IdolatryOrdinarily this color would come to mind in October, you know, when the leaves are turning scarlet and gold and bright pumpkin oranges are the order of the day.  This year however, it hasn’t been so warm this summer.  Apart from a few days when the Jersey air congealed into a burning, churning mess, most of our July and now August has been unseasonably wet and rather cool.

Basically, it rained a lot.

What to wear?  Well, first I tried Orientals, but they were just a bit too thick and viscous on the humid air.  After a few tries with Chergui and Muscs Koublai Khan, I abandoned this tactic and looked for something else.  I disinterred Hermes Eau d’Ambre, which was a mistake because the charm of that scent is pretty seasonal, and not very apparent when it is 95 degrees fahrenheit (35 celsius) and just as humid. It was a zombie fest.

But… then I remembered my bottle of Elixir des Merveilles and hauled that up.  Bingo! A match. It was light enough for the humidity, but heavy enough not to make you shiver, a winner this summer in a field of few competitors.  What was it? Oranges over dark chocolate, a gourmand really but a relatively unsweet one, and the orange was of the dark tinted sort: pumpkin.

The other option for rainy days was Lubin’s Idole.  I particularly like the orange and rum notes. This makes you feel dry when the rest of the atmosphere is wringing wet, and may explain Idole’s popularity in the Lubin line. Paris is always wet, and Idole is sunny and warm and dark orange again, like a recently kindled fire that is not over heating, perfect to counteract coldness and grayness. This is the sort of weather that I used to pull out Teatro alla Scala to deal with, but that fragrance gave me nightmares if I fell asleep wearing it- does anyone else get perfume nightmares- one involving a dinner party where all the candle sticks had fallen over and were burning down the house.  So I was happy to move on to a lighter option and this is what Idole is for me.

Surprisingly as I wore it in conjunction with Elixir, the Idole grew on me as being in many ways,  the easier scent to wear. The Hermes is charming but sits on top of my skin to such a degree that I sometimes have the disconcerting thought that I could peel it off like a face mask.  Perfume should sink into skin and then radiate, so that it feels like part of you. On me the Elixir doesn’t burrow, but Idole does and then it exudes oranges and rum and wood, in about equal measure, and although it’s supposedly a masculine, I don’t care and wear it anyway. Idole is downright cozy.

Mine is the original Idole in the shield bottle and is relatively long lasting on me, generally about five hours, much better than the Hermes which packs up and leaves after forty minutes or so. Curiously, Idole puts me  in mind of another Olivia Giacobetti composition, Vamp a New York.  I think that’s due to the rum notes, but both of them have this long lasting sort of purr on skin.

It’ll probably be purring on mine all autumn long.

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8 thoughts on “Idolatry

  1. I once had a terrible night’s sleep in L’Heure Bleue. What on earth possessed me to dab that on at bedtime I cannot think. I still shudder at the memory. I have not tried Elixir des Merveilles or Idole. But I know what you mean about wet and still warmish weather. Theorema would be my pick – sweetish and a bit spicy but not aggressively so, and with a bit of transparency. I’m only newly acquainted with Theorema but I’m going to have to upsize my sample to a large decant, I think. And soon. It’s not going to get any cheaper.

    • L’Heure Bleue at night-don’t even think of it! I’d never gone so far, but glad to hear that other people get perfume nightmares.

      I have a little mini of Theorema and it is so pretty. You really should try to find yourself a bottle of that asap. It’s to the point where I am afraid to write about it, for the selfish reason that I do not want to raise the price, even the tiny bit I could account for.

      • I’ll probably stick with a large decant, but even that contributes to the raising of the price. Recently I did grab a FB of Cuir de Lancome when I saw one float by at a good price, $50. A few years ago you could get CdL much cheaper than that, I’m sure. And my other d/c exploration is Donna Karan Gold, but I may pass on that one; not sure I like it.

        You are right about not wanting to call too much attention to these things. But you know – they are still cheaper than most of the niche releases. So I don’t feel too bad.

        • Thank heavens for Ebay, with all its faults I love it. And yup, the buys on it are far superior to the niche prices. has the occasional buy as well!

  2. I bought my brother Idole for his birthday – a most striking bottle apart from anything. Another inbetweeny perfume that springs to my mind might be SL Five o’clock au Gingembre or By Kilian Sweet Redemption, one of the few By Kilians I care for in fact. Am not sure I have tried the Elixir, but am a big fan of the Eau Claire de Merveilles. (I find these flankers most confusing…)

    • Funny you should mention By Killian, as I’m wearing some today, namely Liaisons Dangereuses. Most of the BKs are interesting and I do enjoy Back to Black.

      I really like old Idole, and don’t find it gender specific at all, and love the packaging, quite see how you would give it as a gift. The bottle is artwork really.

      How many flankers have there been for Eau des Merveilles? The number begins to rival that of the Mugler flankers, whose name evidently is Legion. Hadn’t got so far as the Eau Claire, but have tried the Ambre, and Elixir would be fine if it would just sit down and behave itself on skin-only it never does.

  3. Jour d’Hermes. We’ve had an awful summer, hot and humid and raining nearly every day — hello Costa Rica! — and I’m sick of the citruses already. This light nonspecific floral is just right. Lasts, too.

    • Glad to hear that we weren’t the only ones to have a strange summer!

      Jour was the hands down favorite new perfume at my table at the Sniffapalooza breakfast, a lot of people really loved it. Something in it though, I’m anosmic to, so I can’t really get a grip on the formula. I’m reduced to admiring the bottle.

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