Friday, 2 March 2012
Parfumerie Générale Brûlure De Rose: A Plethora Of Post-it Notes Prompts A Proxy Perfume Purchase
And to make matters worse, this post isn't even that one! No, it struck me that in the interests of chronology - a concept to which Bonkers is known to pay scant lip service at best - it might not go amiss to rewind to a couple of days before the talk: I invited my friend S round to have a play with my perfume collection, which resulted in her taking home samples of some 20 new perfumes which caught her fancy, including one that she had a sudden and burning desire to own...Brûlure de Rose.
I knew that S owned Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, but beyond that I had no pointers as to her taste. Shortly after we sat down, S explained that she had worn Chanel No 5 in the past and still liked it, so I decided to park the vanilla scent group for the moment and dive straight into the "Aldehydes". I was surprised to learn that my collection featured quite a number of "aldehyde-forward" scents, from Ines de la Fressange to Balenciaga Le Dix, and two of these - Esprit d'Oscar and Chanel No 5 Eau Première - were an instant hit with my friend.
Inevitably there was a good deal of crossover between some of the groupings: spicy vanillas (eg DSH Cimabue!), vanilla and incense combos, woody-patchouli-amber-vanillas and so on, but where possible I tried to use headings that captured the dominant aspect of any given scent. Seeing my collection physically organised in front of me - sadly, there are no "before" pictures - only ones of the chaotic scene afterwards by which time the categories had got thoroughly jumbled up! - brought home to me in particular how much I love "powdery roses". (S also liked three here: Brûlure de Rose itself of course - which isn't even powdery to be honest, but it wasn't worth starting a splinter category just for "gourmand roses" - plus Floris Snow Rose and Rose Kashmirie.) I am also a big fan of vanillas and woody orientals, flanked by one or two leather or spicy numbers. In the spring and summer I enjoy florals of all kinds from polite office scents to the occasional dirty diva, and am also well catered for on the citrus side of things.
BIG SKANKY FLORAL "DIVAS"
OTHER FLORAL ("FAIRLY BIG")
IRIS ("OFFICE SCENTS")
"OFFICE SCENTS" MISCELLANEOUS
WOOD / INCENSE / PATCHOULI / "DARK" - I was clearly starting to give up at this point
Somewhere I jotted down the complete list of samples S took away from our session, but I can't put my hand on it for the moment. It was mostly spread across the vanilla (clean, not barnyard), aldehydes, woody/patch/incense, powdery rose and "fairly big" floral categories, with a general success rate of about 60-65% at a rough guess and only one or two out and out scrubbers amongst the scents I gave S to try. (For example, though I had high hopes of the tobacco note in Cartier L'Heure Fougueuse following the wild success that was Vanille Absolument, it proved to be unequivocably wrong on S's skin, and she likened it to the smell of "a tack room" crossed with "a specimen bottle". At that time we were both unaware that the Cartier actually contained a "horsetail" note!)
And then on Monday, following my return from London, S finally took custody of her new bottle of Brûlure de Rose, which she had asked me to buy for her.
The review of Brûlure de Rose that precipitated my own interest in this scent and subsequent purchase was this one by Marina on PST, and here is one by Olfactoria which I missed last summer when I was away on business. I don't really get any green "early morning" stage with this scent, though I know that it is supposed to evoke the evolution of the rose at different times of day. On me Brûlure de Rose is pretty dark, sweet and sultry from the off. The views on Basenotes are polarised on this one, and my dear friend lovethescents didn't care for it at all. It reminded her of a brand of lip salve, so it isn't everyone's cup of tea, though I love it as much as S.
So looking back, the Post-it note and bottle frenzy led to a satisfactory outcome all round: my friend found a new fragrance love, while I got a kiss from Pierre Guillaume when I showed him the bag as evidence of my purchase. Now that is what I call a good deal.
*For "countless" read zero... : - )
Photo of cake from Wikimedia Commons, photo of Brûlure de Rose from fragrantica.com, other photos my own