Sisley : Soir de Lune

Created by : Dominique Ropion

Date : 2006

Genre : Rose chypre

Concentration : eau de parfum

Funny how you can wear a perfume for years and not recognize a certain note until you compare it with another perfume.  Such was the case when I compared Sisley’s Soir de Lune with Estée Lauder’s Knowing.  I had never noticed that Knowing had a camphorous note!  But, there it was when I put it up against Soir de Lune!  I guess I’ll never think of (and wear) Knowing in the same way again.

As for Soir de Lune, I knew I had a winner on my hands when a colleague walked into a meeting room and asked me what I was wearing.   Such is Soir de Lune… an in-your-face rose chypre that one wears like my mother wore a rhinestone skin brooch which she glued directly on the skin in the 50s… for drama!  That brooch with a strapless gown must have been spectacular… as is Dominique Ropion’s Soir de Lune.

To say the SdL is a rose chypre is really an understatement.  It is THE rose chypre of rose chypres, no doubt about it!  All the elements are there in chypre-glory… oakmoss, patchouli, labdanum and what smells like one of the best rose absolutes on the market.  It’s got some powder but it is not overpowering and as for longevity, my eau de parfum lasted longer than I did.

The day after wearing Soir de Lune, I wore Paloma Picasso and although they share DNA, they don’t deliver the same punch.  Soir de Lune is almost in a class by itself… rich, dark, mossy, forbidding and worldly!  My only concern is… who is woman enough (or man enough) to wear it!  All the Cates and Gwyneths rolled into one actress couldn’t wear it, I don’t care what fancy dress they’ve got on.  Penelope Cruz might be able to get away with it in a few years but I’m not sure.

No… I’m going to go out on a limb and say that to wear Soir de Lune, you had better know who you are and I think that Sean Connery in full Scottish regalia could wear this magnificent Scottish rose chypre magnificently.

If you have the bucks, buy this one for special evenings when you wear your best dress and all the fancy jewelry you own.  If you want a rose chypre that is more wearable for daytime, check out David Yurman.


Sean Connery dressed like this could easily wear Soir de Lune.

Sean Connery dressed like this could easily wear Soir de Lune.

Badgley Mischka : Badgley Mischka

Created by : Richard Herpin

Date : 2006

Genre : Fruity chypre

Concentration : eau de parfum

My dad’s favourite Hollywood star was Rita Hayworth.  He thought that she was incredibly beautiful and sexy and I hadn’t thought of her in a very long time… until this evening when I got a whiff of Badgley Mischka.  Subconsciously, my brain was searching for an image to go with this classy perfume made with “trashy”, fruity notes and Rita with her dyed-red hair came to mind.  You see, I don’t think of classy when I smell fruity topnotes but this one… well, it’s different.

Badgley Mischka is correctly classified as a fruity chypre with its fruit cocktail heart made up of classy mango and trashy raspberry (and other fruits undoubtedly) layered over a subtle chypre base… so very different than Paco Rabanne’s fizzy, hotel brunch mimosa concoction, Lady Million.  But Badgley Mischka is more complex, more “evening” with a slightly powdery note which is more like a matte finish on paint (or makeup) than an all-out, in-your-face powdery facet.  It’s beautiful and fun to wear.

My only problem with this one is that it has no moving parts.  Being so heavily fruity, it’s undoubtedly mostly synthetic and so… it doesn’t evolve over time.  It pretty well ends where it starts.  So…  it’s both topless and bottomless.  Unless you are a nose, it’s hard to smell any movement but the fruit accord is so gorgeous well… I’m recommending it anyway.

To resume, Badgley Mischka is an intense, fruity chypre with a matte finish.  I wore it many times when I bought it two years ago.  When I put it on skin this week to review it, I fell in love all over again.

If you want to wear something in this genre that won’t remind you of your daughter’s Hawaiian Punch-inspired fragrance, try this one.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Addendum March 4th – After a comment by Meg over at parfümieren about wearing Badgley Mischka with a hibiscus “tucked behind the ear”, it brought back memories of Dorothy Lamour.  By the way, I’m at the library supposedly working on my tell-all book when I started reading Meg’s blog and 2 hours later, I’m still reading.  Meg is a wonderful writer and she lives in the most divine parallel universe where she picks up vintage bottles of Paris by Coty and Givenchy’s L’Interdit for a song… not even… a refrain!  It’s a great blog to read.

And, here is the sarong lady herself… Dorothy Lamour.

Top image : Glamour shot of Rita Hayworth (1918-1987)

Bottom image : Dorothy Lamour

Givenchy : Les Mythiques Givenchy III (2007)

Created by : Jean-François Latty with Raymond Chaillan and Y. Gerrold (1970 version)

Date : 1970/2007

Genre : Green chypre

Concentration : eau de toilette

I brought my bottle of Les Mythiques Givenchy III (2007) out of retirement twice this week to counterbalance a dark Dzongkha which I wore last week for my review. This week I wanted something with more light and I wanted something green to remind me of spring. And because I considered Givenchy III to be my reset button perfume AND my BFF (Best Fragrance Forever), I figured I couldn’t lose. Well… I didn’t lose but I didn’t win either.  For some reason, Givenchy III smells thin to my nose now and maybe even a little more synthetic than I remembered.  I loved the freshly-cut green grass scent over a chypre base and I was still attracted to the big, white soapy note but somehow, it didn’t deliver. On the second day, I layered it with Chanel’s Pour Monsieur and it worked much better… but suddenly Givenchy III was not my BFF anymore. Something was broken.

I’m glad I never wrote about Givenchy III in the past because I probably would have run out of superlatives to describe my love affair with it.  For me, it was the ultimate perfume.  Nothing else came close to it.  But today, it reminds me of this dialogue between Frasier and Niles in the Dinner at Eight episode of Frasier (1993).

Niles: Dad’s so set in his ways.
Frasier: Well, we all are, at some point in our lives. Remember when you used to think the 1812 Overture was a great piece of classical music?
Niles: Was I ever that young?

There is an innocence about treating Givenchy III with such reverence.  Maybe I’ve “grown up”.  To be frank, I now own a bottle of Chanel’s Cuir de Russie and Serge Lutens’ Muscs Koublaï Khän doesn’t smell so dirty afterall… definitely a shift going on in my perfume tastes.

So… I guess I’ll retire Givenchy III and maybe come back to it at some later date.  I’ve read on other blogs that the pre-formulation Givenchy III is far superior to the reformulated one so I guess I’ll have to find a bottle.

In the meantime, my heart is broken… a little.

Image : L’Absinthe (1878) by Edgar Degas

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