June is supposed to be the month of roses but this year in honor of my cat and my daughter, I’ve decided to let things take a decidedly animalic turn. Yes, that’s not very apropos for the month of roses. But I spent so much time last month dousing myself in Or et Noir (the old Caron urn perfume) that this month I am looking for something with a more …furry tonality.
One reason is that my cat, like most cats prefers to spend the evening on my lap watching Shark Tank with unblinking green eyes ( I wonder what she thinks of Barbara Corcoran? Especially when she licks her chops and whips her tail about, I’m not sure she doesn’t consider the Shark Tank something to dip a paw into rather like a goldfish bowl; after all those moguls look small.)
Like all animals she has decided opinions on the subject of perfume. She loathes anything that is synthetic. Hates it. Sneezes when her nose gets into contact with Ambroxan or Calone or what have you. So on the evenings when we’re doing a bit of work online –because I should disclose that Charcoal helps post-this is why it probably takes me twice as long as the rest of you, I wear natural perfumes.
Charcoal’s current favorite is Sepia by Mandy Aftel. This solicits not just a delighted inhale but also a lick of the wrist. Sepia as far as the cat is concerned is the ne plus ultra. The notes, the chocolate and tobacco do not really register with me separately. Sepia smells like Oolong tea to me, and I love it for that reason. Sepia though is a dark perfume, the shades of Sepia are deep and all brown or burnt umber and not the sort of thing to wear when you want brightness or heaven forbid, sprightliness.
If I’m in search of animalic lightness, then I wear Vraie Blonde for the curious combination of a clean hair scent and champagne. That’s what Vraie Blonde smells like to me. I assume, and maybe I’m wrong, that this smell of hair is something that can harmonize with the wearer’s own natural odor. I certainly hope so. VB is something to wear out to dinner because you can proceed to be out very late indeed but it won’t matter because whatever you smell like at the end of the evening, Vraie Blonde will go with.
VB reminds me most of Diana Vreeland’s advice to rinse your blonde child’s head in dead champagne to bring out the highlights. Readers, I did once, and the result was not so much a great highlight as a great smell: child’s hair and champagne. The combination was brilliant and that’s what I smell when I crack that bottle, a unique animalic. How many other perfumes make you think of dawn and baby baths, and champagne all at once? To remember that one really offbeat pleasure, I wear Vraie Blonde…