Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Boucheron Place Vendome-Review
I should say from the outset I'm not a Boucheron perfume devotee, though my son is in love (the serious, "buy the largest bottle they have" sort of love) with Jaipur Homme. This was a blind buy for no other reason than I thought the bottle was attractive, and there was a gift of a companion body lotion. Interestingly, the body lotion is magnificent. The effect is just slightly less sweet, and it has a beautiful shimmer on the body without looking like glitter. It is a good product, and has been working miracles on my dry skin. That said, I tend to use it at home, at night when I don't need to inflict it on anyone else (Mr. ETB has little if any sense of smell). Would I layer the lotion with the perfume? Not unless I was conducting an experiment to see if you could cause olfactory diabetes. If a fragrance could make your teeth hurt, Boucheron Place Vendome is it. Honey and praline are listed notes, if that gives you a better idea where it is heading. Throw in some benzoin and rose and it gets a bit sickly.
The silage is moderate with Place Vendome, but it dissipates quickly. In fact, go ahead and give it a good spray because a couple minutes later it will be so close to the skin you'll need to keep sniffing your wrist to see if it is there. I can't imagine anyone taking offence to Place Vendome in an office environment as it isn't immediately recognisable as perfume. People might however, start looking for doughnuts. Place Vendome lasts reasonably well, but I wanted to reapply after a few hours as the best part of the fragrance is in the top and middle notes.
Still, there's something else in there beneath all the sweetness. The citrus? The cedar? Pepper? I have no idea, but something starts developing about twenty minutes in that has me continuing to sniff my arm, even if I'm resisting the desire to lick it as well. After a bit, I recognise it.
When I was but a wee nipper, "knee high to a grasshopper" as we say in the midwest, I lived in a diabetic household. This was tragic for a small child because saccharine candy tastes horrible, and it is hard, and sticks to your teeth funny with that weird citric acid aftertaste of grapefruit. Maybe that would satisfy a forty year old diabetic, but as a child it was terrible. The one place where I knew there was sugar to be had was at the grocery store. Dominick's supermarket had lollipops at all the departments and at the check out for children. They were small, flat, and had Dominick's printed in blue food colouring on them. It was a popular game with children to place the pop quickly print side down on your tongue to make a sort of food colour tattoo when you stuck out your tongue. Anyway, they were all the same flavour, but I adored the green ones and Vic the butcher saved them for me. Each week he'd present me with a bouquet of green lollipops. Years later when I was a university student working at Dominick's I had a cup of pops sitting by my register that I happily bestowed on other children. Dominick's is now defunct, but if you want to know what those vaguely vanilla/fruity lollipops smelled like, you can purchase a bottle of Boucheron Place Vendome. For a more authentic experience, ask an old, Italian fella with a bloodstained butcher's apron to lean over a refrigerated case and hand them to you. He was a very nice man- I think he knew my mother couldn't cook and was ruining every steak he sold her. I seem to remember him giving her recipes. I want to know what this perfume smells like with burnt lamb chops and mint sauce because I can *almost* capture it in my mind. If I really focus, I can *almost* remember what the pops felt like clanking against my teeth, and the sound they made.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I should note that I also had the store manager at the A&P trained at the ready with candy. At that store, it was a blue raspberry Charms pop, though the best part of shopping there was being permitted to help sort the bottle return up front whilst my mother shopped. For the youngsters-soda used to come in returnable glass bottles that you brought back in a carton to the store for your deposit. Nice people rinsed the bottles, but most people weren't nice, and I was often covered in soda by the time we left the store, but as I was going to eat a Charms pop anyway, I suppose my mother decided "To hell with it" and just gave me a bath when we got home. I don't recall the Charms pop smelling of anything.
It didn't surprise me to read that the nose behind Boucheron Place Vendome was the same person that did that abomination of a perfume, Angel. I understand that I am alone in my hatred for that fragrance, and that it is widely accepted as being a masterpiece. Place Vendome isn't a crime against perfume, but it is awfully sweet, like Angel. Unlike Angel, there's something else there making it feel like a perfume with a bit more to experience than honey. It is fleeting, but nonetheless there. It feels a little sad, and tricky to pin down for more than a second or two. I suppose most of the fragrances I'm drawn to remind me of something, whether it was the newsagent's, or the butcher's counter at the supermarket. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but perfume for me is more than something that smells nice. Plenty of things smell nice-hell, the cheap Yardley soap I use smells nice, but what drives me to part with money is rarely what would be called, "nice." I need perfume to take me somewhere, evoke something, give me something to experience with my nose and my brain. I'm not in love with the overall effect of Place Vendome, but at home, at night, I find it to be a happy, calming fragrance. I would absolutely scent my sheets with this, or spray it into my shoe storage cupboard which gets musty (thankfully without smelling too horribly of feet). Wear it out and about in town? Maybe, but only on a cool day-it would be suffocating in heat and humidity.
I'm starting to appreciate the sweeter, more floral/powdery perfumes of late, which is a major departure from my standard chypre, and fougere preferences. Blame it on the cool spring that refused to give sunshine, but I'm reaching for things like White Shoulders, Laura Ashley #1, and L'Air du Temps. A few years ago, I wouldn't go near, much less own any of those. I jokingly told Danny I need a bottle of Chantilly to see if I've lost my mind (and sense of smell) but I don't think I'm ready to buy any.
Have you found your tastes in fragrance changing as you get older?