October 17th, 2006
Someone commented here last week (pardon me, I cannot seem to find the comment) and suggested doing a post on favorite powdery scents. I love powdery perfumes, so it’s not hard to come up with a list. But before I begin, perhaps I should define powdery. In my personal classification, powdery scents fall into two groups: 1) baby powder powdery; 2) old-fashioned (or not) body powder powdery. The most common powdery notes in perfume are: orris, heliotrope, honey, orchid, opoponax, benzoin, magnolia, myrrh, etc.
Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi – won’t repeat myself, will just say Teint de Neige is the ultimate powdery scent.
Orchidee Blanche by L’Artisan Parfumeur – in contrast to Teint de Neige (where the focus is on the rose), the powdery effect in Orchidee Blanche is achieved by orris, mimosa, vanilla, jasmine, and honey. One of the most elegant scents around. Orchidee Blanche wins my heart with its dewy, honeyed floral powderiness. Unfortunately, it’s said to be discontinued but is still available at select L’Artisan shops while supplies last.
L’Ame Soeur by Divine – jasmine, Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, ambergris. Somewhat similar to Chanel No 5, L’Ame Soeur takes a less citrusy/earthy route, focusing on aldehydic rose and amber. Its sillage is soft and velvety. I often reach for it in spring as its whispery powderiness is reminiscent of first spring blossoms.
Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle – ylang-ylang, magnolia, tonka bean, musk, vanilla, iris, sandalwood, vetiver. The powder is Iris Poudre is very much aldehydic. It’s not as much soft, enveloping powder as shimmering and metallic. Iris Poudre is earthy iris powder on a very prominent sandalwood base. Luxurious and refined, it’s very much a going out scent for me.
Habanita by Molinard – bergamot, peach, strawberry, orange blossom, rose, ylang-ylang, orris, lilac, leather, vanilla, cedar, benzoin. This old-fashioned beauty should never be underestimated, especially in parfum. Habanita grabs me the most by its dried fruit powdery accord that brings back memories of being served my beloved dried fruit compote in kindergarten. Besides being heavy on fruit and orris, Habanita is also quite balsamic, with a touch of leather in the drydown. I firmly believe it will never become outdated.
Parfum Sacre by Caron – lemon, pepper, mace, cardamom, orange blossom, rose, jasmine, rosewood, vanilla, myrrh, civet, cedar. The powderiness of Parfum Sacre is centered around the bitter dustiness of pepper and mace. It goes through quite a transformation as the scent develops, becoming more balsamic-resinous and vanillic in the drydown. With its spicy powderiness, it can be equally dressed up or down and is very much a winter scent for me.
Some other excellent powdery perfumes are: Cuir Beluga by Guerlain, Ligea by Carthusia, Talco Delicato by I Profumi di Firenze, Nuit de Noel by Caron, Baby by Norma Kamali, Magnolia Pourpre by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.
Do you have any favorite powdery scents?
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