Hey there, APJers!
Uh huh, been my lucky week. I scored a vintage parfum Safari from a very kind woman. Safari was my signature scent for years! I found it eerie to smell it again and have that rush of recognition flood me. It was almost like the last decade ceased to exist.
Safari by Ralph Lauren: Vintage Extrait
I came home with the fabulous flacon and demanded both my sons try the very scent I wore when they were both born. Naturally, they were not too impressed, but my eldest, H, became curious to know how it compares to the 2013 eau de parfum I own. He understood straightaway.
“That Safari there,” I said, pointing to the parfum,”I would trade for a lifetime supply all the ones I own now.”
It is perfume perfection. I thought it back then and I believe it now. I know in my last post I said vintages were just of an era that has now passed, but Safari, as it existed in the mid-late 1990s, is my ideal. Were it released today, as it was back then, I would still feel the same way. It isn’t because it is vintage it is beautiful, but it ticks off every box I have as meeting the criteria of perfection. It is certainly not the most beautiful, breath taking or masterful scent to have existed. It is the girl-next-door, competent in every way sort of scent.
Safari never had niche level prestige, was available at most departmental stores, had very brown advertising, the bottle was topped with a gaudy lid and housed in a kitsch croc skin box, and it was produced for a label appropriating anything not culturally the owner’s and selling it back at couture level prices. Yet Safari got every bit of the scent right.
The 2013 version of Safari smells like a bunch of plastic marigolds that have sat on the vinyl dash of an old car with sunlight streaming onto them for days. Projection dies down to skin within 20 minutes and longevity is under an hour.
In comparison, the parfum has an intimate galbanum that lasts hours. There is a crisp dryness to the scent that mimics semi wet grass reeds stood on on a cool spring morning. What makes it special is the quiet confidence it has. Safari came out just prior to the game changing Pleasures by Lauder, which advocated for a prim and propper twin set in ballet pink, while Tresor, a few years earlier carried the Grojsman exuberance of loud florals. The subdued Safari, with its old fashioned green, almost chypre, took an Imperialist longing for British adventures on the Serengetti and made it digestible for middle class America. It was way ahead of its time and the only modern release remotely like it is Le Sillage Blanc by Dusita. But Le Sillage is Safari on steroids. Too much of a sufficiently good thing.
Would you buy a past love, given the chance?
May the smell be with you! (May the fourth reference – sorry!)