They say that familiarity breeds contempt. It also breeds content. There is nothing more comforting than a scent you remember from childhood; the momentary calm that comes over me when I smell the vanillic aroma of a sweet pie baking is a knee-jerk reaction. Immediately I am transported back to my mother’s kitchen, feeling safe and having not a care in the world. Even more comforting than vanilla? The smell of milk. I don’t want to drink it, I just want to smell it…There is something irresistibly primal in the coziness and attractiveness of the fragrance of slightly warmed up milk. Subconscious parallels to being breastfed, cuddled, coddled and absolutely safe? Maybe. Psychobiologists say that newborns are instinctively attracted to the odor of human milk and display much less distress during a painful procedure while smelling their mother’s lait. So maybe I am just a big baby.
Various types of fragrances have a lactic undertone; I smell hints of milk in vanillas (Vanille Aoud comes to mind), chocolate perfumes (Musc Maori), heliotrope-heavy scents (Farnesiana) and even, sometimes, fig fragrances (Premier Figuier, my little one’s current favorite, smells of milk on her…or maybe it’s just her). Three perfumes come to mind as being properly milky. Comtoir Sud Pacifique’s Matin Calin is the sweetest and most unrestrained in its sweet cuddlesomeness. There is nothing more comforting that its saccharine, vanillic, milky aroma. In small doses. An overdose of Matin Calin is an equivalent of maternal love that goes overboard in its intensity, smothering not snuggling with its passionate affection. The gentler Lann-Ael by Lostmarch, which blends milk with cereals and apples, expresses its maternal instinct less gregariously. It is calm and softly spoken, it caresses delicately, and doesn’t overwhelm with the overabundance of adoration. The ideal mother, one might say. Less obviously milky and thus less maternal is the 21 by Costume National. Blending milk with saffron, cumin, pepper, woods and a whole bunch of stuff (21 notes, supposedly, in total), this is the most complex of the three. The kind of mother who’d ask you to call her by her first name. Still, the milky aspect is very obvious to me and for that I adore 21 and find it as comforting as it is hip.
Got more milk…perfumes? Do share! Happy Mother’s Day!
PS. You can create your own milk mustache on gotmilk.com.