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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

L'Ombre Fauve Redux

Roland Barthes wrote: "You experience a moment of fascination in the presence of another person. I cannot classify this other, the other is, precisely, unique, the singular image which has come to correspond to the specialty of my desire." And also: "I encounter millions of bodies in my life, of these millions I may desire some hundreds, but of these hundreds I love only one. The other with whom I am in love designates for me the specialty of my desire". Replace the word "person" with "perfume", and does it not still make sense?

Right this moment Parfumerie Generale's L'Ombre Fauve designates for me the specialty of my desire. I wrote about it before, and I have always liked it, but it is only in the last couple of weeks that I came to love it. My favorite philosophy professor used to call this kind of occurrence, "knew, knew and suddenly understood!". What makes us smell perfumes differently after being familiar with them for ages, what makes them suddenly move us in the most profound way... is a mystery, and that mystery is one of the things that makes relationships with perfumes almost as fascinating as (and as difficult as) relationships with people.

L'Ombre Fauve is patchouli, amber and cedar on me, and that description is as (un)likely to do it justice as would a multi-paragraph post on all intricacies of its composition. Remember? "I cannot classify this other, the other is, precisely, unique..." Which is why, when I fall in love with perfume, I always find it hard to describe it in any sort of meaningful manner. I feel that I can't do it justice and I don't want to rob it of its magic, of its "specialty" by taking it apart. L'Ombre Fauve is dark, intense, sensual, it is a demanding perfume that scares and excites me. "I am engulfed, I succumb ..."

One (literally) 100ml bottle of L'Ombre Fauve might still be available at The Perfume Shoppe, please write to Naz to find out.


Blogger elle said...

The only question is, do I sleep tonight or stay up till dawn digging through sample hell till I find this? After this review I am convinced I will move from knowing to understanding.

9:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You need to stay up and dig, because I am telling you, one bottle was left :-)

10:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Colombina,
This comment does not directly relate to this post. I am just using this opportinity to tell you that I have recently discovered your blog and I love it!!
I am a 33 year old male born and raised and still living in Manhattan.
My Favorite Fragrances that occupy a permanent presence in my dressing room are:
Creed Vintage Tabarome
Caron Tabac Blond
Maitre Eau de Iles
Chanel No. 18
Dior Eau Noire
Guerlain Jicky
Bond No.9 New Haarlem
Bond No. 9 Coney Island (for fun)
Caron Aimez Moi
Annick Goutal Sables
You have shared so much about your likes and dislikes that I wanted to use this forum as a method to let you know about the fragrances that a truly grateful reader enjoys for himself.
Keep up the good work!!
I will keep reading......
Any suggestions on an Iris scent that is a little "dirty" and "smokey"?

10:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Je t'aime est sans nuances. Il supprime les explications, les aménagements, les degrés, les scrupules." Мы читаем те же книги.

10:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

This is actually Colombina (Mrs, not Mr :-)), but thank you very much! I appreciate your kind words.
I like your list of favorites very much. For a dirty and smoky iris, I'd recommend Parfumerie Generale Iris Taizo

10:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Дорогой Аноним,
Je sais. Доброе утро.

10:37 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not smelled ANY of the Parfumerie Generale line but I am so sure that this line describes me and my fragrance desires to a "T". And this post just goes to reinforce that. I am going to be in the US in a few days and can't wait to arrive to sniff many samples from the line to see if my assumptions are correct! Some of the samples I can't wait to try are Aomassai, Coze, Cuir Venenum, Ingrigan Patchouli, Cadjmere, and Querelle. I find it almost impossible to fathom that an entire line can inspire such intrigue and one perfumer can have such a close tap into what I love about perfumes, but something about every description about Parfumerie Generale I've read seems like it's going to be "love"... we'll see :)

-Anthony (not anthonyf) :)

2:30 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You saucebucket! ;-)

4:58 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

We are so attuned,Marinochka.

I recently sent some of this marvel to a few dear friends, for their very private delectation...

Intimacy, the depth of the peeling of the onion-
Veiled in the guise of simplicity.
A perfume which is clearly more than the sum of its parts.
Danger, comfort.
Smooth suavity.

[I guess, I love it, too]

6:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Are you going to LA by any chance? That's where you can smell many of these. I don't think anyone else sells them other than luckyscent here in the US though. Maybe I am mistaken.

6:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh Lee! You say the sweetest things :-)

6:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

"Danger, comfort.
Smooth suavity."
This should be used as an official description, because it is perfect.

6:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I try, baby, I try.

It *was* a compliment.

6:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

And was taken as such! Thank you :-)

6:49 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Believe it or not, I was not so moved by this when I tried it. But I am definitely moved by your brilliant review! Must try again!

7:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found that PG's don't work for me but I absolutely get what you mean by suddenly finding new dimensions in a scent & getting it on a whole new, deeper level than ever before. That happened recently to me w Arabie - not true deep love but certainly fond appreciation after initially thinking we didn't even get along.

BTW, cool photo. Love the stocking, the creamy BW tonality & the use of mirrors. Yum :) Who's the photog?

8:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I wasn't that impressed at first either, so you never know

8:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It is Ellen Von Unwerth for Russian Vogue, 2006, I believe

8:58 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I'm going to stop at ScentBar on my way home and will no doubt find it gone.. :-(

Wallet-wise that may be for the best though..

11:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just the kind of thing I fear: something that will prove to be both necessary and unattainable.
Chaya, I loved your poem.

12:11 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't Barthes fantastic? I'm having a hard time getting through Zupancic right now, fiddling with Kant and Lacan and trying to figure out how the subject must know and not know that the other exists at the same time...

Sorry I can't comment on the fume, since I've not tried it, but it sounds lovely. I'm liking cedar more and more.

12:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

you very much captured this. It never quite fit me, but it was great admiration.

3:07 PM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

Oh I so hope this won't happen to me because I only have a tiny sample! I did love it right from the start though...

3:18 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patchouli, amber, cedar are not normally my favorite notes; you, however, make them sound swoon-worthy. The only two PG scents I've sampled so far, Bois de Copaiba and Cadjmere, I love very much. If L'OF will move me only half as much, it will be worthwhile.

5:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have a feeling it is gone, although you never know, they might have a bottle left.

8:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

"necessary and unattainable" have no idea how that strikes a cord.
By the way I was looking for a way to send you a thank message for the wonderful calendar!!! Wow, what gorgeous hair!

8:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Right, and there is also the little other / the big other distinction, gaah!

8:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That's how I felt too.

8:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

The smaller the sample, the least attainable the scent, the more we want it.

8:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I love Bois de Copaiba, probably my favorite PG, that one.

8:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Solander said...

I have good news for me and everybody else: Les Senteurs in London has L'Ombre Fauve and when I asked the pretty young Frenchwoman in the store if it wasn't discontiuned she knew nothing about it and said that it was brand new and they got it just a couple of weeks ago! So apparently you can still get it from PG if you pull the right strings, or they decided to re-realease it due to popular demand... It's not in Les Senteurs' webshop but I swear it was there so maybe if you contact them you can still order it...

12:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Wendy said...

Luckyscent will have more bottles of this in January 2009--very soon!

I have a question for those who might know. I have fallen head over heels in love with my sample of L'Ombre. I know that it is supposed to have a higher-than-average percentage of natural ingredients, a fact borne out by its semisolid state in the sample vial when it arrived in frigid Michigan in December. It clearly contains real resins.

My question is, does anyone know if it contains natural ANIMAL products? Musk and/or civet in particular. I've not seen civet listed as a note in L'Ombre, but every scent I've run across with that beautiful animalistic component seems to have it (hopefully synthetic). Musk is listed, and again, this is where synthetic is better, imho. Not getting on a soapbox, just stating my perfume philosophy as pertinent to the question.

I'm dying to appease my perfumista soul and buy a full bottle of this--I'm rationing my sample at the moment--but my tree-hugger conscience won't let me until I make sure that nothing suffered for me to smell fabulous.

Thank you in advance for any input!

12:11 PM EST  

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