Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Etat Libre d'Orange - Rossy de Palma

It DOES smell like an alchemist's rose, molten quicksilver calyx, thorns that mechanically retract when someone with a black enough heart approaches it. Basilisk blood. A sylphy transparent blushing rose shimmers and wavers like a hologram, but at the expense of pricking your finger and signing "X."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guerlain – Petit Guerlain

A long absence, I know – one exacerbated by a fuzzling conundrum – what to wear in infernally humid weather? My part of the globe was terrorised by ferocious heat, its handmaidens being headaches, ailing languor, and fatigue – whatever could provide a tonic to the endless Satan-scorch outside? In my hazy hallucinations, I even imagined that Herba Fresca was a paradisiacal balm of Alpine ice, Mentafollia pools and glaciers. The traditional summer refreshers, eaux de Cologne, proved to be too rare birds – Chanel’s version absolutely extortionate in price, and the Guerlains simply non-existent. However, luck and risk brought me Petit Guerlain, which I chanced on unsniffed.

Intended for children, Petit Guerlain is a simple, ethereal scent. Opening with exuberant mimosa and citrus notes, it later softens to a whisper-quiet, smooth violet and jasmine floral. Orange peel lies very low in the background, adding a gentle tart note and preventing the fragrance from becoming too ballerina. PG is sherbet-coloured, pastel nonpareils, dreamy and serene like the best Helen van Meene photographs. It is soft diffused light, wildflower honey, and meadowsweet. Wearing it makes me feel like I am in possession of a treasured secret – it clings close and warm to the skin, only faintly detectable to those around you. In its own way, PG is a small wonder of watercolour and mist – it is uncomplicated, dewy, so fresh and genuinely pretty that after being graced by it, other perfumes seem plodding and mutton-like. It makes me dream of garden tea-parties and cottage getaways. Never mind the original audience – PG is yours, no matter what age, for private idylls and fancies. Now don’t you want to know what dreams Petit Guerlain could give you?