Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Layering Perfume: Hot in the City with Santa Maria Novella, Acqua di Cuba and Balenciaga, Paris: Honey and Violet

The heat advisory brewing these past few mornings did not stop me from wanting to layer perfume. I've been thinking about it for a while, but I didn't want to rush in or force it in anyway. So when a kind of controlled synchronicity began to take over, I felt a sigh of relief. It's a perfect time to layer given the 90 degree plus weather we New Yorkers are experiencing. I mean you need some defense against the deluge of city smells that converge with this kind of heat. Enter Santa Maria Novella, Acqua di Cuba, its top citrus notes of bergamot and sharp lemon seem to burst out of the bottle. They quickly lift and mix with its thick delicious sophisticated honey heart. Its sweet earthy heart is incredible and for a few seconds it stunned me and I remembered my grandmothers skin-sweet like honey. Surrounding Cuba's sweetness is a very powerful powdery note that at first I though was too strong, but now it seems quite necessary. Its base is a long lasting, albeit a delicate leather note. It is in its dry down that Cuba becomes masterful, the honey and leather notes settle in and together stay at a low decibel on the skin lingering almost hanging on trying not to fall off. 

I started to walk down the street with Cuba on my skin, and I started to think about Balenciaga Paris, EDP. It's such a pretty fragrance. Steeped in violet. Simply, its green top leads you to its violet leaf and jasmine heart, and finally to its patchouli and cedar base. I was excited to see what notes might be altered or enhanced by combining two fragrances together that I instinctively thought might have a rapport. My experiment worked. Together Paris and Cuba bloomed.  The mix of violet and honey notes pushed and pulled almost becoming gourmand. The powdery note took on a super spicy quality. The leather note grew and became stronger, no longer delicate. On my skin right now the honey, violet, and leather are still speaking to each other. 

Anybody else layering?

Photo: Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #3, 1977

Friday, July 8, 2011

Outside Looking In: La Maison Ogilvy

While in Montreal last week, I was hoping to get some time on the perfume floor at Ogilvy. It is one of the oldest stores in Montreal, its been around since I866, however my idea was quickly aborted when while walking down St. Catherine Street I realized a parade was clearly in progress. It was Canada Day. Ogilvy doors were shut. The photo above is a peek inside of its incredible interior, and the first bar I could see was L'Artisan, I can spot those bottles anywhere. And the band marched on.....