Animalic June: Vraie Blonde and Sepia

amber eyesJune 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…

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5 Responses to Animalic June: Vraie Blonde and Sepia

  1. Vanessa says:

    Haven’t tried Vraie Blonde, and Sepia was way too dark for my taste – Secret Garden is more my register – but I love the thought of your cat being a natural perfume lover and your accommodating her in your own choice of scent!

  2. Blacknall Allen says:

    She’s really dreadfully spoiled, but is an ex-street cat who seems to have taken to being a domesticated cat, license, vet visits and all, and is very friendly. On the plus side she is also an ace mouser!
    She passes some sort of feline comment on everything I wear. Sometimes wonder if anyone else has this experience with pets and perfume?

    • Blacknall Allen says:

      Oh and for got to say, Vraie Blonde is a very odd perfume. If you’ve ever smelled Casmir, it’s just a bit like that but there is champagne in it!

  3. Mals86 says:

    Vraie Blonde smells like peachy buttermilk suede to me, and it sort of turns my stomach a little. Cannot do it.

    Child hair, though? HOly Moses, that’s a smell I miss very very much. Or, to clarify, my daughter’s hair never quite had the same smell as my sons’ did (for the record, Taz is now 13 and a half, and his hair has gone straight teenager. They grow up, it’s so bittersweet). Loved the smell of boy hair… blonde or not. As a toddler, Gaze’s hair was so blond it was truly yellow. Beautiful. (Bookworm is a strawberry blonde and Taz’ hair is light brown. Mine’s light brown now, has been since my late 20s, but as a child I was a towhead.)

    I predict that I would probably hate Sepia, so I’m staying away from it, but what a beautiful, discerning kitty! We lost our 20-year-old Silvia last summer, and since Taz is allergic to cats we probably won’t get another one until he’s out of the house. Sigh.

  4. Blacknall Allen says:

    What a shame about your cat. Mine is maybe five and I hate to think of how old or not old she will live to be, but right now she’s a pretty cool kitty.

    The smell of child hair is one of those really good things about being a mother. Hard to explain why it is that your child’s hair smells so good to you, and I can see you have a bevy of blondes there. My girl is very light brown/blonde in the summer like her Dad.

    Sepia is btw something I think you’d hate. My Hub does, “NOT FOR ME” was his only comment. We know what that means.

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