Every now and then I get in an "old lady" floral aldehyde mood. It happened today while cleaning up a room which had succumbed to the forces of entropy over the last couple of years. As usual, when I finally decided to roll up my sleeves and engage in arrant domesticity, I was rewarded by the discovery of lost perfumes. Today's discovery was a mini of Chanel no 5 eau de parfum and Chanel Allure Homme "All over Refreshing Tonic". I donned the former and will be testing the latter in the not-too-distant future, as a part of my "Give Men's Fragrances a Chance" campaign, inspired by bloggers Bryan Ross at From Pyrgos and Christos at Memory of Scent.
So, the day began in Chanel no 5 edp, which had the usual effect upon me, not of the olfactory ecstasy apparently experienced by so many in an encounter with this juice, but of causing me to reflect upon why we value what we value in the realm of perfume. Floral aldehydes are smelling more and more dated to me as I test more and more sweet patchouli and fine niche perfumes. On some days, they simply smell wrong, and nearly every day when I've ever tried to find the magic in Chanel no 5 has been one of those days. Today was no exception to the rule. At one point, I even felt like taking a bath. I cannot imagine that this perfume will continue to survive if the current trends of sweet laundry scents and fruity patchoulis persist much longer. To a person weaned on those sorts of compositions, Chanel no 5 smells worse than dated, it smells pre-historic!
With Chanel no 5 already lingering in my nostrils, I decided to take up my Estée Lauder WHITE LINEN extrait once again. I did experience the ecstatic floral aldehyde moment wearing this perfume a while back. Then, in my infatuated state, I purchased a big bottle of the eau de parfum, which turns out to have quite a bit more oakmoss--or at least so it seems to my nose--and this muddies the clean bright white waters of the composition, making it far less appealing to me.
When I tried the extrait once again, I discovered that I do very much prefer this perfume to Chanel no 5, but oddly enough it has always smelled to me more like white Dial antibacterial soap than anything else. Clean, clean, clean, incandescent light. WHITE LINEN parfum is to me what could perhaps be most aptly described as the ultimate abstract aldehyde!