LOVE IN PURPLE : CARON’S AIMEZ MOI ( 1997 )

 

 

 

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‘Aimez moi‘: an insistent, clamouring plea.  Love me. 

But to whom?  A lover? An unrequited passion?  ‘Aimez,’ in the formal, or plural form of the French verb suggests the unknown.  Anyone –  a complete stranger; the world. And the first blast of engorged, extravagant top notes surely suggest the latter, this perfume reaching out with outstretched, desperate arms – all cards on the table –  saying LOVE ME, LOVE ME to whoever out there who will listen. There is an almost deliriously sweet intensity here- a greedy, peach-licorice violet, with lushly overladen uses of anise, vanilla and mint, that at this stage in the perfume quite simply either overwhelms ( you fall in love), or repels. It is certainly something of a love gamble….

Aimez Moi had been absent from my olfactory mental landscape for a very long time until a few weeks ago when I came across a very cheap bottle of the vintage juice at a second-hand emporium in Yokohama. I spied it there, unassuming under glass in its crappy, quite badly designed blue and yellow box, but the smell suddenly came flooding back to me in a flash…..me recoiling, when I first smelled it in a Japanese department store all those years ago, and couldn’t quite believe my nose. Yet here it was again, calling to me, and I couldn’t resist buying it ( having many other monsters in my perfumed closets to keep it company), and, as we walked down the street in the Autumnal sun I sprayed. And laughed. And then sniffed. Then sniffed again; and again; and again; inhaling continuously, more emphatically with each breath; my nose glued to my wrist as the purple yellow weirdness was transformed into an extravagant, velveteen violet that struck me as amazing and almost grotesquely beautiful. Compelling. And sighably tactile, like sun-drenched, indigo velvet.  A glorifying madness, like the first onburts of passion, that, likewise, does not last forever, for at the heart of Aimez Moi there is sanity, legibility.  The opening salvo of confectionery mercifully (or otherwise, depending on your dependency) mutes down, slowly,  to a delicately balanced anisic rose/violet, with whispers of blackcurrant and peach/vanilla:  a sweet entreaty to love that lasts for hours on the skin and is ultimately, surprisingly very wearable.  (The usual top to bottom progression is reversed here: rather than the more aphrodisiacal notes blooming later on the skin, as in a Guerlain, these are all brought out in the first moments, only to coalesce quietly under the perfume’s tender main theme later on.) In any case, amazingly to me, Aimez Moi has quickly become a favourite. A suffocation of pleasure. I have never really worn violets before, but soon after buying this perfume, as I walked out into the starry night in my patchouli-lined coat, having sprayed my Caron on liberally, I felt like Lord Byron, enveloped in a haze of romantic, deranged poetry.

And then, when sliding the door open of the local bar with a certain trepidation ( expecting to be thrown out smelling as I did ), I was really quite amazed to hear people I had never met before, saying out loud to themselves: “My God, what is that perfume? It is gorgeous”, looking at me with softened,  changing eyes.

24 Comments

Filed under Flowers, Perfume Reviews, Violet

24 responses to “LOVE IN PURPLE : CARON’S AIMEZ MOI ( 1997 )

  1. ninakane1

    I have a feeling I’d like this one. Will seek it out. Fab review!

    • ginzaintherain

      I was pleased with this one as well because I managed to get exactly what I described. Expecting to gag; being overwhelmed, then falling in love. And Duncan liked it on me as well (how?!) And people really did have that reaction at Yamaya as well. Something special about this violet. It is so over the top, in some ways sickly, but still somehow gorgeous and full of poetry.
      And for you who like purple…..

      (you can get it dirt cheap online by the way…if you hated it you could always use it in performance art or scent ya undies….)

  2. When I read ‘scent ya undies’ I was suddenly overwhelmed by a vision of the most most beautiful satin French cami-knickers, stacked casually fresh from the laundry on soft cushions in my bedroom, and for about a minute half-believed I possesd such a wardrobe of delicut lawnggeray. Good idea! As for performance art, perhaps that too…violet fantasies…I will puchase a bottle and see where it goes.

    • ginzaintherain

      be warned: it is a very strange and intense little scent, but I ADORE the idea of it being used in performance art. It definitely does have somewhat mind-transforming aspect, and I think my title ‘love-bomb’ is fitting!

  3. OOps just replied but it disappeared – you may get this twice. But it’s strange you should say that, as one of the pieces I’ve been working on recently involves kissing, and is realy risky, hence I haven’t totally decided whether I’m going to do it yet or not – am just checking out my intentions with it, mooching on its wider purposes, deciding whether now is the right time, or whether I’m in the right place to do it, or not. I’ve been discussing it with Yun, who’s heading off back to China next week, as it relates to Chinese performance art (actually started as a work of solidarity with a particular political performance artist). She’s all for me doing it, but like I say….I’m not telling anyone what it is just yet, and I actually would love to do it, but Britain’s changed very much recently, so I’m taking the pulse on it a bit before plunging into the risk…but my initial thought would be that I should wear Elixir Hpynotic Poison as part of this performance, but was reconsidering that too. Reckon this scent might be an alternative for me to try! But I’m heeding the warning. When I decide to do it (it’ll be a when rather than an if), I’ll tell you about it! x

    • ginzaintherain

      You must. Do you even LIKE violets?

      • I love violets! The smell and the flowers. It has a very distinctive, quiet archaic resonance for me, and I think it’s a very androgynous scent. It seems to balance between flights of fancy and steady grounding for me – like a tweedy school ma’am with a wild imagination, but is also slightly wistful and hopeful. It might put me in the right contemplative state of mind for the kissing art, whereas the Elixir HP would probably just send it into giddy chaos…will try it and see what effect it has on me anyway.

      • ginzaintherain

        Elixir is YOUR perfume: I don’t want you to pollute this with extraneous influences. When you find your holy grail you must guard it!

        Aimez Moi I honestly found FOUL back in the day, because it contains strange combinations: aniseed! violet! at full dose, but I think of it as a yellow and purple pansy, a giant one, leering in my face. I love it!

      • ginzaintherain

        Nina

        It is very important that if you do buy this that it be the original, in the naff bottle and blue box (not the ‘pretty’ Caron polka dot reformulation in the standard white and gold box). Must have its full potency or no point, innit

        > Date: Mon, 26 Nov 2012 11:08:43 +0000 > To: opoponax8@hotmail.com >

  4. Will seek the original out. Full potency, absolument. I love that ‘yellow and purple pansy, a giant one, leering in my face’!!! Hahaha. The HP elixir – it is definitely a core one for me, but I am ambivalent – it slightly overpowers me, and is so rare, and increasingly I only ever wear it in a very particular mood. I think that’s why I was almost feeling it’d be better for me to perform-out its intensity, through what’s already going to be something risky, but had second thoughts. I think you’re right, it’s one to keep close and preserve a little.

  5. I’m listening. You’re right, it’s a holy grail, and one to keep close xx

  6. ginzaintherain

    Reblogged this on The Black Narcissus and commented:

    More love, more romance, more violets, more Caron

  7. brie

    based on your description and the notes (anise/peach/violet/tonka/vanilla) this might very well be a “grenade” that I would enjoy! Perhaps even to drive “perfume despising” co worker (who refers to me as an anorexic midget!) out of our office once and for all…Ha!
    Enjoy the day!

  8. That sounds absolutely wonderful. I will be sure to seek this one out in its un-reformulated form. Caron is a house that I have always admired but sadly have not given much attention to. This must be rectified this year!

    • brie

      Neil is going to kill me because I cannot stop harping on it but you must try Nocturnes de Caron (originally not current version). I can send you some in the next go round!

  9. Will throw some on as I go out the door. A tribute: Love in (Purple) Rain.

  10. Oh. Just sprayed some on. Haven’t worn it in a while. Forgot how over-the-top – and gorgeous – it really is. Thanks for reminding me.

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