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· Perfume Notes: Millot Crêpe de Chine

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Perfume Notes: Millot Crêpe de Chine
by Dorothy

I haven't posted in nearly a month! I plead law school exams. Now that I am done trying to wrap my head around lex loci solutionis, coverture, and the "kiddie tax", I can happily return to frivolities for a while.

One of Dain's marvellous series on perfume is called "The Mnemonic Sense", and indeed, one of the most enjoyable things about this newfound perfume habit of mine has been attaching names to memories. My father's female colleagues wear Coco and Chanel No. 19; Angel brought back vivid memories of high school; Poison is the unmistakable scent of office parties. I recently bought a mini of Jean Patou Cocktail (sadly discontinued), opened it, and was transported back to my grandmother's closet.

When I smelled Y by Yves Saint Laurent, I was immediately reminded of my mother, so strongly that I was sure she had worn it at some point in my childhood. When I asked, I found out she had never worn it; the perfumes she mentioned wearing were Jean Couturier Coriandre, which has apparently been reformulated, and Millot Crêpe de Chine, discontinued in 1968 and since re-launched by Long Lost Perfume.

My mother seldom wears perfume or makeup; aside from a fondness for L'Occitane, she isn't really interested in cosmetics at all. I buy my mother's stocking stuffers every year and I have bought her a small bottle of the re-launched Crêpe de Chine EDT, which I could not resist sniffing before I wrapped it. (My mother doesn't read this blog.) Although I can't compare it with the original, this is a recognizably old-fashioned scent; sparkling bergamot and orange rapidly give way to a velvety soft, powdery rose on a dusky woods base that reminds me of Habanita's. I smelled it and thought, of course my mother liked this. It's politely soft-spoken, classic, a scent for feminine introverts, and like Y, it's youthful (my mother must have worn it as a teenager, after all) without being sugary or childish. If Chanel No. 5 is a black sheath dress, this might be a soft green one.

To me the current Crêpe de Chine is a little too well-mannered; I prefer the slight sharpness of Y, the bitterness of Bandit, the spicy glow of Mitsouko. In context I suppose it isn't surprising; I'm quite similar to my mother, but I've always been more impulsive, more opinionated, sharper-tongued and hotter-tempered -- more than my mother was at my age, as she recalls. Amusing that our taste in perfume should follow.

More on the scent (vintage and re-release):

Now Smell This
Bois de Jasmin (brief mention)
Perfume-Smellin' Things (brief mention)

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12/24/2008 [0]

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