Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Perfume from the faucet

" A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future."
- Coco Chanel

Recently, I was reading this post over at An Aesthete's Lament on the home of William and Isabell Clow. It took me a moment to picture and recover from the idea of having faucets in my home which run with perfume. Multiple faucets. Good thing, I thought, how could I be expected to commit to one on behalf of myself and my house guests?

When I think about committing to a fragrance, I know the risk I would over-do or be too wishy-washy or sentimental to pick only a few, or the best, is sky high. But that post caused me to run though a few in my mind. And already, look how muddled things become:

Pomegrante Noir, Jo Malone. Heavy, dark, makes my nose wiggle a touch. One of my favorite fragrances in the world. Before it was released, I was privy to an advanced sample and knocked on doors over at Saks Boston until they would get a waiting list going. The day it became available, I went to work late. That's the fashion game for you, Folks.

By the same token, her Lime Basil Mandarin and Black Vervyter could be in the mix too.

Definitely, Fleur de Laine, by L'Artesian, this fragrance is a world-rocker but not for everyone. It is the kind of thing worn by adventurous women about to set sail on an expedition. Or Katharine Hepburn in African Queen.

Certainly, L'eau D'Issey by Issey Miyake, would be a consideration as I believe it hits every light, enchanting scent one fragrance could while never becoming cloying or overbearing.

What if someone comes over? The kind of swank, sophisticated girl who has never waited for anyone or been on time in her life because her plane is forever delayed from mysterious places never mentioned by name and seems always to need a stiff drink and dark glasses? The sort where her drama is always on her sleeve but never has a face or a name. She'd wear this, and I would want her to get some rest and feel, if only for a moment, that she was comfortable before she was wheels-up again. Iris Nobile, Acqua di Parma.

When I feel dark, I wear Cannibis Rose, by Fresh. But not always...

Sometimes I feel rigorously dark and twisted. Then this the first bottle I grab: Love in Black, Creed. According to Creed's website Jackie Kennedy's black eyes inspired this fragrance. I would have to agree it is haunting,

Incidentally, when I feel that dark, this is the second bottle I grab.

I did hard time on the corporate account deep in ugly parts of Mexico. This won't make you smell nice just fyi, but I know a lot of people who would not be upset if it ran from faucets.

Joy, Jean Patou, will always remind me of the time I spent in Paris while in college, and L'Air d' Temps of my Mom returning home from Paris when I was sixteen. In this same way Tresor will always remind me of Key West and those fishing trips with Liz. I still do not have the faintest idea how to fish and that is the reason I smile whenever that scent gallops by.

Shalimar will always always remind me of my Godmother, Margaret. And Auperge of my Grandmother.

There remains the men's fragrances too, an equally important part of these imaginary faucets; it was the subject of this recent post at The Trad blog, which also contributed to bringing this subject to mind. At a sensory level, that is too much for me at this hour and it is probably best left to the boys to debate.

But still, the fragrance I would most long for, in my life of long haul flights to everywhere, relationships forged in airport lounges, and complete geographic upheaval every two years, is the one I have yet to find: Have they bottled the fragrance of lying on the freshly cut ninth at Bedford Golf and Tennis with your closest pals, just after a light June rain, when the lushness of New York in early summer is still a possibility and not even a fact? Before school lets out for good but after the katydids come back? When we crack up over another secondhand water-fowl story and the faint, but forever sophisticated breeze of roses mixed with patchouli, my best friend's scent, washes past us? And in that bottle is there the rear notes of heady peony and pipe smoke? Because those things were familiar and beloved too? Can you bottle those idyllic evenings in a small perfect suburban enclave from before we knew the realities of these grown up days and get them to me? If you can, I will put in a faucet...

What will you put in your fragrance faucets?


Natalie said...

LOVE the post! I too am always reminded of places or people with certain scents. I am a Florida girl, and I have to tell you that besides the light citrus scents I like to wear, a new favorite is Bobbi Brown's Beach. Her entire Beach line reminds me of my childhood playing for endless hours at the beach, and coming home with the smell of salt water and sunscreen in my hair. I only wear it in the summer on balmy nights, but it always takes me back :)

Mrs. Blandings said...

I can hardly talk about bottled perfume after your closing paragraph. I wear Malone's Orange Blossom and adore it. My friend tried to get me to buy the Grapefruit, but I knew OB and I were meant to be together. Aqua di Parma came right before. Fracas in the winter when we are going out and it is going to be late.

And my mother wore Youth Dew as far back as I can remember. She'd buy other scents and the would languish on the counter waiting to go out.

The Countess of Nassau County said...

I think I am part of a large band of women who are immediately transported back to college years by the smell of Polo for men or, God forbid, Drakkar. Stuffed into a small space with too many frat boys one could gag.

Other perfume memories....White Shoulders and my older sister as a teenager.

For me, it's Jo Malone Verbenas of Provence and Lime Basil & Mandarin.

Marsha said...

I like Pomegranate Noir, too, and feel very mysterious whenever I wear it.

My faucets, though, would run with Rose Poivree. I adore it and feel that is deeply misunderstood and over-maligned.

ADG said...

That last paragraph was especially well done! Great.

And please...let's not forget Hai Karate

Blushing hostess said...

I love posts like this, I learn so much from each comment.

Natalie - I knew nothing of this fragrance, Beach. But is sounds intriguing, going to seek it out.

Mrs. B. - I am not familiar with the OB scent, ditto there. Grapefruit... umm, probably a good call. Makes me think of breakfasts I did not want to eat on cold school mornings. Fracas! Wish I had thought of it, perfect.

Countess - Drakkar, That made me laugh. I really wish it never got that bag or became a fragrance that the wearer never used one drop of, only a gallon, because I kind of liked it.

Rose Poivree, Marsha, what is that? Obviously, if it is malinged, I should own it and defend it. Will find it.

AGD - I had to look that up, here was the part I most enjoyed, "As a marketing ploy, in the early days each bottle of Hai Karate came with a small self-defense instruction booklet, to help wearers defend themselves against women." How I love Wikipedia.

Marsha said...

Re: Rose Poivree...it truly is incredible and worth the search.

Start here, with Chandler Burr: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/style/tmagazine/21chanel.html?ref=tmagazine

And then here, from me: http://hotwaterbath.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-search-for-new-go-to-perfume-has.html

Tickled Pink And Green said...

My 94 year old grandmother has been wearing Shalimar ever since I can remember. She says it's the only one she can wear that doesn't bother her nose. It will always remind me of her.