Sunday, September 8, 2013
I wish I could invent a scratch and sniff technology for computer monitors. I would be a very happy - and very rich - gal. As I tested these two new fragrances, I wanted you to be able to smell them and experience the wonders of their opulence with me. I worried about how I could convey in words the stunning beauty of these two fragrances. You can see from the photo above that the bottles are collector's items. Yet, you must wear them, not leave them to languish on the vanity. They are a holistic extravagance.
How do we communicate about fragrances? Perfume lovers find ways to congregate to celebrate our favorite scents with words and pictures. There are Facebook groups that take us part of the way toward a sanctuary for fragrance lovers, where we exchange impressions about our favorites, especially new discoveries. There are stores in New York City, like MiN New York or Osswald, that have become a meeting place for those of use who revel in sharing our passion for perfume. Should we all converge on Osswald, you can be assured that we would all be standing at the display below, inhaling these beautiful new fragrances and talking about how one could possibly choose between them. Those conversations with like-minded perfume lovers help us as we converge toward a common vocabulary to describe the subjective impressions of the art of perfume. Without that community, I've got to translate these new fragrances into words to communicate my love for Micallef's new Rouge Art Collection masterpieces. I was careful not to read others' impressions to see if I could describe them without the influences of my fragrant friends.
Rouge N°2 is equally divine, but with an entirely different character. To my nose, it is a comforting gourmand, an exploration into scent that is modern and sultry. It opens with top notes of citrus, blackcurrant, and nutmeg. I'm not fond of nutmeg, so it must have been used sparingly. The citrus exits the stage quickly, leaving a jammy blackcurrant to dominate the opening act. The heart notes, which are jasmine, violet, and orchid, offer a floral transition between the fruity opening and the sultry base notes of amber, vanilla, labdanum, and castoreum, which complete the composition. When you read the notes, you might think them an odd blend. Somehow, Micallef, Nejman, and perfumer Jean-Claude Astier collaborated to make Rouge N°2 a seamless treat for the senses - something like walking into a French patisserie and inhaling the aromas of sweet seduction.
Parfums M. Micallef are available at Luckyscent, so they are easy to find. Don't forget that you can purchase samples at Luckyscent (for $4), so you can try before you buy. At $245, you will want to experience these luxurious fragrances in order to select your favorite. My quandary now revolves around whether I can live with only one or will save up for both. My samples were provided by the company. Even if I had not received them gratis, I would have known to order samples. M. Micallef fragrances were an important "find" in my growing appreciation for the art of fragrance.
Photos courtesy of Jeffrey Dame