Post by FeralJasmine
Since the recent death of someone I loved deeply, I find myself preoccupied with white florals. At first this might seem like an obvious extension of the traditional funeral flowers, but I think it goes far deeper than that. Of all the fragrances, white florals are simultaneously the most indolic-animalic and the most transcendent. They remind us that death coexists with astounding beauty. When we approach the country of death, they waft us to the threshold and then anchor us from stepping through. They are hypnotic, narcotic, both mesmerizing and comforting. The purest and the dirtiest of scents, they call out our inner angel and our inner demon.
Orange blossom is perhaps the most dualistic of the white florals, sweet-angelic or earthy-animal or both. Orange blossom is my obsession right now. For days after the memorial service I floated around in Houbigant Orangers et Fleurs, feeling unanchored. The morning that I realized that I was returning to Earth, I sprayed myself with…….
Gucci by Gucci EDP 2007
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
The Gucci that I refer to here is the original Gucci by Gucci EDP in the heavy square brown bottle with gold cap. This is worth stressing, since there is a lot of other Gucci stuff that I can’t stand and wouldn’t want anyone to think that I was wearing. The most frugal perfumista can afford it, since you can find big 2.5 oz bottles for under $50, and minis or decants for a lot less. There is some astounding twaddle about it online, much of which I think may really be about some other Gucci scent. On Fragrantica the notes are given as guava, Haitian tiare flower, patchouli, honey, and musk, which leads me to wonder if some people know orange blossom when they smell it. Patty of the Perfume Posse featured it in her guide to the best of orange blossom fragrances, and of course she got the notes right:
Orange blossom, heliotrope, orris, vanilla, citrus, musk, cumin, and thyme.
In fact, her opinion is so apt that it’s worth quoting:
“ I think Gucci EDP is one of the sexiest perfumes made. It’s skanky, but not vulgarly trashy. It handles orange blossom in such naughty, naughty ways, it takes my breath away. Gucci tore a piece page from the Caron Narcisse Noir Playbook when they abandoned any pretense of orange blossom being innocent.”
Photo Stolen KousKousRestaurant
On my scent-eating skin and in our parched desert climate, the effect is subtler. Gucci EDP goes on in a happy haze of lovely and naughtily indolic orange blossom. The cumin is there from the beginning, but it is low-key and serves to emphasize the orange blossom and not overpower it. As the open fades, a very subtle hint of thyme combines with the soft musk and cumin to suggest a lovely soft earthy leather. Orange blossoms and soft leathery musk; what a combination! If the Houbigant is celestial orange blossom, this is mortal orange blossom, never far from its very earthbound roots. If I apply it lightly before leaving the house, I can wear it to work and my perfume-averse work buddy will sniff appreciatively rather than wrinkling her nose. If I spray more lavishly, the effect is more “Why, hello there!” and is no longer suitable for work, although lots of fun.
Photo Stolen FloristExpress
Life is full of events that carry us to places we never wanted to be, and thank goodness for all the things that help us stay grounded, like love, friendship, beauty, truth, memory, as well as good food, wine and perfume.