Power Powder

Advertising for Narciso Poudree

Advertising for Narciso Poudree

Fashions in fragrance change from time to time, that is why perfume sometimes smells “dated” or  simply “old”. The perfume isn’t necessarily old, but the style is, hence the comments.  Recently the trend has been for heavy weight champ orientals featuring oud or something that smells like it, no doubt courtesy various bases.  I was beginning to think that Mike Tyson fragrances were going to dominate the ring for several years to come, but in the interim something happened, bantam weight boxers like Sugar Ray Leonard triumphed.  Powder made a comeback.

Powdery used to be, back in the early aughts, a Bad Thing. “Powdery” was a term like “soapy” or “perfumey” that was discouraging if applied to your favorite on Makeupalley or elsewhere.  Fragrances should not disintegrate into little dry molecules in the nose and blow away, that was the consensus.  No one wanted to smell like Johnson and Johnson, which was in the business of baby products afterall, not perfumery. I must say that the judgement handed down seemed harsh to me at the time, since I loved the feminine powder bomb Caron’s Narcisse Blanc, and was almost as fond of Orchidee Blanche from L’Artisan. How times change, now powder is back.

Exactly what effected this change is hard to say, but if I had to guess, I’d guess that a

Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder retro advert from Pinterest

Johnson and Johnson
Baby Powder retro advert from Pinterest

new material became available that modernized powder.  Now you can have dry and fluffy, but not retro fragrances.  This seems to make all the difference with consumers.

I’m not sure if the turning point wasn’t the slightly obscure Teint de Neige, Lorenzo Villerosi’s hit for his niche brand.  It might also have been Love Chloe, a very floral and powdery perfume which seems to have attracted a following.  The idea was that you could have a feminine which incorporated a bit of abstraction (the powder) plus those floral or sweet scents which so many girly girls love.  In short the powdery fragrance in its modern form allowed a woman to be feminine and to be au courant at the same time. Who wants to trail the times anyway? Certainly not most consumers.

So fast forward and what do we find?  The latest Narciso fragrance is Narciso Poudree

which is getting raves.  Why? Maybe we are all a little tired of the oud trend. (That is too bad in a way, as some of the cultivated ouds may begin to come on the market soon. Consider the Fragrance de Bois series.) Possibly the heavy hitting orientals are beginning to be associated with the mid decade? Maybe now the trend will move back towards lighter oriental scents and florals?

Caron powder puff from Caron website

Caron powder puff from Caron website

If that is so, then perfumes like Narciso Poudree may be just the thing. From the notes listed: Bulgarian rose, jasmine, some orange blossom and a heart of musk over a drifting dune of soft cedar notes, the effect evidently is very dry and pale pink in an up to date way. Swan’s down puffs might make a return too, just for this scent.

In fact the whole production sounds more like a soft oriental to me than the overtly  macro musk driven Narcisos of the past.  Will more powder come on the market?  You bet your compact sister!

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6 thoughts on “Power Powder

  1. I think it was Ines who was one of the people raving about the new Narciso, with which I have yet to catch up myself, but I am a powder buff, if not puff exactly. I also thought of Chanel No 19 Poudree and Le Baiser by Cartier as further examples of this neo-retro trend. Brands like Benefit and Soap and Glory over here may have further nudged it along.

    • Have to say that I love the name “Soap and Glory”. We never seem to have quite the same level of humor in our commerce, at least not intentional humor, we have plenty of the unintentional kind :-)

      Anyway, yes, the Chanel was definitely in that direction, I remember thinking “what in the world?” when it came out because I did not associate Chanel with powder!

  2. Yes, what happened to Love, Chloe? Was it a few years ahead of the trend? I disliked it for ages but by the time I got around to thinking I should try it again, it had been d/c. I always did love the video ad, with its obvious reference to the old Charlie ads.

    • Really don’t know and wonder why they discontinued it? Seemed like Love Chloe was a success but perhaps not.

      Did not see the Charlie referencing ads, but how nice actually…

  3. I would take powder (but not soap!) over agarwood any day so I do not mind the trend – even though none of those perfumes would be my first choice to wear.

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