There’s only two things I know about love. One, it’s powerful; it has the power to move mountains, lift a car, and make long distances mean nothing. And two, it’s not easy to find, keep, or let go of.
In that respect, love is a like a good perfume, but I digress.
I made myself a promise that I would keep my love-life separate from this blog, and so far that’s proved simple enough (given I don’t have one). But then, isn’t perfume always about love anyway? And I’m not just talking about Jul et Mad Paris’ perfumes, but as a whole. Why would anybody make a perfume for any reason other than love? What’s a hateful perfume to do, even?
Perfumers make perfumes because they love doing so. I write about perfumes because I love to. You smell perfumes (you guessed it!) because you love it. So you see, there’s all this love in the fume-heads community, and not just for the products. I personally love my readers, and the hardworking professionals who (literally) pour themselves into a bottle, hoping to get the love they put out back. How romantic…
Sorry, I’m getting sidetracked.
Last week I brought you my thoughts about Jul et Mad Paris’ Terrasse à St-Germain, a fluid representation of the day the company’s owners met. I told you about the rose, the patchouli, and the lust that those scents trigger. This week we’re taking a look at the second purse spray I’ve received from them, and this one is Stilettos on Lex – chapter 2 of this romance, which I’m titling ‘The Confusing One’, and you’ll see why.
The fragrances I received from Jul et Mad Paris arrived in a white cardboard box wrapped with a white ribbon (I didn’t mention this in the first review, but upon closer examination the box itself was also branded). The three individual fragrances inside are each housed in a metallic ‘bullet’, with the house’s name on one side, and the respective fragrance name on the other. The top has their signature motif, and the bottom facet reads, MADE IN FRANCE / JUL ET MAD PARIS / PARFUM 7ML – 0.24 FL. OZ. When you slip the shell off it reveals the shiny silver spray itself, which has the same motif, the name, and what I’m assuming is the batch number. As with the first one, the atomizer spits out a small amount of juice but in a big cloud.
Like Terrasse à St-Germain, Stilettos on Lex was a 2012 release, done by Dorothee Piot. The story that goes with this fragrance is, again, about a first encounter, but from a different perspective. To me Terrasse à St-Germain seems like Madalina’s side, and Stilettos on Lex is Julien’s. The company’s description paints a picture of a sleek, powerful woman in New York, unaware of how she is affecting the person watching her. She is not cold, but with purpose. She is who we want to be when we walk down the street.
In my opinion, they really nailed the description here. As with Terrasse à St-Germain, rose plays a major role in this composition. It is relevant and persistent from top to bottom, a white rose that is gentle and young. The opening is a tad fruity, a juicy pear or whatnot, but it is not what matters. Neither is a slightly annoying specific floral in the middle, which does wear off. What matters is the middle and downwards, which had me going back and forth for days. Do I like it? Do I not?
At first I thought the middle and base notes, which consist of a strange musk accord and a cedar base, were horrifyingly masculine. I asked myself, what kind of woman would wear this? And while we’re at it, what man would wear the strong white rose it opens with? But then, I began toying with the idea. A white floral perfume with a cologne-esque base… okay, I can do this. I wore it, I asked for other’s opinions, and lo and behold, people responded well. Like, really well. Of all the fragrances I’ve tried recently, this got the most compliments. Honestly, I was surprised. The dry-down, which lasted ages, was like the white florals extracted – reminiscent of Acqua di Gioia Essenza by Giorgio Armani.
Let me comment on longevity, because I feel like I’ve worn these enough to form an opinion. They last very well, sprayed just once on the neck. Their projection is not noteworthy, but I find myself smiling consonantly because I can still smell them on myself all this time later in the day.
Verdict: I am pleased that others like it so much, but I find it complicated and challenging to enjoy. Perhaps it is the season, or perhaps my nose is weird. Whatever it is, I think it’s far from the worst, but not as fantastic as Terrasse à St-Germain. We’ll see about the third and final fragrance next week.
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