylang. More Amber than Ylang Ylang on me in the beginning, which is fine, this time of the year. The ripe, creamy floral note is certainly there, it softens the sweet amber and lends it a wonderully boozy quality. Holidays are coming , so bring on the booze! I find the scent to be very simple, quite literally just the two title notes with maybe a hint of spice in the background, but that is OK with me: the best comfort scents are usually simple. As the scent progresses, ylang ylang becomes more apparent and, as it turns slightly more floral, the perfume transforms from sensual-comforting into ladylike-elegant (still retaining all the ambery warmth). If Amour Le Parfum was a cashmere shawl, Amber Ylang Ylang is a chocolate-colored velvet dress, the kind that catches your eye not because of the abundance of details but, on the contrary, because of its simple form and the richness of the fabric. The second success in the Private Collection series.
Speaking of simple and comforting, Coeur de Noisette by Sinfornia di Note is just that. This creamy little concoction of coconut, hazelnut and amber reminded me of Parfumerie Generale's Une Crime Exotique (an extraordinary comfort scent, by the way), only, well, simpler and with coconut instead of gingerbread. The two have the same kind of buttery feel, you can cut these scents with a knife, and I love that quality in winter. Coconut fragrances usually have a tropical feel, but Coeur de Noisette for some reason carries me in what is the opposite direction from the tropics, namely, to my Russian home; it smells of my mom's baking, altough goodness knows my mum has never used coconut in her cakes and pies. The sweet simplicity of Coeur de Noisette might become a little grating if one over-wears or over-doses it, but once in a while, a couple of drops are superbly comforting.
Amour Le Parfum is aiavalable on kenzousa.com, $65.00-$85.00, Amber Ylang Ylang can be found on esteelauder.com, $65.00-$300.00 (the latter price is for perfume, shown here), and Coeur de Noisette is sold at luckyscent.com, $150.00.