OOOOHHHHH! Mood scent 4 week! YAY! This month we sniff some Well Named Fragrances! We are working in reaction to all those sweet nothings labelled noir and mundane scents saddled with pompous and overwrought titles. You know them, we don’t need to go back and catalogue them (though that could be fun another day).
There were a few ways I could take this. Maybe choosing fragrances that were named for their notes, juice or bottle colour, even the place of origin. Instead I wanted to go with fragrances that evoke the name they’re given. You spritz and suddenly understanding blooms.
Can’t wait to read about your fave Well Named Fragrances in the comments too.
Mood Scent 4: Well Named Fragrances
Well Named Fragrances! Evocative names that fairly portray the bottles fragrant contents. It;’s funny, I thought there would be a huge amount but fairly few bottles in my collection reach this heightened level of name. Especially once you add a few parameters to the search. Suddenly Red Tobacco, Lys Soleia, Patchouli Patch, Eau de Citron Noir (one of the few that noir works for) and Pimiento +++ are out of the running.
I’d also like to take a moment and congratulate myself on choosing only gold & black perfumes. It looks so good in the pic and was 100% unintentional.
Coromandel by CHANEL
Long before I ever knew there was a CHANEL fragrance named Coromandel, or even before I knew what they were called, the beautiful screens held me captivated whenever I’d see them in museums, on TV, in film or used as props for fashion. Long before it became naughty to cherish the spoils of colonialism, before I’d even thought about how these antiquities had got to where they were. So, when I found out that Gabrielle Chanel was also a fan and the company had named a fragrance for these magnificent pieces I needed to smell it ASAP. Patchouli! The herb grown to scent carpets and clothes for millennia, to keep moths and other vermin from destroying precious cargo and commodities. Amber, that warm and rich mixture of vanilla and resins from far off lands. Incense; the scented smoke, the par la fumée that fragrance is named for made of resins transported across the silk road to us in our armchairs so we can dream. Coromandel is all of this and more.
Fracas by Robert Piguet
What better name for a stand out, big white floral fragrance than Fracas? Fracas = crash, which has been anglicised and maybe even in the French means a disturbance, fight, drama or other commotion. Whenever I spritz it my mantra is Prepare for Fracas. Sometimes when over applying I also do the grand 1980s waste of juice and spritz into the air and then twirl through it. Tuberose bubble gum with an incendiary hint of petroleum. The opening is so over the top and fun but after the initial fireworks Fracas settles to a softish creamy white floral. Noticeable but not so confrontational.
Nirvana French Grey by Elizabeth and James
French Grey means many things to different paint companies, from green through blue. Back in the 1980s we painted my bedroom walls and ceiling in French Grey and it was a mid tone, lilac grey colour and the cornices and architraves were Wedgwood blue. At the time I thought it was the height of fashion and maybe it was. It was incredibly calming and soothing to a crazy, angry, rebellious teen hell bent on self destruction. Funnily, the first thing I thought of when spritzing Nirvana French Grey was how much I loved being in that grey bedroom, how peaceful and chill. Citrus, Lavender, woods and musk; and though not mentioned in the notes, vanilla. As calm and still as my teen bedroom.
Skin on Skin by L’Artisan Parfumeur
L’Artisan brought out the squat bottles from a stockpile found mouldering in one of their warehouses. Though most of the subsequent releases were not my style Skin on Skin definitely is. Done in the style of Serge Lutens Daim Blond, Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste and Bottega Veneta EdP it is like yet utterly unalike. A fleshy iris leather using whisky as the sweetness instead of a fruit accord, sugar or vanilla. This is the dream of that first touch of someone else’s skin, cool and softly supple in the fiery grip of passion. It’s the perfect, remembered moments, made hazy and beautiful by time. It’s the soft warmth of waking up slowly and happily, wrapped up with someone you love, in the cold winter morning.
Tiger’s Nest by Memo
Imagine a Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan? Sandwiched between India and Tibet, high in the Himalayas. Though outside temperatures might be freezing my imagination gives me pictures of warm, clean cat and kittens. Stone, earth, some milkiness and mustiness. Woods, snow and cold, fresh air scented by incense from the nearby Vajrayana Buddhism rituals. What we have is a vanilla rich amber and smoky incense offset by some frosty greenery. Tiger’s Nest is warm, calm and safe, not too far from my imagination and so beautiful to wear. My bottle was a Thank You gift for getting two friends together for a business collaboration.
Ubar by Amouage
I had heard that Ubar was DCd but looking on their website it’s still available to purchase. Legendary Ubar (Iram, Lost city of pillars), both the Koran and “A Thousand and One Arabian Nights” mark it as the heart of the frankincense trade for 3,000 years and Lawrence of Arabia, called it the Atlantis of the sands. Until the late 20th century considered a myth and found by a team who used Space Shuttle Challenger’s last flight to radar the Oman region, looking for long forgotten trade routes. Ubar is so rich and tapestried, a rose/white floral surrounded by so many resins, flowers and fruits that it can easily be seen as the wealthy, debauched city’s fragrant reincarnation. This bottle has the original Christopher Chong juice with the non metallic cap.
Please share your Well Named Fragrances in the comments too