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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Love Not At First Sniff: Anne Pliska, Coco Mademoiselle. Coromandel

I always thought that love should be as Bulgakov said, leaping up at you like a murderer jumping out of a dark alley. Or, to use a happier image, like fireworks going up in the sky the very moment you put your eyes on that Someone. Love, I always thought, is not something you can make yourself feel. Not something anyone can make you feel. It is something that happens and you have no control over it whatsoever. And so I have always wondered, if love is not at first sight, is it really love? When you have to work on trying to love somebody, have to wait till you see them in a different light, could the result really be love? (And, heck, that person might be the most wonderful human being on earth, totally worthy of your love, but does it matter to your stubborn, irrational heart? It has never mattered to mine.)

I still can't satisfactorily answer those questions to myself, as far as human relationships are concerned. I have learned, however, that things are not as categorical, dramatic and "heavy" between perfumes and me. So many of my Great Perfume Loves were not at first sniff. And many of those that were at first sniff are not loved by me anymore. (Funny how one can be faithful unto eternity with people and ridiculously fickle with things.) And although it is certainly easier to take the high road of "if it doesn't smell good on me straightaway, I ain't wasting none of my precious time on trying it ever again", the nose, the skin, the whatever-it-is do change. I wrote a hissy fit post before about perfumes I will never try again, and I still stand by that list. Those will never work on me. Most probably. But there were some, which I kept obstinately revisiting, that have indeed eventually opened up to me in the most wonderful manner, capturing my heart and my imagination. Let me introduce you to my three newest loves not at first sniff.

Anne Pliska. But only in parfum. Eau de Parfum have always been "oh well, it's amber" to me. Parfum has the richness that is almost gourmand in its smoky, ripe plumminess. I read wonderful reviews of Anne Pliska (there was one by Thisbe on makeupalley that, way back when, has actually speed-started me on the path of my niche-perfume obsession), which described the scent as cold. To me, it is a warm scent, no doubt about it, warm, enveloping, sensual and comforting. A perfect little cashmere sweater dress that you could dress up or down. I adore the patchouli-vanilla accord in the drydown of Pliska Parfum, it is soft and fluffy... a gentle, loving caress.

Coco Mademoiselle. Again, only in parfum. I don't want to make it seem that I am a parfum snob. I am actually not at all. I love to spray. I hate dabbing. Most parfums, and especially those by Chanel, last poorly on my skin and have no sillage whatsoever (and I am against monster sillage, but do give me a bit of a trail!). Coco and Coco Mademoiselle are among the very few extraits that a) last b) waft around me as a discreet but discernible veil and c) smell immeasurably better (richer, denser, more complex) than other concentrations. In addition to that, although it still has certain freshness, Coco Mademoiselle parfum does not turn aggressively watery on my skin, as it does in any other form. Its candied patchouli note is a delight. Mlle is, to me, one of the sexiest scents around. Not heavy-lidded sexy, but young and playful and happily in love. It reminds me of myself, many light years ago.

Coromandel. I wrote before on how it reminded me of a plethora of other scents. How one of those scents was, unfortunately, Obssession. Well, this winter the curse of Obssession has been lifted. Cormandel became Obssession-free on my skin. This winter it has been my savior on cold, miserable days. It is such a warm scent, it can be worn instead of a fur coat. And this one IS heavy-lidded sexy. Oh, it is so sexy, it makes my knees weak and my mouth dry. I absolutely adore the fact that it smells a little masculine. It smells as if His scent rubbed off on my skin. When I wear Coromandel, I have a bizarre feeling of someone gorgeous and male being by my side. And that is the kind of GWP that all perfumes should come with.

What scents have you recently rediscovered?


Blogger elle said...

I somehow hadn't even realized Coco Mademoiselle was available in parfum form. Must try it! And, speaking of parfums, am still praying the powers that be at Chanel put out Cororamandel in parfum form. Love the stuff as it is, but suspect that it could be beyond divine as a parfum. Agree w/ you on the AP in parfum form.
On an embarrassingly regular basis I change my mind about perfumes. Thanks to March's post on Perfume Posse, I recently rediscovered Cinnabar in parfum form. And was inspired to retry White Aoud due to your frequent mentions of it. It hadn't impressed my initially, but now I'm absolutely head over heels in love w/ it - can't remotely understand how I didn't adore it from the start. Have also fallen very hard for Lisa Simon's Monsoon (especially layered w/ Rousse), another scent I was unimpressed by when I first tried it. I really do believe in constantly going back and resampling scents I may initially not have loved. Most I never fall for, but there are those magic moments when, after a few months (or even a couple of years) of periodic sampling, suddenly a scent will be *exactly* right and I'll be racing off to order a bottle.

10:33 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Oh I've done that with scents that I publicly didn't love. I smelled Chypre Rouge the other day and actually liked it but made the decision to leave it be. There are some that I am in no way interested in giving a second chance to, even some entire houses

I'm kind of like you- to people I am endlessly true but to perfumes I am a total slut. Friends I have had for decades and as a husband I will ever be true; my love for a scent can evaporate in a few weeks as I am on to the next thing. I usually leave them in the darkness of my hall closet, since I find that absence does make them seem new and fresh and seductive again.

12:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See, this is part of why I love to read you. You bravely and unashamedly document your own changing tastes (white flowers anyone? roses?) and in the process make it crystal clear how much of perfume *is* a matter of taste. I've been thinking about how the line between Those Who Try (and Try) Again and Those Who Simply Decide might be a sort of personality trait, or a genetic one, like being able to roll your tongue. I want to be one who tries again, but only curiosity overcomes my natural, lazy tendency to try-and-forget...

6:52 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Really enjoy AP in the EDP -- have never tried the parfum but am dying to do so now! Coco parfum is one of my desert island scents.

6:53 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

OK--on yours: Anne Pliska smells like orange creamsicle on me, and while may like that--I don't. I need to retry the other two. I never hated Coromandel, I just thought it smelled too much like Prada; I could see falling easily over onto the other side there.

Chergui: I used to think this was nice but too sweet and then one day---POW! Winter heaven!!
Messe de Minuit: from moldy YUCK to---moldy YUM.
MKK: sorta like MdM, but substitute animalic for moldy.
The last two clearly resulted from my changing tastes. Chergui--I don't know--it just hit me right all of a sudden.

7:43 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you made me really curious about the parfum verson of coco mlle!
i think i only know the EdT/EdP (not sure which one!) but it was sickening sweet & smelled exactly like chance on me (another chanel scent i loathe!).
i really should find a sample of coco mlle in parfum, especially since coco in parfum is wonderful, it really grew on me, very complex & lovely in winter.

chanel no. 19 smells wonderful in parfum as well, but allure sensuelle is too tame in the parfum form,it´s one of the few scents i prefer in EdP.

coromandel was love at first sniff - it´s perfect the way it is, i´m not sure if i need a parfum version of that one.

anne pliska didn´t work for me in edP, too loud, too much of everything. i´d give the parfum a try, though, just out of curiosity, perhaps it works better & is smoother.

8:02 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, now I have Coromandel envy. I wish it did that on me. I did sort of like it the first few times & thought, now here's a patch I can wear. And then ... I don't know. It never worked again & I've swapped my samps of it since.

Right now my in, out, back in love scent is Tea For Two. I adored it deeply for a long time and then suddenly couldn't imagine what I'd ever seen in it. But lately I've loved it, craved it, needed to inhale it off my skin.

8:31 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

M, I think I might have exactly the opposite issue...I don't fall in love easily (and when I do it is a rare occurence). It usually takes me a while to get hooked. Sometimes, I will buy a bottle and give it away only to start thinking about it and have to order another bottle! This has happened so often that I have vowed this year not to give anything away until I am absolutely sure it isn't love! I can't remember the last time I fell in love at first sniff...never? I will think about it.

9:31 AM EST  
Blogger priscilla said...

I just tried Coco Mlle. in EDP form and was instantly wowed, so I HAVE to get my hands on the parfum. I like Anne Pliska in the EDP, but have not tried the parfum. Strangely, Pliska is a scent I tend to forget I even own.

My latest took-a-while-to-grow-on-me scent was PC Tuberose Gardenia. I really wasn't overly impressed with it the first few times I wore it--and I bought it unsniffed. Doh! Luckily everything eventually fell into place...something clicked, and I believe we will live happily ever after until something comes along and unseats it. ;-)

9:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so strange that you post about Coromandel, as I have had it on the brain for the past two days. For some reason, I've been dying to try it again. Everyone seems to think it smells like something else, which is what I thought about it too--nothing special. But for some reason, I've been lemming a new sample.

Recently rediscovered: Bois d'iris. Actually, I've been on a Different Company bent for about a week now, alternating between Sel de Vetiver and BDI. I know they seem like summer frags, but I'm OVER this cold!!

10:08 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

L'Artisan's La Haie Fleurie du Hameau, of which I bought a decant based on a review here on PST. When it arrived, I sniffed it, put some on, thought "this is so not for me". Then for some reason, earlier this month I started thinking about it again, and now it seems like all the things about Spring for which I long, stuffed into a bottle.

12:42 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, am eager to try Coco Mademoiselle in parfum form. As for Coromandel, I wasn't impressed when I first sniffed it, but that was about a year ago and my tastes have changed so much since then; I should really dig out my sample.

2:17 PM EST  
Blogger luv_bug said...

Gasp! I just re-discovered Anne Pliska, too. I tried the EDP before and thought, "Eww, blech, amber attack." But last night, when it was so cold outside, I dabbed just a tiny amount on my pulse points, and was instantly taken with the warm, smooth, spiced orange and cream. I think I sometimes over-analyze perfumes when I first test them--subjecting the juice to sniffing that no substance can really withstand. When I just let the fragrance sit and release its scent naturally, the results are so much better!

3:06 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funny thing for me with Anne Pliska is, I actually like it better in the fall than in the winter. I perceive a little cold undercurrent in it, which I like to pair with the residual warmth of fall.
Somebody already mentioned L'Haie Fleurie de Hameau, not love at first sight. Same for Drole de Rose, took me about 6 months to come around, I was close to giving up and deciding this just wasn't me... and then, love. L'Heure Bleue, a couple of weeks and a change in weather.

4:28 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

I adore the Chanel parfums. Mademoiselle is ONLY tolerable that way, and it's just perfect!!!

4:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No recently rediscovered scents for me. But I wanted to tell you that I ADORE Coromandel. It's my favorite scent and when I finished up my decant a few weeks ago, I marched my behind right into the Chanel Boutique and bought the bottle. I can't get enough of it and I'm glad you are lovin' it also. :))


4:45 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Like you, my tastes too often go the other way - perfume burnout.

However, I'm suddenly ADDICTED to Sables. Wham! Like that. After 'like' for years...

5:16 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Does Monsoon Season remind you of Safran Troublant? A lot?

7:58 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

What's a house to which you are not giving another chance? Let me guess...does the name have double "nez" in it? :-)

7:59 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That's right, I have no shame :-)
And I can't roll my tongue :-)

7:59 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't think I could take Coco parfum to a desert islands. It is usually hot on those islands, and Coco is Too Much for me in warm weather :-)

8:00 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Chergui is the one that will never work for me, for sure.
Coromandel smells of sweet, raw earth, yummm.

8:02 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't need Coromandel parfum either.
Chance I cannot do in any form.

8:03 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

With T42 I went form absolute, horrified loathing to something akin love. :-)

8:04 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You don't fall in love easily with perfumes or people? :-) I fall in love left and right, with perfumes.

8:05 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh you definitely have to try Mlle in parfum.
PCTG was instant love for me. Although I just couldn't believe it, for a while :-)

8:06 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am over this cold too. Unfortunately the cold is not over. :-)

8:07 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I went from love to...not so much with that one. Waiting for the upswing now :-)

8:08 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Please dig out the sample and then report!

8:09 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

"subjecting the juice to sniffing that no substance can really withstand." Love that. That's what I do too.

8:11 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

So you too perceive a little cold in AP? Interesting. I get no cold at all.

8:11 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I adore Coco and Mlle in parfum. The rest, believe it or not, I prefer in EDT.

8:12 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Next month I will most probably march my behind there too. He will be mine. :-)

8:14 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

when 'like' becomes 'love'...aww!

8:14 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make Coromandel sound so desirable! What a pity that I don't have a possibility nearby to test it.
Coco Mlle (the EdP) is one of my favorites. I've been lurking about the perfume for quite a while now because the EdP doesn't last that long on me. Your description of the scent fits perfectly with my impression of it!

BOT: A fragrance which at first, second, third sniff did almost nothing for me but surprisingly finally won me over is Armani's Emporio She. It turned out to be the fragrance I wore most often this winter by now. Because it's a rather quiet scent I underestimated it at first, but it's sublime, well balanced, warming and soft, yet light with a little freshness added by the ananas in the top notes - the perfect office scent for me.

5:07 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Really...well, I'll have to try that one!

6:44 AM EST  
Blogger lushscents said...

First, my sincere thanks to your sharing your views on scents. One of my colleagues came in yesterday wearing CocoMa and my first reaction was, "What a great patchouli head!" It is so hard to find great men's scents with proper expressions of patchouli and I think I'll get this and wear it instead. And I'm gonna try AP and Coromandel as well.

6:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Has anyone ever layered Coco with Coco Mademoiselle? I tried it the other day and unless my noise was fooling me; it smelled pretty wonderful. Patty

9:20 PM EDT  

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