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Bergamot, ylang-ylang, and neroli in the top notes: check. Honeyed rose and jasmine in the heart: check. Iris, tonka, and vanilla at the base: check and mate! While I’ll admit I have no strong feelings one way or another on neroli and ylang, except that I find neroli-dominant scents boring (viz: Creed Neroli Sauvage), I love every single one of the other listed notes. And I love this perfume. I find it utterly glamorous, but at the same time flawlessly elegant—this is blonde-bombshell-in-white-furs material.
The first hour especially exhibits these characteristics. The top notes last about 15 minutes, and the heart seems to last only about 45-60 minutes. As the bright citrus and floral notes fade away, the tonka bean starts to become much more dominant. This transition is a touch bumpy, and for a while the perfume teeters on the precipice of dangerously unctuous sweetness (off of which Iris Ganache enthusiastically flings itself), but is saved by the dry powderiness which is characteristic of mellowing iris. Things resolve completely around the 2.5-3 hour mark, and Plus Que Jamais is once again stunning, and remains so for the rest of its life. I’m certain that it would be dynamite when actually worn—and in this regard, I must grudgingly admit that it is absolutely, unquestionably a woman’s perfume. There is no way in hell that I would ever dare to wear it in public. There is a limit to how much of the feminine a man can properly appropriate for his own use: if Dior Homme is a fitted pink dress shirt, Plus Que Jamais is red lipstick and stilettos. Maybe John Galliano could get away with it, but not you and I.
29 July, 2008