Bubblegum is not a flavour that most people want to smell of consciously.
Cheeky memories of teenage sass may resurface for a moment, but soon the stronger worries of cheapo and air head will take over, the strawberry novelty quickly bursting its own bubble.
Surprisingly though, both of the perfumes I am writing about today are actually really nice – one fresh and white-floral extrovert, the other mysterious, tender…
Heeley’s grown up, fresh and piquant twang of tuberose and gardenia with citric, jasmine overtones is as bright as a button; falling somewhere between the full, medicinal wintergreen trumpeting of the classic tuberoses and the modern brightness of by Kilian’s Beyond Love or the original Marc Jacobs (all of which of which I love and wear, incidentally).
While there is no blatant bubblegumness here (though the amalgam of the florals, so out there, full and heady, could from a distance have a certain bubblicious effect), this scent has an upbeat, optimistic freshness and energy. It evokes an assertive and gorgeous woman walking briskly down a street in New York with a beat in her step, and yes, perhaps even surreptiously chewing some bubblegum.
She turns a corner, when no one is looking and – pwah! ! – there goes a pink and fruity, gecko-quick balloon….
* * *
Etat Libre D’Orange’s Encens et Bubblegum could hardly be more different: a curious, delicate cloud of smoke-resting pink that fuses the aqueous, frankincense-infused holy water from the cathedral font with a dusky, fruity-pink haze of something – Madonna perhaps, sunglasses removed slowly, as she enters, furtively, in off the street: a moment of silent introspection in the house of her former religion.
I know for sure that I would have gone for a Madonna theme on smelling this perfume, but, in fact, it turns out presciently that it was directly influenced by Ciccone in any case; the song Like A Prayer to be precise…..
” Before the holy of holies, she genuflects and pops her gum…”
goes the spiel from this naughty French fragrance house, riffing on sanctity and mischief; the time ” when transgression is tinted with erotic guilt”, and ” the impish sensuality of her sham innocence takes the upper hand”….. but what I love about this scent personally is its held-backness.
You expect something brash and shocking, only to discover a genuinely atmospheric, tender scent that evokes the silence and space of an Italian church on a summer’s day.
She may be working her gum, but her defiance is softened for a moment here: for once there is no one watching.