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    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

    A nice woody-fruity fragrance will be at least somewhat attractive to 75% of those who smell it. It is undemanding and hits the right buttons. It’s like a blooming flower in this respect. Who actively dislikes jasmine or rose? Egoiste uses this moderate prettiness to gear up to striking beauty.

    Egoiste is a pseudo-oriental that beat the Lutens ‘new oriental’ Feminite du Bois to the fruity/cedary punch, but replaced restraint with largesse. Where you might admire FdB with a “well done” you just want to ooch Egoiste’s cheeks squealing “you are TOO cute!” FdB has a growing harmony that is a function of its radiance. Egoiste is a big diva-like melody with built-in backup singers.

    Egoiste composes an accord that hits all the right tones we love about sandlewood---vanillic, creamy, fruity-sweet, at once rounded and sharp. I find the actual woodiness, though, to be a cedar, rosewood and musk blend of perfect pitch paired with vanilla and who knows what else. I think Egoiste has survived since the 1980s fully intact, despite the sandlewood drought, because it emulates sandlewood the way Guerlain’s Nahema calls to mind a rose: by employing a superb chemical geometry to create an olfactory allusion. The herbal touch completes the picture and creates a medicinal tone that keeps the sweet creaminess from crossing the line to toothaching.

    Egoiste makes me wonder (other than exceptions such as Dior Homme and Guerlains’s Heritage) why designer men’s fragrances don’t strive for beauty instead of tolerating the low expectation of skimpy, vernacular handsomeness as a goal.

    19 August, 2011 (Last Edited: 28 September, 2011)





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