And now, back to the marriage arrangements:
An idea hit me in my sleep this morning: Often, the best ideas "wake me up" with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer. In spite of my reluctance to toy with my new arsenal of Bal a Versailles, for fear that it will only be tainted by the poisonous memory of the worst Bronchite I have ever had, I can not help myself: I have been spraying it, dabbing it, comparing the different vintages, the three different concentrations, each with varying provenance. The "New" ones, of which I have only the parfum, was marketed and packaged by a company based in the US, ironically. The outer boxes are metallic gold, and on the back is written: "Genisis International," and "Fragrance made in France/Origine Francaise" which is commerce speak for the "Blended in the US with fragrance oils imported from France," such as we have seen with ranges like Dana. Nowhere on the boxes does it say "Made in France." The bottles are cheap pressed glass, and the beautiful lyre-stoppered bottle is rendered in the cheapest possible way, including an all plastic stopper. The beautiful lace coffin of old is now clearly made in China, and is quilted in an hideous "lace print" on viscose satin. What's in these bottles is truly something to be reckoned with: It's the "Genesis" provenance that produced this ultra dry, angry, explosive scent that is so fierce that one wonders how anybody could ever wear it at all in an undiluted strength: One drop of this in 7ml of vintage eau de cologne vaporized on my wrist is what lasted forever, days, several baths, and would not go away. What applying this in its pure form would do, I can not imagine: Set you on fire? Burn through your skin? Here is a perfume that should most definitely have a skull and cross bones on it. The interesting thing about it is this: It's quite yummy. Of course, as my astrologer friend pointed out, "quite yummy," for me, translates as "trash heap left to rot in the sun" to most. The problem with it is that it just wont go away; ever. Interestingly, though, it never stops...being yummy: I would classify this as a true "Leather" scent, if roses, big overblown red ones, by some other worldly alchemy, happened to one day bloom from the earth with petals made of calf's hide. Essentially, a very linear sketch of it would run thus: Rose, Leather, Incense. Powder. The vintage Eau de Cologne would be: "Faint roses. Faint powder. Faint leather." The vintage extract is another story entirely: For the moment, I'm afraid I will have to leave that one alone. Readers must by now all be wondering how I could possibly make the connection between this brazen screeching witch's brew, and the Patrician silence of Mouchoir de Monsieur, a study in subtlety. What they have in common is a certain idea of sex: Both suggest the orgies of the Regency or all of the excesses of the XVIIIe Century, blood in the mix. Both very clearly smell of a different epoque, with different morals, and a different approach to personal hygiene. The idea that struck me this morning was this: What Bal a Versailles is missing is lavender. It's interesting how, from top to finish, which must come weeks later, because I have not been able to get it off my left wrist, Bal a Versailles evokes a very close reminiscence of the base of vintage Mouchoir de Monsieur: That is the connection. I only know this base because I have used Mouchoir for so many years: It used to have the most exquisite end, that lingered for hours. In it's current formulation, I'm afraid it seems as though Walt Disney bought the rights to it: Just precisely as certain quartiers of Paris now look to me like "Parisland," Mouchoir, in it's current state, reads like "Monsieur Toad's Wilde Ride," which, frankly, is not all that wild: One can comfortably bring a toddler on it with no fear whatsoever. People who remember the real Mouchoir will understand what I mean by this: The real Mouchoir was sort of dangerous, not this effete dandy crap they are selling today: It used to be downright raunchy, but in a very gentlemanly way: If sister Jicky "smelled like feet," brother mouchoir smelled somewhat like hairy testicles. (See my review in fragrance directory) Bal a Versailles smells somewhat like the nether regions as well, as it is so heavily musk laden that I'm sure if one were to wear it in the forrest it would attract all manner of beasts. This, I think, is what my astrologer friend meant when she said "it reminds me of that book 'Perfume'" What Bal a Versailles does not have, is the lavender. I have so many different lavender essences in my laboratory decants, I haven't a clue which to select: I am willing to "pollute" the small 7ml parfum with as much essential oil as is required, but, knowing lavender and how it "behaves" in a comp, I just can't imagine any of the countless types that could compete in a cauldron like Bal a Versailles: If there were such a thing as true "Lavender Absolute," (There isn't, to my knowledge, at least not in the way of a rose or a jasmine, although there is a thing that is called "Lavender Absolute," I feel as though it would be swallowed whole and erased entirely by any amount of Bal a Versailles.
Proving my point, this morning I dropped one full pipette of my strongest lavender oil into this, now 5ml of Bal a Versailles, and initially, I was jumping up and down screaming, fully convinced I had "done it," and, effectively, for about an hour, the perfume, which of course I further diluted in Bal Eau de Cologne, one drop in 7ml, smelled EXACTLY like the old Mouchoir....THEN, it just faded into....the old (new) Bal a Versailles! When I sprayed this, I went and dug out some of my vintage Mouchoir to compare them, applying vintage mouchoir, at least 30 years old, on my right wrist, and the ad-hoc "Monsieur goes to the Bal" on the left, and by God, for awhile, they were identical. Now, nine hours later, my right wrist smells like nothing, and my left wrist smells like.....Bal a Versailles. What lavender could possibly stand up to the Brazen Bitch? If this one can't, nothing can. I'm just not sure where to take this arrangement at this point: My next step may involve one drop of Bal in 7ml of Mouchoir: I really don't want to muck about with my Dear Monsieur, though: Yes, he has alzheimers and no longer knows his name, but I still respect him.