Scent, Pandemics, Escape, Dogs, Baking, and Surviving 2020

There is not a person alive who has been unaffected by the wretchedness of 2020 and the pandemic that has dominated the list of traumas. I won’t even start to talk about the issues of this year because they are many and all hideous. But what about the escape methods for many of us during the best of times: scent? How much is perfumery still a big escape in the midst of one of the worst years in the 21st century?

Fourreau Noir Serge Lutens

Fourreau Noir. Now vtg Bell Jar. Photo: my own.

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Dior La Colle Noire (La Collection Privée)

La Colle Noire. Source: Fragrantica.

La Colle Noire. Source: Fragrantica.

La Colle Noire is the latest addition to Dior‘s Privée Collection, highlighting the beauty of a sweet May rose with few other distractions. That singular focus is not uncommon for the Privée line, which frequently takes one main note (like tonka, patchouli, vetiver, or labdanum) and tries to give it the most polished, fluid, and refined treatment possible. Dior succeeds here, as it often does; La Colle Noire is just as smooth and elegant as its siblings. But such minimalism bears the risk of seeming boring or overly simple, and I truly don’t know how people will perceive the fragrance. In truth, my own feelings are mixed. I think it will come down to how much you love this style of rose. If you do, then La Colle Noire may be one of the prettiest fragrances you’ve tried lately. If not, then I suspect you may well be underwhelmed.

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Dior Fève Délicieuse (La Collection Privée)

Many of the Dior Privée fragrances are an ode to a particular ingredient, highlighting its beauty with few other distractions. Mitzah focused on labdanum amber, Ambre Nuit on ambergris, Patchouli Imperial on the titular note, and Leather Oud on leather. The simplicity and occasional linearity of the scents are a trade-off for polished compositions with elegant fluidity where the notes slip one into the other with seamless ease. Dior’s latest release, Fève Délicieuse, is no different. The perfume’s name means “delicious bean,” and the focus is ostensibly on the tonka bean. In my opinion, however, it is a different, delicious bean that is being showcased, the vanilla one, though tonka does play a large supporting role.

Source: dior-s.neolane.net

Source: dior-s.neolane.net

Fève Délicieuse (hereinafter just “Feve Delicieuse” without the accents for reasons of speed and convenience) is an eau de parfum from Dior‘s prestige line of fragrances called La Collection Privée. The fragrance was created by François Demarchy, the artistic director and nose for Parfums Dior. Dior categorizes the fragrance as a gourmand, and provides the following description:

Woven around a Venezuelan Tonka Bean Absolute, this composition by Dior Perfumer-Creator François Demachy literally ravishes the senses.  Drawn by the “immediate seduction” of this ingredient, François Demachy wanted to create a personalized representation of the Tonka Bean. An exercise in composition that plays on contrasts by celebrating both its sweetness and its delectable touch of bitterness. The warm and slightly smoky notes of Madagascan Vanilla were combined with the Tonka Bean to complete the evocative sensation of delight…

While other sites add caramel, praline, white woods, and sometimes cocoa to the list of notes, Dior itself says that the perfume contains only:

Calabrian Bergamot, Tonka Bean Absolute, Madagascar Vanilla.

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Dior Cuir Cannage (La Collection Privée)

Cuir Cannage is Dior‘s latest release, mixing florals and leather in a mix that is both masculine and feminine. The fragrance not only reflects a very Serge Lutens approach to its deconstruction of orange blossoms, but is actually extremely similar to Lutens’ Cuir Mauresque.

Source: gheir.com

Source: gheir.com

Cuir Cannage debuted this month as part of Dior’s prestige line of fragrances called La Collection Privée. (It is sometimes called La Collection Couturier on places like Fragrantica and Surrender to Chance, but I will go with the name used by Dior itself on its website.) The eau de parfum was created by François Demarchy, the artistic director and nose for Parfums Dior, and its name refers to the woven technique used on Dior’s “cannage” leather bags. Dior describes the scent as follows:

OPEN A BAG, PLUNGE INTO THE DEPTHS OF A
LIVED-IN LEATHER AND UNEARTH ITS SECRETS Continue reading