‘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.