It’s with great pleasure I am writing a new episode together with fellow bloggers Sam from I Scent You A Day, Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and our latest marvelous addition to our Mood Scent 4 project: Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies. Regrettably Tara has left our project for personal reasons, I wish her well with her wonderful blog A Bottled Rose!
Together we choose a different subject every couple of months and link fragrance to mood or occasion. This time we have chosen to write about “guilty pleasures”.
When you think about guilty pleasures relating to perfume you might link this to celebrity, chocolate centred or seductive perfumes. But I have a different “guilty” and more private olfactory pleasure. Some of my favorite perfumes are elegant classic French fragrances like Guerlain Chamade, Hermes Caleche or Nicolaï Parfumeur Createur Odalisque. Fragrances which you might expect from someone wearing a made to measure two piece exquisite suit not the jeans, outdoor sweaters or hiking boots I prefer to wear.
One of my favorite perfumes when staying at our garden cottage is Guerlain Chamade. Starting green like a sunny spring garden in the morning, fresh hyacinths with small drops of dew on their petals Chamade dries down to leave a scent of very light soft dusted vanilla powder and a contrasting green lightness and freshness.
The very soft clean and floral elegant Caleche is another favorite. Named after a special type of light carriage, Hermes Caleche invokes a feeling of Parisian sophistication with classic silk dresses, expensive leather bags, beautiful handmade scarves and soft leather gloves. Created as an elegant easy to wear and not too cloying fragrance sadly the newer Caleche has a become a more agressive aldehydic soap floral. But it’s still a refined creation.
Nicolai Parfumeur Odalisque
With its musky base, bright citrus bergamot orange blossom opening and classic white rich bouquet of flowers, Odalisque is a very classic French creation as well. Launched in 1989 it harks back to the past, some say the eighties. I would say even before that. Although I don’t like the musky salty base on my skin and normally don’t wear lily of the valley fragrances I notice I grab this Eau de Parfum from time to time as a “guilty pleasure” or when I feel a bit melancholic. Like revisiting an Art Deco café once in a while as it reminds you of happy times when you used to visit with your grandmother or another older loved one.
Finally I have another confession, I like to spray the balancing and relaxing Guerlain Mitsouko on my cushion when I go to sleep, inspired by the impressario Sergei Diaghilev of Les Ballets Russes who used to spray Mitsouko on his drapes. Talking about a guilty pleasure…
Concluding: Hermes Caleche, Guerlain Mitsouko, Chamade and Nicolai Odalisque are the “guilty pleasure” fragrances I have chosen for our Mood Scent 4 Project. I am very curious about the choices of my fellow bloggers. You can read the picks of Sam from I Scent You A Day , Megan from Megan in St. Maxime and Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies by clicking on the links.
How about you, what are your “guilty pleasures”? I love to read your comments and thoughts! Please share them with me and visit my fellow bloggers as well.
Interesting to know:
Hermes Caleche (1961) Perfumer: Guy Robert. Fragrance Family*: Mossy Woods/Chypre. Caleche features the notes of: aldehydes, bergamot, mandarin, orange blossom, jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, gardenia, iris, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, sandalwood, cedar, vetiver. ** I tested a recent Soie de Parfum, vintage Extrait and vintage Eau de Cologne version of Hermes Caleche for this post.
Guerlain Chamade (1969) Perfumer: Jean-Paul Guerlain Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental. Chamade features notes of: hyacinth, galbanum, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, blackcurrant buds, vanilla and woods. **
Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Odalisque (1989) Perfumer: Patricia de Nicolai, Fragrance Family: Floral. Odalisque features notes of bergamot, mandarin, galbanum, jasmine, lily of the valley, tuberose, ylang ylang, patchouli, oakmoss, amber and castoreum.
Guerlain Mitsouko (1919) Perfumer: Jacques Guerlain, Fragrance Family: Mossy Woods/Chypre. Mitsouko features notes of: bergamot, jasmine, peach, rose, oakmoss, pepper, cinnamon, vetiver. **
* As classified by Michael Edwards in Fragrances Of The World 2014
** Notes were taken from Perfume Legends by Michael Edwards
Disclosure: All photographs were made by Esperessence. The cards on the last 2 photographs feature costume designs created by Leon Bakst for Les Ballets Russes (Narcissus and Shéhérazade).