Douce Amère is a strange one. I am not sure I like it but I love wearing it. Another one of those scents where what I smell has nothing to do with what most people will tell you it does. It opens with a thick, sweet exotic flower burst (it actually reminds me of datura) but from early on bitter notes are playing hide and seek with the flowers. As it settles on the skin everything becomes, stickier, creamier, less floral. The unforgettable smell of sweetened condensed milk becomes the centre of the attention but right there, in the end of of the sweet milk trail awaits one of the most cryptic, nostalgic, ironic notes I have ever smelt in fragrance: a rubber teat, a pacifier. I am sure I don’t recall this smell from the time I was using one but I remember being disgusted by it when I was watching my younger cousins grow up. The overly sensitive smell of the five-year-old that I was could not believe that they were sticking that thing in a baby’s mouth and expected to eat from this. And I remember my parents telling me that I was a cry-baby and wouldn’t go to sleep without my pacifier and I just couldn’t believe it! So annoying was that smell to me.
Now after all these years rediscovering the combination of sweet milk and rubber strikes strange chords. Douce Amère is way too sweet for my tastes but every time I wear it I get this nostalgic feeling of sheltered childhood. Soft clouds of fuzzy cotton wrap around me, I feel the warm sensation of snoozing in a dimly lit room knowing that someone is watching over me. I am not sure where these feelings come from but it almost feels like they are popping out the depths of my subconscious, right from the time I was actually using that bottle full of milk. The word “nostalgia”cannot describe exactly how I feel. The portuguese word “saudade” is the only word that explains this. A strong feeling of missing something that is part of you, is now missing and possibly can never be found again, filling you with a restrained sadness that will always be a part of you.