What is a perfumista ?
And do I qualify as one ? ( Do you ?) Although I write primarily on perfume/scent/fragrance and have even published a book on the subject, spend most of my disposable income on perfume, essential oils and incense, and like nothing better as a present or a bargain find or even a luxurious purchase; like to keep up to date with what is new by going up to Tokyo and having a good look/sniff around ( I do miss that ), am unjaded and delighted every time a perfumed postal delivery comes to the house – even if I am quite often disappointed by the contents within; not being one who is glued to the scentnewsfeed 24/7 to find out about every new release I fear it might disqualify me from being a true rabid and addicted fragrantista.
( three perfumisti : at the 2014 Jasmine Awards :
from left : The Black Narcissus, The Candy Perfume Boy and Persolaise ( Brian De Palma / Steven Spielberg / Martin Scorsese).
One thing I do know is that perfumed oases/ babylons such as the lush, unobtainable vale of temptations that is Luckyscent – for any non-perfumistas reading this, a website/ online Heaven of never-ending perfumes that you could spend hours, days, forever reading, ceding your finances until credit ruin in the search for The One ( like YouTube and its inexhaustible wellsprings of the familiar and the tantalizingly obscure : always a ‘you may also like’ to click on next, more overdraft deductions, there is always another beautifully described perfume you are yearning to try, and the obsessed perfumeholic will click and flex, waiting for the arrival of the next precious elixir to be untapped from the vial ; I do know some people in real life for whom all of this expense and insatiability veers dangerously close to an actual addiction; the hunt and the splurge the main act in itself: a feeling I have empathy for, but in reality have to some extent been able to resist.)
From Luckyscent :
From my perspective, this perfume would make quite a nice rose chypre for the budding young perfumista who wants to flash an edge of vintage while not being bogged down in the full must (that is not remotely how I see ‘old perfumes’ myself, obviously, and I will in fact be doing an interesting project with Art And Olfaction in August on the subject), .
But for the uninitiated neophyte, the full Guerlain Parure / L’Arte di Gucci, or even Sisley Soir De Lune, which in its first incarnation was a real rose patchouli chypre stunner ( I remember how amazing it smelled on you Emma, that brilliant night of karaoke) might just be too drenched, Rose-heavy; overpowering. In Perfumista, the earthier moss / spice / castoreum we might otherwise expect from a classic of the type is replaced with a more approachable, young, but for me slightly anodyne, insistent white musk that comes with the neo- mousse de saxe and the pleasant rose, making it gentler, more upbeat, but for the hardcore rose chypre lover, despite the fact that the perfume had input from some real Perfume Lovers, possibly not quite sufficiently vampish and gorgeouso for the very picky and exigent One Who Needs More.
Ironically, there are other perfumes in the House Of Lebreton that strike me as more suitable as new cravings for the discerning and extravagant niche collector – though these are quite reasonably priced – the suave abstract leather of L’Eau Scandaleuse, for exsmple, or the orris-heavy, waxen lipstick poisoned-almond that is the more fascinating Incarnata.
Arch as an odalisque, strange and coolly moreish, for the completist who likes every available shade in their genre of fragrance selection, from Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose to Martin Margiela Lipstick On – a scent I was once on the verge of buying until I thought more carefully of my monthly bank balance – scents like these are the very essence of what makes a true perfumista – those for whom perfume goes beyond an accoutrement or commodity, a personal signature, something to just ‘wear ‘: but turns instead – sometimes dangerously – into a full blown, hedonistically consuming obsession.