In a Holiday Humor: L'Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre & Amouage Memoir Man
With Coeur de Vétiver Sacré, L'Artisan Parfumeur promises to take the wearer to the "magic East". On my skin, the fragrance never makes it quite that far. It goes down Queens Blvd and Long Island Expy, with final destination being my favorite Russian grocery store, called Monya & Misha, in Rego Park. Not very magic, you say? Well, when one is craving one's ancestors' food, it is! Inside the store we head right to the pickles section. Monya & Mitya has a big table with buckets full of barrel-marinated tomatoes, gherkins, cabbage, aubergines...you name it, they marinate it. That unglamorous, badly lit little section might just be my favorite place in all NYC. To put a long story short, and you've already guessed it, Coeur de Vétiver Sacré smells to me like pickles or rather like that whole corner at Monya & Mitya's...a green, dill-like, raw, earthy aroma, slightly rotting in the most appetizing manner. Coeur de Vétiver Sacré might disappoint the hardcore vetiver fans; were it not for "vétiver" in the name, I wouldn't have guessed that the composition was meant to be vetiver-centered. I am not complaining though. To a Russian, pickles (with a shot of icy vodka to raise a toast to New Year) are indeed sacré.
When one over-indulges, one wants to detox, not in the least to detox spiritually. Here is where Amouage Memoir Man comes in. With notes of basil, mint, lavender, absinthe, frankinsence, leather and a whole bunch of other good stuff, on me it basically smells of piney insense. The chilly herbs are fairly pronounced, the leather is not, the base is all cedarwood...but overall my impression is just that- cold, piney incense. This is the scent of a brisk walk in the morning, the kind of morning that Pushkin described as "frost and sunshine"...the snow is shining, the air is biting your throat with its iciness...everything is suddenly clear and quiet in your head and your soul...you walk through a pine forest to a small wooden church, you inhale the incense, you are at peace with yourself and the world...
A bit of a jump from Rego Park, Queens, to Pushkin's Russia, but hey, such is a transportive power of perfume. Quite possibly, neither of the fragrances smell on me as creators intended, but hey, that's skin chemistry and cultural background for ya. And finally, expertly and seriously written reviews these were not, but hey, Holidays should be fun.
Which fragrances smell on you like nothing you'd expect from the list of notes, surprising you with odd associations? Do share!
Coeur de Vetiver Sacre is available at Barneys, $135.00 for 100ml; Memoire Man can be found at Luckyscent, $260.00 for 100ml.
Image is by Steven Meisel.