I have had an amazing weekend, which I will write about later once I have cleaned up our trash of a house (which will probably take me hours..)
Yes, it was really decadent and eye-opening, fun-filled, colourful, life affirming and pleasurable – but speaking of decadence, and the pleasures of the senses, there was once a time, apparently, and now unbelievably, actually, when perfume houses gave out beautifully boxed free samples of their parfums: not just thin vials of eau de toilette, strapped to a piece of embossed paper, and given out begrudgedly and unwillingly as they are here in the department stores of Japan (that is, when they deign to give you a sample at all, which is never) – but actual miniature, glass-flaconed versions of the real thing; 2ml BOTTLES of extrait given out in the same box as the full purchase (you can see one, here, on the right): the same one that I was given as a birthday present on Saturday night.
Yes, the top notes might be off, as this must date from the seventies when this under appreciated Guerlain perfume first came out (you can read my review of Nahema in the ‘Some Roses For Winter’ piece below), but glowing in the contours of the box, still, or a half hour or so later on the skin, is that familiar, soft-rosy powder-peach, with its Chamade like subdued hyacinths, and that liquorous, vanillic, Guerlainade base…………such an easy perfume to like – romantic, plush; rooted in a sweet, simple optimism – a zealous refuge and honeyed dampener of disappointments.
This was a time when the perfume houses were more generous, not only in the giving out of precious miniature bottles of the perfumes to valued customers, but also in the very construction of those perfumes themselves. Long before the skin-sanctioning restrictions of IFRA and their legally imposed changing of the perfumes’ formulae, but also before the perfume houses themselves became like eye-glinting misers with their focus on profit over art, perfumes from this era were eminently affordable, yet luxurious; still full of essence and absolute……gorgeous.