Semi detatched from Nature
The profile is split into two halves. The larger half is delectable; a sweet powdery Amber with a side serving of fruit salad; and the smaller - and more interesting half is sour and plasticky with a dark bitter undercurrent.
Amber is the main theme - and that makes Casmir easy to like; who couldn’t go for sweet powdery sandal? But there’s also that strange undertone, the serpent in the
garden - offering not an apple but a bowl of trifle. It’s Naughty but Nice - as Salman Rushdie wrote when he was working as an ad copy writer.
I remember writing that some perfume - I forget which - was like ‘No5 crossed with Shalimar’. And that’s sort of the case here. A powdery flat Amber of vanilla, sandal and fruit, and a discrete plasticky accord - which doesn’t smell like No5 but feels abstract in the same kind of way; ie having a semi-detached relationship with natural smells. In fact, from this point of view, Casmir is closer to No5 than many things released in the intervening ninety years.
The same kind of disconnect with reality can be felt in Roma Uomo (Menardo 1992 / 94), Narciso for Her (Kurkdjian & Nagel 2003) and Peau de Soie (Ropion 2016). It seems that this plasticky, post natural style holds a fascination for perfumers, and
connoisseurs alike, even if the general public want something more legible.
The longevity of this idea (some twenty five years by this count) is a testament to the person who first dreamed it up. It looks as though this sweet and sour, venomous and plasticky accord has established a place for itself outside of perfume fashion trends, but it’s difficult to know who to put the finger on because the dates are a bit confused. Was it Michel Almairac (1991 / 92) or Annick Menardo (1992 / 94)?
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