I don’t know if I ever reviewed a Boucheron perfume before. The original, eponymous gangbusters epic from 1988 I remember as being very glamorous, rich, exciting, and over the top to the point of drag queen pageant, and I never touched it with a bargepole. But seeing a bottle of Jaïpur yesterday for cheap at a recyling furniture store, somehow I couldn’t quite resist buying a bottle to add to my collection. Maybe I will give it to a friend. Maybe I will use it myself in a performance, I don’t know, but this is certainly a very rosy, peachy, hyperfeminine perfume for the very ‘put together’ (but not foolish) person living, or wanting to live, inside the respectable mainstream of sexiness by Sophia Grosjman (forming a part of her discontinued ‘Trésor-era trilogy’ : wondering to myself what this reminded me of yesterday, I finally heard the word ‘Kashâya!’ float into my head – a very dense and sensual perfume by Kenzo that was similarly soft and layered, albeit more balsamic, that I used to suggest as options for glamourpuss friends back in the day, alongside with other long gone sensualities such as Ungaro’s Desnuda (2001) – and which was also made by the inimitable rose queen herself.)
Trésor is a (too) welcoming, warm-bosomed mammoth of roses, fruits, cedar and vanilla that continues to sell very strongly at perfume counters throughout the universe :inn some ways, its simplicity and innovation make it a work of extreme genius. I have a vintage parfum, and sometimes marvel (and laugh) at the nuclear strength of its wood and musk base notes that pump forth the familiar curves of this unfussy curveball that I used to actually get rather irritated by eventually when living in Rome where it had just been released and I was overloaded, on a perpetual daily basis, by thousands of Roman women all dressed up to the nines who had embraced it with a typically Italian passion and who were clogging up the air vents with it on the escalators of the city subway. It was memorable and great, but I had also had quite enough of it fairly quickly. Such perfumes are dense and immediate, romantic flower bombs; but there also isn’t very much manouevre for the imagination.
Jaïpur has a very similar atmosphere to Trésor, but fresher, lighter (freesia, peony, lily of the valley – even if none of these are discernible especially to my nose); more high pitched – a plethora of fruit (peach, apricot, pineapple, plum); heliotrope, violet and iris providing a slightly powdery backdrop with the resins and sandalwood, but also a texture that is somehow slightly ‘harder’ (and thus befitting a jeweller). It is very well done, if not especially distinctive, and I was thus quite surprised to find that there are in fact reams of wailing appassionadas for this obviously very beloved perfume on Fragrantica, clamouring vociferously for its return. Spraying some in the air just now (just because), it does, I must say, most definitely have that precious ‘at the dresser before leaving the house in one’s very finest finery’ aspect to it; a proper, seamlessly ‘event’ perfume – yet simultaneously comforting and calming – that I can fully understand being someone’s sweetheart.
Sunday afternoon in the park with George: yesterday’s mission was to get myself some vintage Nº19 extrait ( mission accomplished). Following days of just resting and calming down and reaching out lackadaisically for stray samples lying in my vicinity (MDCI’s Cio Cio San, based on the main character in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, an initially very gorgeous rose that thins out, goes greener, and then eventually turns into the much hated modern Chloé), I fancied an entire day out on the town, with the purchase of the Chanel being the final act before dinner ( a delicious Thai place we had never been to before; restaurants everywhere were packed; the mood everywhere very buoyant and happy (you can feel that something very heavy has been lifted) – but we are still, for the time being, sensibly I think, only opting for sparsely occupied anything). It being a delightful temperature, balmy and yet still autumnal; most of the day was spent in the much needed fresh air as we walked across this part of the city, beginning with the Motomachi /Yamate Bluff area on the hill, with its gaijinbochi Foreigner’s Cemetery and European houses (once a specific enclave); French restaurants, cake shops; sleeping cats.
(photos by D)
Back down at Barney’s –
— but first down the hill past this very bizarre looking building that looks like something ancient and Abyssinian from a Pier Paolo Pasolini set but which is in fact a jazz bar in continuous operation since 1946 (and where I once saw an ex-student of mine play drums with a local big band orchestra), the perfume section was sparse, and I felt, somewhat relegated. Here, fashion and indoor furnishings reign supreme; high end laundry detergents had pride of place over fragrance which, aside the standard Nihon niche stalwarts (Goutal and L’Artisan Parfumeur), stocks perfumes that seem as if they are permanently on the way out, making me feel that I might have to get any that I like quite soon while they are still on the shelves.
Rose Nue, which I wore lavishly on the back of my hand for the rest of the evening – is an excellent perfume; an aldehydic sandalwood rose that at some stages in its development smells almost exactly like the original Madame Rochas – as though a tribute – but then gains in warmth and flounciness to end not dissimilarly to the first Rosine (and still my favourite in the entire range), La Rose De Rosine. The fluffy end texures – all suede, musk and ambroxan, end the perfume on a more modern note, but never brash or artificial — the whole thing in fact extremely sexy; like one of those people that just doesn’t need to make that much of an effort in drawing your attention because they just exude ease, and charisma, to begin with. It is not ‘heartrending’ – and all the more suitable for it.
Rose Absolument – a very animalic without being animalic, taut yet yielding rose (of the Turkish variety, melded with honey and osmanthus and a stark contrast with a sharper geranium/ elemi / papyrus edge over warm labdanum and patchouli) is the very rare rose that my other half has ever taken to (in fact, I can’t actually think of another). I loved it too: quite delightfully sensual and disconcerting; odd; gorgeous. I might have to go back. Though more traditionally feminine aspects revealed themselves later on in night, as we wandered through the rose gardens of Yamashita Park and into our usual shopping and dining grounds, he still liked it, and so did I. Something urgent and tense about it, and yet relaxing. This morning my reading was 142/84.