Saturday, January 17, 2009
Perfume Twins: J. Arthes Pas Si Sage & Slava Zaitsev's Maroussia, review and ponderings...
So what did I pull from the vault today? Why it's Maroussia and Pas Si Sage (Not So Wise...)- two lesser known and inexpensive 1990s perfumes. Maroussia was released in 1992 by Russian designer Slava Zaitsev. The note for this fragrance include Aldehydes, Bergamot oil, Green Note, Orange Blossom, Peach, Carnation, Heliotrope, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Orchid, Orris, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-Ylang, Amber, Benzoin, Cedar, Civet, Musk, Sandal, Tonka, and Vanilla. Notes for Pas Si Sage are not available but I think it was released in 1995. I've seen two versions, one with a white flower cap and mine which has the plum colored blossom. But these two fragrances remind me of another monster scent with big sillage and an even bigger personality, the better known and earlier 1980s Giorgio perfume. All three of these perfumes are floral-amber in nature and I went through a stage of adoring these types of hypersweet, warm-yet-piercing scents. Gloria Vanderbuilt was an even earlier scent from the 1970s that was built with a similar base but as I recall it was more powdery than either of the two scents under consideration here and perhaps it had a better balance for such sweetness.
Pas Si Sage caught my eye first with it's flower blossom cap and heart shaped lay-down bottle; it has one of the cuter designs for a drug-store type of scent bottle than I'm used to seeing although it seems it was sold only in France. And as soon as I smelled it, I immediatly thought of Maroussia because there is within the base of both of these perfumes the identical 'red lollipop/halothane' type note. The halothane note is quease-inducing, probably because I've recall the actual smell of it from childhood surgeries and I was actually sick at the time. It is always a question of application because both perfumes are BIG ones. One might prefer to smell these on a fabric rather than on skin.
Even though I know Maroussia isn't supposed to contain it, I smell both of these florals as very gardenia scents. They share a 'fresh opening' and fruitiness that comes in the form of melon with a sweet amber base. The French version, Pas Si Sage, remains very sweet and ambery on the whole but seems to have more white flowers- tuberose and soapy jasmine, to cut the sweet a bit while the Russian version is opulent and dense. It has a distinct watermelon note, with velvet and leather touches adding substance and weight to the fruity amber. If you are thinking both of these sound a little heavy for a warm summery day, you are right. But for walking under the stars on a snowy night, they might be something wonderful, unforgettable.