Monday, 12 July 2010
I'm trying on three fragrances at the moment, all by talented Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer. Tauer is the creator of my very favourite perfume, L'Air du Desert Marocain, an oriental so warmly, smokily beautiful that complete acquaintances (to use Victoria Wood's phrase) sometimes start smelling me like excited cats.*
1) Un Rose Chypre: crepuscular, mossy green with a swooning, old-fashioned rose and bay topnote. Very pre-Raphaelite or William Morrisy. Ultra-feminine, in a red hair and green silk bustle kind of way, but actually quite suits me. Would have suited Maud Gonne better.
2) Orange Star: citrus hob-cleaner, with a whiff of pomander. If anyone smoked oranges like they do kippers, this is what they would smell like. Not to my taste.
3) Vetiver Dance: I've never much liked the rooty, haylike smell of vetiver, although there is a saline, peaty, sea-myrtle dimension to it which appeals somewhat. This wan little thing leaves me cold.
Humph. You win some, you lose some. I'm also immensely annoyed by the fact that I've twigged that Lolita Lempicka, which I love, is basically a gloss on Thierry Mugler's artfully vulgar Angel, which I loathe for its honking, WAG crassness. The similarity underlines for me the paradox that Angel, which is basically a fruit 'n' flowers pong for brassy tarts, is actually very cleverly structured. On top, cassis and tropical flowers; underneath, a dark, almost butch patchouli note. The two sides play off against each other fascinatingly, and I sample it constantly in shops, even though I still don't like the effing smell. Annick Menardo, the creator of Lolita Lempicka, has retained this basic anatomy but has somehow upped the knowingness and irony, mainly with the addition of an array of anisic notes. There's a brilliant moment in the third movement of Thomas Adès's 'Asyla' for orchestra where the evocation of a wild night out suddenly morphs for a moment into a quotation of mid-90s pounding house in some sweaty club at 3am: the unexpected effect is oddly like smelling Lempicka---something unpretentious and with mass appeal being evoked knowingly and played with in a very highbrow way.
*This happened twice today (15/7/10)...