Vamp a NY by Honore des Pres & a Prize Draw
In their description of Vamp à NY, Honoré des Prés call the scent, "futuristic". If so, it is back to the future for me. This tuberose rendition by Olivia Giacobetti smells like plombir, an ice cream from my Soviet childhood. Borrowed originally from the French Glace Plombières, the recipe of plombir calls for cream with high fat content, because as we know, all the best things in life are fattening. And the plombir I remember was certainly one of the best things in life.
There are two kinds of plombir, "classic", with 12-13% of fat, and "fatty", with 15-20%. Vamp à NY falls into the "classic" category, and that is plenty. As far as tuberoses are concerned, that buttery feel is my favorite part. This is what I look for first of all, when I encounter a tuberose perfume, and if the creamy smoothness is lacking, I go no further. If it is there, I sniff for bonus qualities, which make a tuberose interesting: rubberiness, mentholated feel, earthiness. In other words, I want plombir with a twist.
With its strangely raw, slightly verdant, subtly earthy feel, Vamp à NY is such a plombir. It has rum, and its molasses enhance both the sweet-creamy and the raw-chilly characteristics of the composition. For a lover of balms in perfume, the base of Vamp à NY is a delight, since it has several kinds, each displaying a vanillic aspect: an almost chocolatty vanilla for benzoin, a smoky one for Peru balsam and a vaguely floral one for Tolu. The balsamic drydown, again, ties in with both the dry-green-raw and the sweet-fatty-gourmand aspects of the blend, rounding up the composition in a very satisfying manner.
Coming back to the earthy and raw feel of Vamp à NY...I find that the quality runs through all three scents in the We Love NY collection. I Love Les Carottes is staggeringly earthy, almost on the level of some CB I Hate Perfume creations, like Memory of Kindness (almost!). Love Coco has a very appealing raw quality too, which sets it apart from typical, overly sweet, obviously edible coconut fragrances.
I can't mention the star ingredients, tuberose, carrot, coconut, and not ask the question, why? Why these particular notes for the NY themed collection? Christian David, the artistic director, of Honoré des Prés told me that for them the tuberose is "definitely a scent of NY City, you can smell it in a lot of lobbies of beautiful hotels there". For Les Carottes, Olivia Giacobetti found the inspiration "at the Organic Market in Harlem". As far as the coconut is concerned, "we love the new trends to drink Coconut water in the States, so Pure and Healthy" - said Christian. "We think that it's the perfect Chic detox Scent to remember the good time of hollidays in NYC ..."
In the end, any note can be "New York". After all, as Stefon from SNL would say, New York has Everything. Personally, if I had to come up with an idea for a perfume with NY in the title, the title note of such perfume would have been coffee...If only somebody out there could bottle the smell of Starbucks for me...with coffee as the main ingredient, with a touch of pumpkin spice and cream...with a little bit of wood and leather...
That brings me to the packaging of We Love NY collection. It is genius. Even if I did not like a single one of the three fragrance, I would have gotten one anyway, just for that coffee cup of a "box". As it happens, I love Vamp a NY. Created by a French perfumer and smelling of Soviet ice cream... How cosmopolitan and random. How, in fact, very New York.
Courtesy of Honore des Pres, 30 commenters will be able try a scent from the NY collection. To participate, tell me what YOUR New-York-themed perfume would smell like and leave your email in the body of the comment for me to contact you for the mailing address. 10 commenters will be randomly chosen to receive a sample of Vamp à NY, Love Les Carottes and Love Coco. 20 more commenters will then be randomly chosen to receive a sample of Vamp à NY.
Vamp à NY is available at Henri Bendel and Beauty Habit, $98.00 for 50 ml.
Images © Perfume-Smellin' Things.