Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vintage Summer-Time Favorites & Common Scents

I cannot bring myself to write much, darn it. For one thing, there's far too much going on in the garden this year. And also I admit to feeling a lack of inspiration. But of course my vintage darlings, the perfumes themselves, have not been forgotten. Today I'm wearing Malmaison in pure perfume form, by Floris. It's a perennial summer favorite of mine, full of fire and ice thanks to a generous (over, apparently*) dose of cloves. The scent of fresh-from-the-garden carnations- in man-made forms at least- often eludes me. You see, in nature their spice is tinted with earthy, green and watery touches.  If I had synesthesia, the smell would mirror the slightly rough yet light as a feather clingy/powdery texture of silk chiffon.  But in the perfumer's hands, carnation can often smell sad and flat- one or two dimensional at best. But never with Malmaison, which in pure perfume form matches the just picked, sun warmed scent of my Firewitch carnations. But the best part of Malmaison is the slightly sneaky, smokey musky dry down.

*Malmaison has been discontinued and can never be resurrected because of- IFRA restrictions on high percentages of some of its key scent components (eugenol or basically, clove oil).

Yet, you can still sometimes find the EDT version of Floris Malmaison for sale online or possibly if you are oh, so lucky, sitting on a store shelf. It is maybe not as balanced for me as the pure perfume version but certainly it is nice and well worth a try, but only if you can find it for a price that isn't completely inflated.

For some reason it seems I crave floral musks most in the heat of summer, and musky carnation scents in particular. Confession: this year, I've been giving in to Love's Baby Soft on sweltering nights when it stays really hot outside. Age be damned, I absolutely relish it's appealingly light version of sweet and spice. Another carnation based scent, it conveys the coolness of dewy fresh carnations and a carries a dry down of the softest tinged musks. Splashed, it has positively tonic effects and would be perfect for those who avoid citrus but desire a refreshing cologne.

Another vintage floral musky favorite that I absolutely adore for when you feel like a cat on a hot tin roof but want to feel like a cool (and purring!) kitten: Anais-Anais. It's a breezy green and powdery lily rose carnation with a slight twist in the base- sandalwood & incense. This one is also marketed, or thought of as being so, towards young girls- but the complements I receive when wearing it indicate that the right state of mind and compatible chemistry are all that is needed. 

The Vintage Perfume Vault, where the scent of yesterday's vogue lives.
Josephine at Malmaison by Gerard from
Dinathus Firewitch from
Love's Baby Soft ad from
Anais-Anais ad from