On Friday night we are going for an Indian meal with another couple to celebrate my birthday. It was in May, but things don't always go strictly to plan. I suggested two restaurants, and one of my friends emailed back to say that he would speak to his girlfriend about it later that evening, adding: "We await her rubberstampery".
This whimsical comment got me thinking of some well regarded perfumes which I fully expected to like - adding my own twopenny rubber stamp to the approval that has been heaped on these scents down the years - and yet whose appeal persists in eluding me...
One such is Serge Lutens' Daim Blond. The very name of it connotes super soft, buttery suede, that you just know will be smooth and silky on skin. I have a perfumista friend who wore this on her wedding day, and many leading bloggers whose opinions I respect are big fans, notably Katie Puckrik and Marina of Perfumesmellingthings.
Daim Blond was created in 2004 by Christopher Sheldrake, and the notes are as follows:
"Leather, Iris, Apricot Kernel, Musk, Hawthorn, Jasmine, Cardamom, Heliotrope"
On first application I am struck by a number of things. Yes, I get the suede-y quality all right, but the "nap" is much rougher than I hoped for. Instead of the caressing whisper of leather of Chanel's Cuir de Russie, say, this is rasping fuzziness to my nose, like suede-scented white noise.
There is additionally a slightly medicinal / antiseptic note, and the merest hint of something animalic that I cannot quite place. Actually, on reflection, the dominant impression of this fragrance is "sweaty loafer accord", and the faint antiseptic accent will be from an Odor-Eater insole someone has thoughtfully shoved down the shoe in a doomed bid to counteract it.
I have got to this point many times in trials of Daim Blond, and have usually lacked the stamina to smell it much beyond the two hour mark. The other day, however, I left it on for a good 10 hours, and made a point of checking on it at regular intervals throughout the day. I noticed that in the middle stages of the scent's development, the apricot became much more prominent; texturally the scent remained pretty furry, but then so is the fruit.
Much, much later, just as I was going to bed in fact, I realised that the perfume had finally shaken off this fuzzy aspect, like a well worn woolly you have got around to de-pilling, and the far drydown was just as I had hoped this perfume would be from the off: soft, smooth and comforting, with fruity undertones.
NOW I could "get" Daim Blond at last! So from this experiment I conclude that the delicate dermatological environment that is my skin prefers scents which are both low volume and "perfectly tuned" - think DAB radio, rather than the old transistor which is the opening of DAB, the scent...
Photo of Daim Blond from Fragrantica
Photo of gloves from Bloomingdirect
Photo of transistor radio from Dreamstime