New Romance

For those of use who are mariées or in committed relationships, no matter how fulfilling, the thrill of a new romance is something we’ve put behind us (unless we take lovers, which I’m neither advocating nor condemning, but it isn’t une femme’s style). But we still need that little zing of the new, which, je crois, is why some of us enjoy shopping, fashion and style. A new dress, a new pair of shoes, a new lip color are ways to create that sense of possible selves which I think is necessary to keep us slogging through the underbrush of our day-to-day lives.

When it comes to fragrance, I cannot commit. I am fickle, always willing to try something new, even while I am loving what I am wearing. Sometimes with romance, it’s the times you’re not actively looking that you stumble into something wonderful, and it happened to me on Saturday. I was visiting Saks as I’d promised Karen I’d try the Giorgio Armani Shaping Foundation (more on that later this week) and right next to the GA counter was the dreaded Perfume Spritzer. She handed me a cloth ribbon sprayed with the new fragrance, and I liked it enough to allow her to spritz my arm. Now, you’d think I’d be more wary, after my last Fragrance Coyote Date (you know, the kind where you’d gnaw your own arm off to get away from the smell). But I was entranced, and now I’m enchanted.

The fragrance in question is a new one, “essence” by Narciso Rodriguez. It’s not available online yet, but Saks carries it. When it comes to designer fragrances, I’m pretty much immune to hype. I thought Sarah Jessica Parker’s “Lovely” smelled like skunk. I like some of the Jo Malone fragrances, but they disappear in an hour. Pretty bottles are nice, but to me, the only things that matter when it comes to le parfum is how it smells right away, and how (and if) it smells a few hours later. This one works on all counts. It goes on very floral (but not sweet) and the first note I detected was rose (a favorite). A few hours later, the musk base notes predominate, but they’re soft, not overpowering. I gravitate toward floral perfumes, but so many of them become cloying after the first hour or so, and this one doesn’t. It’s sophisticated but accessible, feminine but not sickly sweet. So I’m adding “essence” to my stable of fragrance loves.

The best part: even mon mari approves!

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  1. That sounds very nice, I’ll have to check it out. I’ve worn Safari for many years now, but it was discontinued about ten years ago, so the supplies are diminishing & I need to find a substitute.

  2. I have been in a committed relationship with Marc Jacobs perfume for years now…sometimes I sneak around and try other scents but they always disappoint me and I just end up going back to one true love, Marc.

  3. I read Narciso’s inspiration of this fragrance, and he emphasized the Musk element. I am looking forward to sampling this one.
    I thought his original fragrance smelled a lot like SJP Lovely, but my current love is Prada Infusion d’Iris…..

  4. I have to admit I’ve never liked any of the American perfumes like Beautiful or Pleaures or the like.

    The perfumes I currently favour are Coco Chanel and Dior Addict, with some Jean Paul Gautier every now and again.

    I have not looked for a new perfume for years.

  5. A new fragrance can be such a lift- especially when you find ‘the right one’. A recommendation helps, but it is so dependent on each person’s chemistry.

  6. I don’t like sweet perfumes either. For years I wore Sonia Rykiel’s Eau de Rykiel (in the blue sweater-shaped bottle) but they discontinued it. After months of searching I finally found Hermés Jardin sur le Nil which I love and wear all the time. Kelly Caleche, also Hermés, is nice too.
    P.S. I’ve been following your blogg for a few weeks now and think it’s excellent!

  7. I wore Givenchy Very Irrisistible for a few years (my husband even thought of it as “my smell”). But then Coco Mademoiselle came out, and I noticed it a few times, smiling at me on the counter. But I already had a daily perfume I told myself, and I even had Chanel #5 for special occasions. But once my husband smelled the Coco Mademoiselle on me he said he thought it smelled like the new version of me, and bought me the parfum for Christmas. Now I have that and the eau de parfum, and am trying to figure out what to do with the half bottle of Givenchy!

  8. Rita – that’s always my fear when I find a fragrance I love: that it will be discontinued!

    susand – his original fragrance did nothing for me, but this one…oh lala!

  9. Belle – I love the original Marc Jacobs too, and so does my hub. I guess I’m a Fragrance Serial Monogamist? 😀

    LBR – Still searching eh? BTW, they had some of the zombie perfume at Saks too. I told the saleswoman about our experience and she said “oh yeah, that stuff DOESN’T come off!”

  10. Zofia – I used to wear rykiel Rose, but I think they discontinued that one too! Jardin sur Nil is one of my summer faves. That citrus top note just makes me happy!

    Kalee – isn’t it great to find one that you really love?

  11. vicki archer – I just sampled that Serge Lutens Fleur d’Oranger last week. It’s very pretty, and smells like a summer evening. Nice choice!

    sarahn – LOL! It’s makeup.

  12. Imogen – me either. They tend to be too sweet and cloying for me. I’ve rarely smelled a Chanel perfume I didn’t like. Up until Saturday, “Chance” was my go-to fragrance. I haven’t tried Dior addict, though I had a friend who used to wear Poison and it was great on her.

    Duchesse – it’s funny, I’m rarely bowled over by fragrances that other people just RAVE about. I had never heard of this one before I tried it.

  13. I am a Serge Lutens, Fleur d’Oranger lover and oftentimes Gardenia Passion by Annick Goutal. Love your blog, xv.

  14. If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend “Perfumes The Guide” by Turin and Sanchez. Great writing, by turns hysterical and lyrical. I tried a bunch of things from The Perfumed Court (great place to try perfume for not a lot of money) but keep coming back to Chanel No. 5.