Part 3/3! The final leg of the journey through my decant collection is dedicated to warmer weather scents. But because I’m mostly a fan of heavier notes (incense, amber, animal whiffs- I even prefer my flowers robust and rubenesque), this is a grouping sort of patched and cobbled together of warm weather outliers. I try hard to find a connecting theme and I can’t quite do it, other than that they all feel like me and make me happy. Which is, I suppose, all that matters.
Cuir de Nacre: Ann Gerard
My mini bottle of the extract smells of suede, ambrette, and iris after a warm rain. It’s one of the few scents featuring ambrette that doesn’t unnerve me, for whatever reason. Smooth as butter, it suits me as a stand in for Apres l’Ondee, which started to remind me of some cardboard derivative after a few wearings. Cuir de Nacre is an excellent perfume for the spring rains.
DjHenne: Parfumerie Generale
There are so few things connecting these scents that I have a hard time knowing what should follow what… DjHenne has a Cuir de Nacre’s softness, but it is there that the similarities end. Where Cuir de Nacre is reserved and effortlessly dignified, DjHenne is quirky. DjHenne could best be described as a gourmand lavender, centered on lavender, incense, cocoa powder, and wheat. All of the notes blend into a smooth and powdery dust, a very unexpected combination and character but one that feels viscerally reassuring and inevitable whenever I smell it. I bought my split for Christmas one year and the very kind splitter included the bottle with my purchase (without my having requested it), which was a lovely surprise.
Reglisse Noire: 1000 Flowers
Bear with me: DjHenne is a gourmand lavender. Another gourmand lavender is Hermes’ Brin de Reglisse, a licorice lavender. Reglisse Noire is a licorice scent. Make sense? Gentle spicy, gently herbal, and, like DjHenne, unexpected and quirky. It’s airy enough that I would want something more solid and chewy in winter, but it can be the perfect company during spring, summer, and fall. I’m a fan of anise and licorice notes, just as I’m a fan of gourmand lavenders (lists for other days), but this is my favorite of the former type because of the way it twists together sweet and fresh and spicy.
Enchanted Forest: The Vagabond Prince
I love the scent of black currant but I’m not sure this is the most satisfying use of it that I can imagine. I feel like I’m betraying the poor decant by typing this, but in fact I’m still considering whether or not I might prefer Neela’s Bombay Bling. Or maybe a different perfume that I haven’t met yet. Much as I love this perfume, it doesn’t feel like myself. Actually, I should probably give it to my mom because I know she loves it. And then I’ll just steal it sometimes.
Hi Mom, I know you read my posts, would you like to have my Enchanted Forest?
So about the actual perfume: It’s forest-y. Pine needles, mist, berries, leaves, a bit of soil… tart and magical. Not a sunny forest by a shady one. Not exactly wet, but maybe dewy. You get the feeling that the fairies could come out at any second, once its dusk, even though within the shady forest its been going on night for a long time.
Oud: Maison Francis Kurkdjian
I’m just going to hop around between fragrances hopelessly now. There are no threads binding them and if there were, they would be so tenuous that I would be afraid to travel along them or examine them to closely at them lest they snap.
Any who. This one I’m going to have a hard time describing. I wear it infrequently (because I haven’t gotten over hoarding it yet- though I’ve had it nearly a year- and because it’s much more a complete experience than a combination of notes to me). It’s radiant, bright, deep, and patently not oud. It smells of a light dove grey-violet.
Fils de Dieu…: Etat Libre d’Orange
A tropical summer coconut, but not in the tropical floral sunblock kind of way that we’re all so familiar with (it’s kind of an infamous combination actually, the reason I kept huffing my sunscreen the other day). Fils de Dieu is Thai food. Coconut, ginger, lime, and rice, most significantly. There’s also a green facet, I suppose from the shiso leaf. It’s delightful to wear in the summer, wherever you are- though particularly on the beach. It’s thick, milky, powdery… but mostly playful and joyful, which is I think often preferable to an expected coconut-floral variation. What is summer for if not adventures?
This is perhaps my most classic warm weather scents. It’s not quirky or unexpected, but it is honestly the most lovely gardenia I have smelled. It doesn’t have the cool metallic edge, the mushroom notes, or the dirt smell one gets from sniffing gardenia up close. Instead, it’s what you might smell if a soft breeze carried the scent of petals over to you from a tree perhaps ten feet away. You get an intensified version of the cleaned up airy scent, rather than the rough and unabashed naturalness of a flower at close quarters. When a say clean, I don’t mean to suggest that this scent abuses white musk or ozone or aquatic notes or any of those things that I have trouble standing. But it is pretty.