Hotel. Bathrobe. You emerge from the shower: soaped; showered, washed new.
Thick, white towels await: a night of forgetting, the restaurant on the upper floors, overlooking the pulsating, sparkling city, booked.
This moment for me is Courrèges In Blue: a bright, sharp, yet rich and sensuous perfume of great complexity, from a time when commercial perfumes were so much more fully charged, contemplated, and emotionally alive from within.
Fresh and clean, with a subtly erotic afterglow, the sheenful, yet full-bodied effect in Courrèges In Blue comes from a complex array of ingredients that fuse together seamlessly; the initial, very early eighties, shampoo-like sheen coming from French marigold (which seems to have been quite the note-du-jour of the time, it would seem, for its green and orange astringency) ushering in mandarin, peony, peach, bergamot, basil and coriander lain over roses, jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, geranium and violet.
Gelded to this quasi-baroque bouquet is a soft underlay of woods and an ambered, animalic finish that lines the perfume like silk as you lie in your sheets before that post-shower, delicious, cava-sipping time of getting ready: mirrors; fixtures, and the privacy of your room – that time when everything fades away into irrelevance and you are alive, breathing, smelling, and just luxuriating in your heartbeat and realness of your own skin.
I still have two bottles. A vintage parfum and an eau de toilette that I reach for on occasion when I want something ornate yet grounding, a scent from an earlier time. I find it soothing, yet gilding.
There was also a friend at university who wore Blue, Dawn, who would alternate it beautifully in her ivory coloured pajamas that she always seemed to wear, with Balmain’s similar Ivoire, another perfume that fits into this soapy, green, sculptured category of scent.
For me this was always a beautiful smell, simple in its affectations, treading the line between freshness and suggestiveness, sure of itself but still inviting, as I entered her rooms; she always lazing around doing nothing, sighing, flowers on the table, perfume bottles placed casually next to her books, windows wide open.