Things this week have not been so peachy-keen, with a string of hassles and some small misfortunes—but we are safe and healthy, so no complaints. I have been avoiding the news, as I often do. The scale of fear and violence in the world is beyond what I can fathom. Even, or perhaps especially, when it is recurring.
On these types of days, sample vials of perfumes I don’t intend to buy are perfect—I can use them up and get my daily fragrance fix without worrying about making mental associations. It helps to physically put the day behind me when I shower the perfume off, too. If I smelled like X today and had a flare-up of impostor syndrome, tomorrow I’ll smell like Y and no longer be an impostor.
I’ve gone through a few vials from my Parle Moi de Parfum signature discovery set. Chypre Mojo / 45 features what seems to be a dark, jammy rose reminiscent of the rich Turkish rose in Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme paired with an equally dark patchouli, but the listed notes are bergamot, carnation, mango, and patchouli. Color me perplexed, as I would never have guessed carnation or mango. Very clever alchemy indeed. It lasts all day and night if you let it, too.
Woody Perfecto / 107 is another conjuring trick. When I first smelled it, I thought I could pat myself on the back for recognizing a key note: coriander. Just like the coriander note in Ramon Monegal Umbra, no less. However, it is meant to be a coffee-vetiver-leather fragrance. Now, those are 3 notes I know quite well! And yet… all I smell is coriander, from beginning to end… except the very end when I detect a rounded, grapefruity vetiver that I have grown to love, similar to the note in Floraïku Between Two Trees.
Milky Musk / 39 is quite friendly and reminds me of Juliette Has a Gun Sunny Side Up with a slight touch of Le Labo Ambrette 9. A mug of warm milk to comfort the inner child. Whole milk—definitely not skim. Mostly in the form of a creamy sandalwood. Based on my Jekyll-and-Hyde experience with Sunny Side Up and similar reaction to Milky Musk in different kinds of weather, I would conjecture that it works better on drier days than the hot and humid ones we’ve been having.
As those of you who remember my first alphabet poetry series may have guessed, I don’t have any molecules starting with the letter K to write about—I hear Karanal is a powerful aromachemical, and I have a lovely blend called Kohinool (also known as amber carbinol) that is described as having an “exquisite floral, woody odor with dry, ambery, vetiver, and raisin nuances,” but I’m trying to stick to well-known molecules as much as possible.
I chose the haiku form for the current series partly to challenge myself to try something new. It fits so well with the less-is-more aesthetic to which I aspire. It also serves as a centering activity for me, because haikus are meant to be based on what is observable and not abstract—create clear imagery—and present a twist in perspective. For someone who tends to get distracted by the abstract, this helps me to focus on the real rather than the imagined, and get to know some of my materials a bit better! As a final bonus, it reflects the concise, singular nature of molecules versus the complexity of natural essences, extracts, and absolutes, which I represented in my first series using mostly iambic tetrameter (8 syllables per line with rhyming).
Back to regular programming soon.