I haven't been in a mood for anything dark or anything aldehydic lately. Actually, I have been in a mood for anything but. And then something that is both comes along and turns out to be exactly what I am in a mood for. Makes sense, right? My fickleness aside, Josie Natori's new foray into perfume surprised me with its depth, refinement, with the fact that it dared to use aldehydes, dared to aspire to smell "classic" and more than a touch "retro".
On my skin, Natori starts dark, becomes lighter, and then darkness falls yet again as a final curtain. The beginning of roses and plums is nocturnal elegance. The fruits and petals smell ripe, longing to be picked and savored...As the composition progresses, this velvety opulence gives way to silky elegance. The aldehydic accord cuts through the lushness of roses, ylang and jasmine like a ray of shimmering light, lending the scent, for a while, a sparse and sparkling feeling of near transparency.
The appearance of patchouli, amber and musk, the sweetness of the base signify the return to the baroque quality of the top notes. The light is off; the scent lapses into delightful, sinful darkness yet again. I do wish that the brilliant incandescence of the aldehydes lasted a little longer; it added something simultaneously unique and classic to the sultry blend. That said, I still think that Natori is rather stunning, a perfect fragrance to open the Holiday season. Much has been said about the bottle, and I can't help but add my rave. The dark purple of the abstractly sensual form, the subtle provocativeness of the picaboo circle in the middle, which seem to reflect the way the composition, with its light in the heart, is structured...the luxurious feel of the heavy cap...the bottle is a pleasure to hold and a wonderful compliment to the sumptuous liquid within.
Available at Natori and Saks, $80.00-$110.00.
Image credits: Karl Lagerfeld for Vogue Germany; Natori.