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
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?
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!