Notes (from OsMoz.com): Mandarin, bergamot, orange blossom, tuberose, plum, peach, orris, vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss, amber.
“Ça Sent Beau,” and so it does! This is one of those scents that has me sniffing again and again, puzzling over the source of its attraction. The structure smells much simpler than the listed notes suggest. Forget the tuberose, vetiver, oakmoss, and patchouli. I get sweet fruit (mostly orange), some indistinct floral notes, a bit of spice (cardamom?) and a lot of musk. The secret to Ça Sent Beau, I think, lies in its weirdly compelling blend of powdery clean and faintly grungy animalic musks. For some unaccountable reason, the clean/dirty tension in the base notes and the prominent orange keep reminding me of – are you ready for this – Kouros, but with none of that scent’s provocative civet reconstruction. Ça Sent Beau’s particular juxtaposition of orange and powerful musks also bears some relation to Caron’s L’Anarchiste, though the two smell nothing alike.
In the end, Ça Sent Beau’s closest kinship may be with powdery, fruity chypre scents like Yvresse (Champagne) and Kenzo’s own later Kashaya, both by Sophia Grojsman. It seems less sweet than Yvresse or Kashaya, and the prominent musks lend it an altogether different balance. Those musks may also account for Ça Sent Beau’s peculiar sillage, which carries for a great distance, but paradoxically manages never to seem loud. Ça Sent Beau is also one of those scents which makes no pretense of smelling “natural.” In its firm and positive embrace of the overtly chemical, Ça Sent Beau shares an aesthetic stance with many of the abstract fragrances from Comme des Garçons, and with countless niche offerings that followed. Unlike many, it remembered to smell good while it was at it.
This is technically a fruity-floral. It is a plummy orange/tangerine draped with tuberose and orange blossom. But I suppose this is a floriental. I mean it’s white flowers resting on a comfortable amber. And I reckon it’s a fougère since it seems to have a dark, nutty coumarin base. Chypre? Yeah, there’s bergamot and oakmoss.
I’m not even joking. What the hell is this? Fruit? No question. Perhaps orange, more likely tangerine. It’s definitely floral. A bit of steamy orange blossom and a bucket of green, creamy tuberose. Amber for days (literally) spiked with patchouli. And the darkness---coumarin? oakmoss? Mix it up with a good measure of musk and you wind up with a languid slurry of a perfume. In tone, Ça Sent Beau is like a grand queen about 2 martinis into holding court with a gathering audience. A little tipsy, talking fast, one opinion to the next. An increasing flourish and emphasis that don’t quite cover up the slurred speech. Mesmerizing.
And while this is a cousin to Prescriptives Calyx---tasty fruity chypre--- Ça Sent Beau replaces the straight-forward oakmoss base with a narcotic cough syrup base made of what seems like oakmoss and coumarin.
CSB’s components are not so much potent as heavy, but the balance is perfect. Rather than calibrate the heavy with lighter elements, the cough syrup base adds some shadow to the density and makes it feel sultry.
I can think of four definitively syrupy perfumes that I like. Serge Lutens’s Cedre (mothball syrup.) Lutens's Arabie (spice cabinet syrup.) Badgley Mischka’s Badgley Mischka (simple syrup.) And Ça Sent Beau. I think cough syrup is my favorite.
14th December, 2010 (last edited: 31st December, 2010)
I found this one quietly citrusy, with a faintly creamy quality (coumarin?), and a pale, not-too-sweet fruity-floral heart note that is oddly suggestive of gumballs. That's right; the big, brightly colored, jaw-breaking shiny gumballs of indeterminate flavor, from the vending machine at the supermarket. That's not to say that it's candy-like or 'girly'--it isn't. It gets progressively floral-spicy in the drydown, but even then, it's pretty subtle...demure, even. Relatively dark colored juice that could stain white fabric. Really cheap looking ugly bottle. A nice feminine that talks in a whisper. Misses a 'neutral' rating by a hair's width.
This fragrance used to be the absolute fashion when I was at high school and it is still utterly recognizable: orangey, with a slightly plasticky drydown.
This one turned very sharp and bitter on me, I'm not sure why, but there may be a tiny bit of cumin in it, which is deadly on my skin. But on others it's a lovely citrus/spice fragrance, so try it first!