Hello Fellow Fumies,
The story goes that this fragrance was created around the idea of Frederic Malle’s aunt, Candice Bergen, star of the movie Carnal Knowledge with Jack Nicholson, Ann Margaret and Art Garfunkel. I’ve not seen the movie but I love this little tit bit of information garnered from Fragrantica. It makes my enjoyment even sweeter as Candice was one of my great TV glamour girl loves from Murphy Brown and who could ever forget her in her 2000 star turn as Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality, awesome. Many of you will have loved her too as Shirley Schmidt in Boston Legal but i digress.
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Carnal Flower By Dominique Ropion for Frederic Malle 2005
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line (but writes them tiered):
Top: Bergamot, melon, eucalyptus
Heart: Ylang-ylang, jasmine, tuberose, Salicylates (natural, toxic product of herbal origin, a sort of a herbal pheromone which is used by plants as a warning)
Base: Tuberose absolute, orange blossom absolute, coconut, musk
I love how Carnal Flower opens with a huge plastic white flower surrounded by sharp citrus and greenery. I know the notes say melon and eucalyptus but I don’t get them definitively in the open. I get a sweet and sappy greenness like when you cut hydrangeas and lovely white flowers that move to fatty pretty quickly, they are potent and exciting but not as outrageous as the hype leads you to believe and they become quite dry through their life. Not dried or dessicated but the oily wetness, the sappy green loses its potency and becomes a high white floral with a green tiara on sending out occasional flashes and sparkles.
Photo Stolen Flickr
Just so you have placement, I am writing this on Wednesday which is my cleaning day. I do the house from top to bottom once a week. It’s a big job that can take 5 hours but usually I get it done in 3-4 hours. Today I decided to see how Carnal Flower copes in warm weather while active. At midday it’s 26 degees Celcius and I started cleaning at 9.30am. At just over halfway point so I’m taking a sneaky break to write to you.
Well I’ve dusted, vacuumed and cleaned the bathrooms. All that’s left to do is empty the kitchen benches and give them their full scrub. Still there are delightful wafts of coconut-y white flower and now I smell like summer. My sweat and Carnal Flower have come together to create something that smells like a beautiful deadly night flower that calls insects and small animals to their graves, it may even work on the men. I find sneaky reminders at this point of one of my favourite summer scents Bronze Goddess, though they have different stories at the Carnal Flower 3 hour mark they have a crossover.
Photo Stolen Wikipedia
At the 5 hour mark I have lost all but the merest traces of something musky floral but to all intents and purposes gone. I have to be honest here and tell you I think Carnal Flower not at all carnal and really it is a very pretty white floral with other stuff but not fearsome or challenging at all. Bigger than most modern perfumery but not outrageous, give the opening a moment to calm down and I find it extremely wearable. Maybe not a confined spaces or work fragrance but definitely doable for dinner.
Carnal Flower. Have you braved the name? Did you feel it was worthy of such a fearsome title?
Till tomorrow, treat yourself with respect, you deserve it and try to forgive yourself your minor flaws.