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Notes for SF are: black cumin, bay leaves, nutmeg, red cedarwood, musk and quinine wood.
It was created by Olivia Giacobetti in 20003 for IUNX, a niche line that is only sold at Hotel Costes in France (after the IUNX boutique closed). I was able to get ahold of a decant of SF from a generous Basenoter and found myself jumping-up-and-down excited to try it because it sounded like everything that I love. An online blogger mentioned it smelled like cinnamon mouthwash. I love cinnamon mouthwash! :)
First of all the color of the juice is tawny brown - in a muted, milky sort of shade. And it smells brown: spice, wood, something dried and old world smelling. I used to smoke clove cigarettes when I was young and after you smoked a kretek and licked your lips the lightest trace of spice could be tasted by licking your lips. SF smells a little like that. As it warms on skin it becomes increasingly more spicy (well, that is, if you over apply it like I did!) and for a second it smells spookily similar to the spice accord in Tea for Two by L' Artisan Parfumeur (another Giacobetti creation I love) as if it has been removed from T42 and isolated into a fragrance all by itself, minus the smoke and milky, watery notes. The quinine wood adds a distinctive smell to the overall dry down - almost like a mate tea or exotic dried pepper might smell. Musk? I don't smell musk...I'm musk handicapped sometimes.
This wears incredibly light and sheer - perfect for today's hot summer weather. Yet, I could easily see SF wearing just as nicely on a cool, crisp Sunday afternoon outside. If you're a fan of the Korres Body Water, Cinnamon Vanilla (which is much sweeter and slightly more biting) or White by Comme des Garcons (longer lasting, fruitier) would love SF.
Sounds great, right? Well it is.
But here's the thing - it's REALLY light. I wore it two times and sprayed almost 14 sprays & even with this type of application SF faded in a couple of hours. The main reason I think this happens is that the aforementioned spice notes don't have a grounded base to hold onto and project from. They just kind of burn off into the air and all that's left is a breezy whiff of spice/skin scent. Today, to prove my theory, I applied it this afternoon after wearing Bois du Turquie by MPG all morning. The myrrh, florals and woods in BdT provided just the right solid base for the SF to project and hold onto. Today I could smell it for more than a couple hours! Which, I know I know...is a little ridiculous to think that one would want to spend this kind of serious $ on a luxury, Paris exclusive scent...only to wear it layered over other fragrances?? Ridiculous.
Since I cannot afford to liberally apply a luxury fragrance like this one, I'll have to enjoy this one from a fast dwindling decant. Or hope Santa Claus knows where to find Hotel Costes when Christmas rolls around.
27th June, 2009