It is getting hotter and hotter.
My strangely lizard-like constitution, though, is just warming up in this gorgeous mid July sun, and though people around me are huffing and puffing in the sun, I myself usually feel healthier, incubated, and more alive, in temperatures around 26-30 degrees ( it is not until the full endangering swamp of Japanese August – 34 and higher, with about 95% humidity, as though life had somehow become a permanent sauna – that I start to feel a bit debilitated). Even so, this hot and humid weather needs fresh fragrances, be they light tropicalia; citruses, or the icy, transient leaf florals that take you down a notch, allow you to float more serenely in a poetic envelope of Cocteau Twins blue-green.
Ombre De Hyacinth is a perfume I first tried this last year in Barcelona, which happened to be going through an August heatwave (one local told me it was the hottest she had ever known it to be), and, heat lover though I am, I must admit to having a multidimensional meltdown outside the Sagrada Familia where I literally overheated, was panicking and barking at Duncan and his parents and had to run into a cheap dollar store to buy hideously unfashionable and unwearable shorts, tank-top and flip flops in a maniacal attempt to cool dow – – – style had to be immediately sacrificed, or I was about to become human casserole….
I remember later that evening, after a long shower at the apartment we were staying in, pre-Las Ramblas stroll, I decided, as a change, to try Tom Ford Ombre Hyacinth, part of the Jardin Noir collection that I had bought along with me in my suitcase, and I found to my surprise that I really loved the bluey-green blast of hyacinths and galbanum in the top. Like everyone else who has reviewed this perfume, though, I was disappointed by what happened next; a kind of generic, soapy musk that appears fairly quickly after the gorgeous, realistic jacinthes have faded, and lingers for hours, especially on clothes; I remember feeling quite irritated all evening by how I was smelling; a man with no balls, a wimpy, floral cop out.
Yesterday, however, for some reason it was much more enjoyable. The top accord (hyacinth, violet leaf, galbanum, olibanum and magnolia petals) was even more appealing, with an almost netherworldly pull into arcadian groves that at that particular moment was a very real, private, escape; as though I were slightly in a different dimension to the street I was walking along ( I have long adored hyacinths and had a whole rapturous ode to them planned this spring but it somehow passed me by…it will have to wait until next year instead now…..Borsari Jacinto! Grand Amour! Chamade!!)
This perfume is no Chamade, of course but then nothing could (or should) be; it is a hyacinth more akin to Serge Lutens’ savon metallique Bas De Soie, but rather than a duet with iris, the hyacinth here is all hyacinth, so green and blue, so refreshing. Yes, the base is a nothing, but yesterday it was a nothing, a blank canvas of forget-me-not blue that surrounded me in a way that felt quite pleasant, unassailable…
A true perfumist needs scents for every eventuality, every last craving mood, and you know what, I think I might have to save up and buy this just for the knowledge that on a hot, grimy day, it is there, waiting for me if I need it: that I can then shower up, spray on this, and enter my own solitary, cooled down, Grecian dreamscape.