Post by Portia
Hey there vintage fumie friends,
Travelling around winter South Korea recently I was astonished at how perfectly Niki de Saint Phalle’s eponymous fragrance worked in almost every situation. I took a 30ml spray bottle and went through more than half of it on a ten day journey. There is a soft furriness to its green chypre that makes it more cosy than CHANEL No 19 and less fancy lady than Robert Piguet’s Futur, in the cold weather. You may notice on APJ I often write about fragrances being wearable and unchallenging, on many blogs that would be a derisive pointer to bland uninteresting fragrance but from my point of view a fragrance must be wearable in my life. Sure I have a few that I spritz at home for my own freak flag enjoyment but when I venture forth I want to wear my scents as a comfortable cloak not ammunition.
Niki de Saint Phalle
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Artemisia, mint, green notes, peach, bergamot
Middle: Carnation, patchouli, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, cedar, rose
Base: Leather, sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss
Sadly I am finding it harder and harder to track down any of the spritz bottles of Niki de Saint Phalle and am kicking myself for not buying a dozen of them when I noticed they were getting harder to find. GRRRRR. It will be decanting into atomisers for the rest of my life. Oh well, not really a hardship.
So Niki de Saint Phalle is a chypre. Full of softly furry green-ness. To be honest I can’t pick most of the notes. Artemisia, galbanum, carnation, leather and oakmoss are the things I notice but everything else seems to sit in a background chorus. Once upon a time though the note list used to include tagetes (marigolds) now THEM I can smell and a light salt coating. Dry and austere it’s amazing how many moments it’s perfect for. Currently I’m sitting in my office and it’s a 41C day, Niki de saint Phalle cuts through the humidity and takes me to a cool dry thicket near a stream. Cool and fecund, I can smell the earth, greenery, woodland creatures or birds must have a nest nearby because the soft furry, powdery musk of creature babies is here and the smell of tree made shade.
For real luxury grab the Shower Gel too, it makes the most unbelievably gorgeous bubble baths. Then when you spritz there’s already a soft layer of Niki de saint Phalle to layer over.
Five years ago I wrote about Niki de Saint Phalle here at APJ, and have written of it elsewhere. It’s a staple around here.
Do you have a go-to, fits anywhere scent? Maybe one that’s getting harder to find?