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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A Masterful Tribute to Perfumes Past: Tableau de Parfums Miriam

 By Donna

In my last post I swooned over the voluptuous Loretta from Andy Tauer' s Tableau de Parfums series, created in collaboration with Brian Pera's Evelyn Avenue films. These “Woman's Pictures” are tributes to the past and so are the perfumes; Miriam was the first in the series, and in some ways it is the more faithful of the two to the style of decades ago, yet it shows the unique modern hand of the perfumer. Miriam's template is the aldehydic floral, green and somewhat austere on one level, with zesty citrus and geranium making a brief appearance on top, sweet aldehydes and rose threading through the composition to soften the edges, and beneath it all an impressively profound musky base supported by velvet-smooth sandalwood and vanilla make it anything but staid. Loretta is the naughty sister on the surface, a flamboyant siren to Miriam's more sedate character, yet nothing about Miriam is ordinary. You just have to lean in a little closer, since she whispers rather than shouts, and give her more time to show just how sensuous she really is.

I have read comments about Miriam that compare it to Chanel No. 5 and also that it is quite rosy. I definitely get the rosiness, which is lovely, but not the comparison to Chanel No. 5, which may be the global standard by which all aldehydic fragrances are judged, but I have never cared for it, and I adore Miriam, which does have a powdery aspect; however it is not the powder bomb that I find the Chanel to be. Most of the aldehydic perfumes I wear myself are also green, such as Carven's Ma Griffe, as I don't normally like the really sweet and heavy ones like Chanel No. 22, and it is a style of scent that I have grown to appreciate over time, having had to overcome my bias against them in order to learn that they can be very beautiful. For me, Miriam rests in the center of the aldehydic universe, neither sharp nor overly heavy, perfectly at ease in the company of Puredistance I and my beloved vintage Le Galion Sortilège.

My first impression of Miriam was that it is quite mossy, but oakmoss is not listed as a note and that fades quickly to reveal the rose and other florals. It is soft, but with a definite backbone, and there is nothing fluffy or cuddly about it. It shifts and moves and gives off new facets of itself as it develops – a cloud of tender rose becomes a hint of pungent lavender, which in turn is replaced by pillow-soft aldehydes, only to change again to give me a breath of gorgeous jasmine. I have to keep pressing my nose to my skin repeatedly just to capture these fleeting moments of beauty, but since the longevity is so good, they just keep coming around again and again for my enjoyment.

Miriam is available exclusively at Luckyscent along with Loretta. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see this pretty bottle on the counter at stores everywhere; I can just picture an older woman, a lover of classic fragrances, as she looks in vain for something to like among the cookie-cutter offerings of today, she spots the pretty flaçon of Miriam, and almost not daring to hope, she sprays it on and lifts her wrist to her nose. Her eyes widen, and then she closes them and smells it again and again, smiles and nods, and opens her purse to get her wallet out. She might even be me.

Image credit: 1941 George Hurrell portrait of actress Veronica Lake via
Disclosure: This review was for a perfume from my own collection.

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Blogger Tammy said...

Oh, I loved this one! I was fortunate enough to win a small spray and I drained it within two months.

I get powder and sandalwood, no rose, no moss; a little aldehyde, but mainly just the soft powder and a really delicious sandalwood.

In fact, it was Miriam who made me realize that it's sandalwood that I find so irresistible in the dry-down of Nuit de Noel.

Weird thing is, I don't like sandalwood in any other fragrances but these two. It's way too sweet and cloying in other perfumes I have tried, but it is just perfection for me in Miriam and the Caron.

11:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Jason Knight said...

I was wondering, do you know where I can buy rain perfume? I know that my Wife loves it, but our anniversary is coming up, and I wanted to get her a new bottle of it, it ran out a few months after we got married.

7:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Tammy, I am afraid my own decant may suffer the same fate! I love sandalwood, and finding anything that smells like the real deal these days is really great.

12:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Jason, you might try payless beauty dot com if Terranova brand Rain perfume oil is what you are looking for. Good luck!

12:45 AM EDT  
OpenID purplepaperplanes said...

I haven't tried Miriam or Loretta but your review makes me want to. And I usually don't hanker after bottles but I am lemming these two bottles!!


6:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Mals86 said...

What struck me most about Miriam was that gorgeous sandalwood in the base! Lovely - Ooh, I should get that one out for fall too.

9:10 AM EDT  

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