It isn’t my fault! Chandler Burr and Katie Puckrik made me do it. HONIST! You see since I have fallen into the pit of perfume I must have hit my head on a protruding rock on the way down and when I came too I found I was a bit of a perfume snob. Not mind you in the school of thought that goes: “It has to be expensive to be any good.” No the other kind of snob. If I noticed a gaggle of paparazzo following a bottle of perfume I could be seen rubbing the tip of my nose on the ceiling. You can loose a lot of skin doing that and trip over your Italian loafers and end up looking rather foolish not to mention narrow minded. So I turned a blind eye to Celebuscents by everyone from Alain Delon to Zazu Pitts.
I came to discover “Lovely” by Sarah Jessica Parker when I read Chandler Burr’s mesmerizing book, “The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris & New York.” I am sure you have all read it but if you are new to this like me then grab a copy or download it to your electronic reading device. It is an education in the creation of two perfumes, “Un Jardin Sur Le Nil” by Jean Claude Ellena for Hermes and “Lovely” by Miss Parker for the house of Coty. No recapping synopses here …go read the book and find out why I had to try “Lovely”. I wouldn’t want to ruin any part of that reading experience for you. (Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is on my must buy list).
Now how does Katie fit into this? Well, anyone who reads her blog, or watches her very entertaining and extremely informed video reviews over at YouTube on her channel http://www.youtube.com/user/katiepuckriksmells?feature=results_main will tell you that the lady in question smells. She smells real good. “Lovely” is in her top ten best female perfumes that men can wear. So that spoke to me. After all this His smells Her smells approach to perfume only began in the early part of the 20th century when the middle class was on the rise. The perfume houses wanted to grab the attention of men who might not want to smell “pretty” or like a Dandy. Before this segregation of scent was imposed on the world everyone who could afford perfume wore the same scent. Eau de Cologne Imperiale and Jicky were unisex! As far as I am concerned if you love it, wear it! There is a certain thrill to being a daring pioneer of perfume. If Joel Cairo in “The Maltese Falcon” had the balls to wear Gardenia ….so can you.
“Lovely” opens like rain on predawn cobblestoned side streets in Soho. Not a clean rain but a bit dirty and risqué. The kind of rain you would love to walk in after an sweaty sexy all nighter in a dance club. The top notes of mandarin, bergamot shimmer lightly on the skin and are fleeting as they soak into the lavender and Brazilian rosewood which add a cosmopolitan sophistication. A dirty patchouli downs an Apple Martini grabs the hand of the bashful orchid and runs through the burst of rain down the street to hail a cab to midtown dry down. This is the woodsy central park of the fragrance with musk scampering in the early wet morning of Lovely though woodsy notes and cedar. As the sun dries the earth there is an echo of balmy white amber which richly warms the skin to a new day.
Yes “Lovely” is confident. Self-assured and shows in its progression from opening to closing that it was indeed a labor of love in its creation. Thoughtful and not rushed it is more than lovely, it is superb.
It is all about what is in the bottle. Sure there are going to be lots of Celebuscents that are not good. Cheap thoughtless creations with a name tacked on who had nothing to do at all with the creation of the perfume. But somewhere in there in the midst of the rushing crush on the red carpet there may be a fragrance worth trying even in the glare of paparazzi flash bulbs exploding in a night filled with promise and possibilities.
FIVE GOLD STARS *****