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    Fidji by Guy Laroche

    I first became aware of the significance of perfume (on some adolescent level) in the late 1960s. I recently set about discovering (or rediscovering) the iconic fragrances of the period, hoping to catch a bit of the decade's élan vital that I remember with so much fondness. Perhaps I didn't quite arrive at it, though I remembered something curious that I'm yet at odds to explain.

    I have read all these glowing reviews of Fidji, and find that after testing it three times, I just can't see (or smell) what others do. The notes would suggest something energizing and sparkling, but on my skin it's a bitter green floral--cold and aloof. Strange to say, I find the same bitter quality in a number of sixties haute couture fragrances, particularly some Diors, Givenchys, Carons, and Guerlains--and, when I search my memory, I can recall sniffing a number of bitter scents in the trendier department stores back then.

    I don't know exactly why this was the case, although I suspect it was something I'd call the "Grace Kelly effect"--the somewhat haughty, glamourous woman whose aura said "gaze in admiration but do not touch." Such was the iconic image of chic sophistication in those days. Meanwhile, child of the sixties that I was, I went for the warm patchouli-based floral orientals. Years later, I've learned to appreciate the more "mature" scents of the past, undoubtedly as the result of age and experience. Even so, scents like Fidji still leave me cold--a sharp, bitter floral with a certain sophistication but nonetheless cold as ice, not warm and sunny like tropical Fiji (or, if you will, Fidji).

    09th September, 2010

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000