Witches in costume
Halloween is almost here, and in the grand tradition of Jersey which takes Halloween quite seriously, I am thinking about the very darkest fragrances and how well they play with the public these days? Or whether, and I’d lay odds on this, they simply spook them?
Darkness was in once. People wore extremely strong and heavy fragrances and no one thought twice about it, Cabochard for instance, or Guerlain’s old heavy hitter Djedi, or the original Ungaro which I recall had a very dark sillage, sort of like a black hole altering the time space continuum as it came down the street, sucking in every other fragrance for yards around into its impossibly dense core. Come to think of it, the original Must de Cartier did that too. But then, once upon a time, it was the eighties and nineties.
You get a lot of perfumes called black or noir now, but the reality is often a tame backing off from animalic musks or woods, or Heaven preserve us! Oakmoss!! Continue reading
Since there have been a dozen rose posts, this might a good time to take a breather, go back, and re-cap.
For all the complaining that perfume consumers do about the industry these days, one thing is inescapably true: there’s more variety. Once upon a distant time, Perfumer’s Workshop produced Tea Rose and Houbigant sold A Rose is a Rose.
That was about it in 1976. Now you have entire lines devoted to the flower in all its variations. Les Parfums de Rosine is one such house, and besides its twenty or so perfumes, there’s a slew of mainstream releases popular with the public such as Stella, or Valentino’s Rockin’ Rose.
(NOTE – As it’s February and gray, and boring, but a month that counter-intuitively contains Valentine’s Day, here are a dozen rose posts for winter weary readers.)
One day in 1977, a company called Jean Couturier released a floral chypre called Coriandre. Named after the coriander in the head note (which in the US is often called cilantro) the heart note was ROSE and was probably boosted by some new materials (the damascones and damascenones alpha and beta with which perfumers still work to this day) that altered and enlarged the perception of rose. The synthetics blew up the note like Pop art for the nose. All of a sudden rose took on the proportions of a Roy Lichtenstein comic strip.
Needless to say, it was a monster success. There was practically nowhere you couldn’t smell Coriandre in the late seventies.