Last night, I came across a movie adapted from one of my most favourite books of all times – PERFUME by Patrick Suskind, then one thought just popped up in my mind, which was “Why don’t I write something about perfume when I am here, since I like “sniffing”, and always have wanted to try new fragrance when it comes out?” And that simply the reason I started this.
London these days is very beautiful. Flowers are blossoming, trees are getting as green as they can grow and people are acting like they are always on the mood of dating or playing outside. The temperature is always around 12 – 18 degrees Celsius so you don’t need a very thick coat or a big sweater to cover up. Only a cardigan and a nice white shirt will do you just fine. Everything is becoming more lively and…well…spicy (sometimes spicier than it is supposed to be).
So when I pick the perfume for this season, I tend to go for something spicy, dark but not too dark, warm but not some kind of balmy warmth. So these “friends” just came to my mind. You’re ready?
- HORIZON – Davidoff
I met Horizon on a cool, windy day after my class at University. I was wandering around the mall near my house to look for something to buy for my friend. As a habit, I dropped by a perfume department to try something new, no matter what it was. And then I saw the simple yet masculine bottle on the new arrival desk. It was Horizon.
Honestly, I am not a big fan of Davidoff, the only fragrance I’ve got from them is Adventure, which was gifted to me by my cousin, and I found it too strong. But after the first sniff with Horizon that day, I have to admit that Horizon just found its new fan.
Not as strong as Adventure, not as commercial as Cool Water, Horizon gives some kind of “close” opening. It feels like a story you don’t want to tell many people, but only your close friends, which is strange because that I have about Davidoff’s perfume is that they always open like a bomb, they destroy right after they were fired. But not in the case of Horizon, which after a few hours, I could smell a really nice, quiet, and warm, which made me feel like a man who acts more than says. Reading about this perfume, I got to know that the base notes include cocoa absolute, vetiver alongside with some hints of nutmeg and Cedar wood left. Beautiful yet masculine.
- POIVRE SAMARCANDE – Hermès
Talking about Poivre Samarcande, I drive thought back to the first day I’ve met “it” a few years ago, when one friend of mine (who was working for Hermes at the moment) gave me a sample bottle of it (along side with Osmanthe Yunnan), I could not wait but whipped it out right away and let my wrist taste the first bite.
Pepper! This had to be pepper was my thinking. But not the harsh or dark feeling. In contrast, it was quite…nice. And somehow I could detect some sweetness in it. Then I when home and sniff what was left on my wrist. I was blown away. Most of the spicy notes have flown away and left the stage for some smooth, musky notes. But still, you can feel the peppery touch somewhere in the air. This has to be worn on a cool shopping day, when you walk down the street, the wind just comes and gives your neck the light sensual touch. It feels like a kiss on the back of your neck. Light, sweet but passionate with a nasty bite.
- LONDON for MEN – Burberry
Ok, this may sound crazy, but for me, London for Men by Burberry is still young enough to be put in this article about perfume in London (it was launched in 2006).
Why? Well…why not? London is diverse, and somebody told me that London has lost its character long ago because the true Londonders have been moving to the suburban, and the city is full of foreigners (they meant people who look less English than they did! Like me!). Well, I cannot object, since I am Asian and I just came here last September. But somehow, there is something in London for Men that make me visualize the dandyism of this city.
With dark warm notes like tobacco, cinnamon at the beginning, then change to the warm woody notes, London for Men makes me think of a man who is wearing a trench coat, underneath it is a nice grey suit, black shoes. He is running on the pavement, a black umbrella in one hand, unopened. Maybe he is late for his meeting, so he did not mind open his umbrella even though it was slightly raining. Then a black cab runs past him, splashes water on the road up to his trench coat, but it doesn’t matter since it is waterproof. He continues to walk fast to his destination. A classic yet dynamic image of London.
I normally don’t follow trends when it comes to perfume because I believe that most of the times your sense and your feeling will decide which perfume suits the event or the place the best, not the perfume house.
Some may think that the perfumes I recommend here are not London-y enough, but believe me, no one can speak your feeling better than you do. I may feel something that no one feels, and someone may see something in London that I cannot see.
But if you ask me about London, I will spray this perfume on you and me, and then we talk. Sometimes I will stop in the middle of the sentence and let the fragrance do the talking. I believe you’ll understand me.