I left the house a few minutes before Duncan arrived home last night, but I as I turned the street corner, making my way to start walking the hill down to the station, he suddenly came running after me:
” I couldn’t see you…but I could smell you…..”
he said, my dark trails floating all the way from the house on the air – vintage Eau Du Soir by Sisley – the first time I have worn it.
I don’t know how he exactly knew it was me (duh you weep en masse) : maybe most other people simply just don’t wear these strong, dramatic scents at such high volume; maybe the spiced, mossy, almost angrily ambered pitchblack rose (peppery, clovey, very arrogant, yet eminently tasteful), is simply not something that anyone else in this neighbourhood would be wearing on a weekday night; perhaps that taut, rich Iberian smell (one of the very darkest of chypres) gave me away, though I think that the two key ingredients in this scent, the Egyptian jasmine absolute and seringa flowers, blended beautifully with that simmering sheen of grapefruit, mandarin orange and spruce, were something atypical for me and not entirely Neilish.
I don’t know, I just felt like wearing it, and it felt kind of gorgeous, and very right: that feeling when you are inhaling deep and feeling rather pleased with yourself for having such good taste, very much a case of I AM GOING OUT: I’m going to marry the night.
Eau Du Soir is one of the rare perfumes I have bought in contemporary format only to discover the vintage (black opaque bottle, totally different to the other version with the gold, sculptured lid) much later, indicating that it must have been pretty acceptable in the reformulation for me to fork out my cash for it (the biggest bottle, in one of those guilty splurge purchases from the Takashimaya store in Yokohama, which I then, very soon after, dropped, and smashed, changing for a night out somewhere in a bus station near Tsujido; slipping from my rucksack before my evening artillery, change your clothes, check your hair in the mirror, switch to night mode and spray on your Sisley but then, NO, suddenly, the sound of thick, shattered perfume bottle glass, the pungent rising of that smell, gone…splashing, gilt, effervescing jasmine patchouli: the moment when your chest stops; clenching yourself in fury and frustration and momentary despair ( I have dropped endless Caron Infinis, a rare Je Reviens, a 28ml N°19 parfum, an Arpège 14ml parfum (the day after reviewing it on here!, see my ‘Gone’ post); smashed two Chanel Pour Monsieurs, one on a train, and the worst, when I was living in Rome, a 600ml bottle of Christian Dior Fahrenheit – see it ahhhhhh…slow motion slip from my and drop, d r o p , smash to the bathroom tiles, a pond of gasoline and synthetic violets… )
I was paralyzed ( I can still see it falling), but then, to my shame, but secret glee, marched out and just bought the same bottle again and pretended it hadn’t happened), this all meaning, I suppose, that my ruinated Soir was at least in good company.
I never got to wear it that much though, obviously, because of this travesty of non-co-ordination, and was therefore very pleased when I came across a small precious bottle of the vintage (at the you know where), sometime late last year, for virtually nothing.
The key difference I have found in this bottle with the current version I am more familiar with, is the fullness of oakmoss which brings out a more velvet-like texture; prominent and thick in the fundaments of the scent, melded to perfection with the patchouli and jasmine/seringa, it is a sea of midnight black that lasts and lasts, almost verging on overpersistence: the top notes glossier, the florals perhaps richer, and of higher quality, probably, as well, but not, I would say, so different to make you want to throw away your current version. Or smash on a bathroom floor…..