If there are many ingredients in perfume more polarizing than tropical flowers I would like to know what they are? Possibly cumin, or maybe melon notes, but to me few ingredients are as likely to cause an instant brawl on a scent forum, than the smell of the tropical flowers.
Take Chanel’s Beige as an example. Beige got an awful, stinker of a review in Turin and Sanchez’ Guide; not enough to put me off because, dear reader, very little puts me off - but enough to give me pause.
Since then I have gotten a sample of Beige and am wearing it and I can say that it reminds me instantly of two other controversial perfumes Les Nez’s Manoumalia (in fact it reminds me strongly of Manoumalia and that is funny because Turin and Sanchez loved that perfume-go figure) and Diane Von Furstenburg’s Diane.
The common link between the three is probably frangipani. Its listed as a note in the Chanel and the Von Furstenburg perfumes, and though fragraea is listed instead in Manoumalia, the end result smells a whole lot like…frangipani to me.
Now you either like this stuff or you run away screaming. I have no idea why Frangipani and Co. should be so alienating, but there it is. People have had widely diverging experiences with Manoumalia (including this very funny take by Mals) and mostly have kept a respectful distance from the Von Furstenburg. But I think the problem has to do with putrescence. It’s in all three perfumes to varying degrees.
Frangipani and …hawthorn, are both in Beige. Since they are indole fests on their own the combination is heavily indolic. I find it very nearly as objectionable as Manoumalia, which may indeed be a fine perfume, but is absolutely noisome as far as I am concerned, and why? That underlying note of death and decay. You are sure that something has died under that perennial, and you don’t want to go excavating with the trowel in order to find out for sure.
What makes me even more intrigued with these perfumes, which you might as well go ahead and dub the “super indolics”, is that other people do not mind them at all and will happily wear them. Indeed, one delighted poster on Fragrantica announced she was on her tenth bottle of Beige. Really? Wow! I am on my tenth bottle of nothing at all.
But for this lady the scent was alluring in the extreme. What can be so attractive in the odor of putrescence? I have no clue but it must be attractive, and powerfully so for some smellers.
Although it may sound counter intuitive, of the three perfumes, I have to put in a good word for the von Furstenberg. I think the frangipani note is best set off by a dry background and that is what it gets in Diane, along with a cool green violet top. Of the three, and if I had to choose that’s the one I’d go for and it is going very cheaply these days at Marshall’s. You get 50mls for 29.99 not a bad deal, but it bears remembering that this one is green/indolic and also that the eau de Parfum is much better and better lasting than the edt.
But all in all, when it comes to super indolics, I’m just not sure, you may like them, yes you may, but will other people? Consider your dog’s fondness for Eau de Dead Squirrel, how well does this go down in your household? See what I mean?