Belle de Nuit

belle de nuitMidnight Fantasy and Tea Rose meet for a tryst in a hedge maze, saying, “J’adore!” while Lou Lou watches with Envy.

Plums are tasted, roses are plucked.
Night flowers bloom, then fade after a few hours, leaving a long trail of powdery musk behind.
No one speaks of it in the daytime.

It’s gorgeous and delicate, yet a bit naughty.


2001 also saw the release of one of my very favorite French movies.

Black Orchid

Black orchidChocolate covered mushrooms.
Tom Ford’s biggest is actually an olfactory pun on truffles!
The bottle is even textured like gills.

Opens sweet and dirty and loud, earthy cocoa and umami fungus that grows on your skin and your clothes and the walls of your dining room.
They slowly warp into wet white flowers and syrupy fruit, in a change of dinner courses that doesn’t take the old plates away, a trencher of watermelon garnished with petals and patchouli.
Afterwards vanilla beans, smoked like cigars.

Very sexy, in a you-make-me-hungry way, but don’t wear it if you’re dieting.


So many ‘shroomy covers of this song. I’m stuck on this awesome Arabic one right now.

Cloud

cloud edgy Cloud pops open with herbs and artificial pears, then some sweet mushy stuff wiggles in the middle over a solid base note of woodsy chemical musk.
It’s got a hook–I keep going back to sniff the peelie–but it’s just too synthetic for me to want to purchase.

Kind of like a lot of Ariana’s songs, actually.


(Ugh. I’m old and crotchety. Girl can belt it, and I do like this one.)

 

Classique Limited Edition 2003

Classique Limited ed 2003Opens with a sheer boozy rose that I’d love if it were louder–then I’m glad it isn’t as it settles into a discordant vanilla.
Slowly eases into a generic auto-tuned amber that isn’t horrible on the on skin but is  irritatingly musty (and tenacious) on cotton.

The top note is so pretty, but the rest of it just doesn’t hold up.
I’ve a sneaky that more attention was paid to the packaging than the contents.


This song came out in 2003, too. It’s got a bit more substance than fashion.

 

Acqua di Colonia Calicantus

CalicantusSanta Maria Novella’s site calls Calicantus “a bouquet of fruity floral notes,” which makes it sound like every Victoria’s Secret bottle in the last two decades, and this is quite special.

It’s marketed to women, but has terrific bay notes usually found in seventies aftershaves, and I’d enjoy huffing it on a guy, too.

calicantus labelOpens soapy clean, with citrus blossoms that soon settle into calycanthus flowers–with the sweet clove/anise of carnation, but with a little more nectar on top, and the earthier base of honey on the bottom–and some woody support.
The dry down is quick yet unexpectedly sweet, the fruity notes in the description–peachy with an almond/sour cherry bite and a drop of amber.
Lasts on silk forever.


Calicantus came out in Florence in 1999, when Anna Oxo hit it big with Senza Pietà–Without Mercy.

Dia

diaThe perfect spring, distilled into liquid form.

Very topographical–at arms length an easy breeze, in personal space it becomes new blooming roses edged with silvery musk, and on the skin it’s budding orchard trees and soap lather–and lasts that way for hours.
Some scattered herbs keep it organic, and a touch of incense smoke gives it a bit of body.

Lovely, but for me, spring is usually March storms and mud-season, messy and chaotic. This is too refined.


This breezy-but-refined song topped charts in 2002, when Amouage first released Dia.