Monthly Archives: November 2015
A muted, but buffeted, neroli, masculinised warmly by subtle, aromatic undertones of tobacco leaf, coffee, and lavender-like, bergamot anecdotes – while heliotrope, myrrh and Peru balsam keep things steady, pleasant, yet somewhat ghostly in tone, beneath, George, by Jardins d’Ecrivains, comes across as a soul-appeasing cologne. Curious, this understated, yet spirited perfume, is perfect for a day of reading, writing, and innerward basking, in the disengaged, soft-light distinction of Sunday.
Poupee was a peculiar little oddity that was released and quickly disappeared by the house of Rochas in 2004.
Liking the bottle and the box one day when coming across it browsing in the cheap-end bargain bin perfume section of some Japanese supermarket, I just couldn’t help reaching into my pocket, unsmelled, and buying it (that textural, felt orange flacon cap is really quite appealing to me). I also bought another one for my friend Claire just for good measure (‘Thanks for the er…….bizarre and insane little perfume’, I think she wrote in a letter sent sometime afterwards…..’I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it’.)
Neither were most people, apparently. Failing on the US market immediately because of the name (no-one seemed to know that it signified doll, and imagined instead that it evoked something more akin to ‘droppings’ or ‘doo-doo’), this sweet, and pink-laced little creation was a quite curious mixture of synthetic pineapple, light tuberose, and nutmegged hazelnut, a giddy little thing that never quite worked, with its confused, plasticky, sick-in-the-mouth coalescence, the vinyl doll parts of its marionettish disembodiment rather brash, and uncartilaged in its initial stages, as if the little thing had just come alive; unexpectedly; and were jerking itself along, like some stop-capture creature from a Czech animation, but were simultaneously dreaming, irrationally and instead, that it was a prima ballerina.
In its sudden, blithe, dismay, on catching its eye in the paintbox mirror, it realises, however, with internal pain, that it has been broken; that it will never be fully quite realised; that it will never amount, in fact, to very much at all.
Granted, later on in the perfume’s development on the skin, when the ‘gardenia’ and jasmine aspects of the perfume come more into play and blend nicely with a more benzoinish underlay (this was, after all, created by Anne Flipo, she of such pleasing little summer ditties as the lovely Verte Violette and Chasse Aux Papillons for L’Artisan, again a very sweet orange blossom /tuberose floral like this one, and also of the cutely cocktaily Ananas Fizz – the woman must obviously have a thing about pineapples), at this stage Rochas’ Poupee then becomes quite nice, breezy; even coquettish, and right now as I am wearing in on my right hand I think I am coming to think I like it (coming home tonight after a difficult week with the cold rains that have plummeted the temperatures and people’s immune systems, I felt like putting on something before bedtime that was white-floralish; un-intellectual; cheering, even foolish……….on the other hand I also have Guy Laroche’s plum-pineapple-tastic aldehydic tuberose night perfume Clandestine, from, I think, 1986 or so- something just light hearted, colourful, and cheering to banish the workday blues), and in tandem they have given me a pleasant, olfactory boost.
Inconsequential. Odd. Quirky.
That is Poupee. An unrealised, and strange little pink little doll creature.
It is approaching the end of the teaching term now as the colder weather descends and I have done quite well, been fairly obedient (for me) in not wearing too much perfume. We are not allowed. And yet there are days when the scent of clean laundry detergents and the latest fruit fresh shampoos just won’t cut it. I at least need a furtive squirt of scent on my cuff-covered wrist. Just something to rise up during the day and affirm that I am there.
The other day I suddenly thought yes, a bit of Gardenia, why not. As I have previously written in my review of the eau de toilette, unlike many people, I love this scent – its crisp, spiced piquancy, even its ‘safe’ aspects that worked quite delightfully throughout the day when I wore it last Thursday. That is what I love about Chanel: the construction, the science behind the art, the way that the scents, from the classics to the contemporaries, have a balanced and layered architecture that lingers and assures.
The parfum, a 28ml vintage bottle of which I found at a Tokyo antique arcade, housed in a glass cabinet chock full of old perfumes, was one of those treasures that I was so delighted to have found that I used half the bottle up in a couple of weeks. That hedonistic indulging in perfume where you just plunge in and USE and fill your head, sucking up the fumes. A gardenia, yes – the flowers; this a very different creature to the edt, very different indeed, one of those occasions where they are almost separate perfumes. The parfum, rich and textured, is much closer to the smell of the real blooms than the eau de toilette, which only bears a very cursory resemblance. No, the extrait version is more thickly petalled; musked and velveted; sweeter and deeper: NARCOTIC.
I am about to jump in the shower, iron my shirt, and get ready for work. I wonder which one I will wear today….
USING IT MAKES ME FEEL FILTHY