Although I didn’t seek out perfumeries on my trip to New York last weekend, some perfumes managed to find me. Walking from the Rubin Museum of Art back to SoHo along 6th Avenue, we passed the iconic pharmacy C.O. Bigelow and went inside. The warm lighting and vast array of beauty products organized in tight spacing gave me a sense of anemoia:
anemoia – n. nostalgia for a time you’ve never known
Imagine stepping through the frame into a sepia-tinted haze, where you could sit on the side of the road and watch the locals passing by. Who lived and died before any of us arrived here, who sleep in some of the same houses we do, who look up at the same moon, who breathe the same air, feel the same blood in their veins—and live in a completely different world.
(Source: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows)
Along one wall is also an impressive niche perfumery in its own right, stocked with many lines from Fornasetti, Carthusia, strangelove, Parfums de Marly, Memo Paris, Carner Barcelona, and more. I didn’t have the stamina, or indeed much time, to smell all of the testers. I tried Obvious Une Fleur d’Oranger and it was quite obviously an orange flower, so I took their word on the others for the time being.
Right next to these were a few from Veronique Gabai, and I sprayed Le Point G on my wrist to see what the hype was about. I had heard that despite the provocative name (“the G spot”), it was a comforting skin scent. This perfume turned out to be the most dynamic changeling I have encountered in a long time.
Le Point G started as a (pink) peppery iris with a clean-musky background, almost like a luxurious lotion. I was sniffing closely to gauge whether it might become the iris for me, because that note is a gap in my collection. Soon, it turned a bit lipsticky—still pleasant. With this transition, a cooler complementary note started appearing, and it took me a while to remember what it was. Something about it, sunny yet sensual, reminded me of Parle Moi de Parfum Orris Tattoo 29. Eventually I realized it was cedar wood.
This all made sense, but then about an hour in, a rose note rose up and the tone changed—the perfume became a deep, assertive rose-vanilla chorus that gradually faded as my skin soaked it up. Slightly boozy (the “intense passion of vanilla” per the brand?) to keep things interesting. I looked up the notes later and found that leather is also listed, but I don’t recall having smelled any leather.
Overall, interesting development, like a journey on which each stop is already familiar. You need to be on the journey for its own sake, rather than for any destination.
(Note: The only sources I could find as of now that named the perfumer, Frank Voelkl, were from Persolaise.)
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