Ever see those “flowers” on stems that, once startled, flutter off the plant in a scatter-graph of wings? In nature this imitation is not merely flattery, but a viable stratagem for survival. It is incidentally, pretty spectacular.
Sometimes perfumers pursue this same goal: mimicry. On occasion a simulated note is better, fresher, a less clichéd version of the real thing. That’s true of rose perfumes, too.
Ever notice that some perfume firms simply are better at certain kinds of fragrance? I’m thinking of the fact that if you want a wonderful oriental, Guerlain still is pretty hard to beat (Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue), or that gourmand scents are the strong point of Parfumerie Generale (Aomassai, Cadjmere), or that even though Dior makes periodic sorties into enemy held territories, like the oriental, they are usually only partially successful, e.g. Dioressence, or that… but I expect by now you’ve got the picture.
Back in the day, and I mean a long time back in the day, about 1919 or so, my paternal grandmother decided to use her birthday money to purchase some stock.
Now I know that to most readers, this seems like such a length of family memory to carry around that you’d trip over it, but by way of explanation, I should mention that I’m a southerner, and we tend to remember everything any of our relatives ever did, or said, or are said to have done, or said, and that is enough to turn anybody into Pat Conroy.
Anyway, to return to this particular birthday – sometime short of 1920, Rangtang decided she wanted to do was to buy stock in a little soft drink company called Coca Cola.
Since I have started a series on stratospherically priced perfumes, I feel an obligation to examine an equal number of inexpensive ones. Although the gap between expensive and inexpensive is growing these days, it’s still not hard to come up with lots of good options that don’t cost much.
One such candidate is Karl Lagerfeld’s Sun Moon Stars. It’s an intriguing perfume for a couple of different reasons, but let’s begin with the fact that it was created by Sophia Grosjman, who also did Paris for YSL, Eternity for Calvin Klein, Tresor for Lancome – in short, one of the greats of the perfume world.