São Paulo is for me the heart of Latin America. It is a lively, colourful and very cosmopolitan city. I lived for almost four years in São Paulo and I must confess that I am hopelessly in love with this city that is too busy, too big, too tall, too insecure, too crowded, but extremely fun. It's the least xenophobic city I know. Unlike other metropolises, Italians, Portuguese, Japanese, Koreans, Jews, Spaniards, Argentinians, Germans, Armenians, Syrians, Lebanese... and, perhaps, also many Brazilians, who have forgotten about their family origins, live side by side. All these different ethnic groups preserve their native customs and nobody bothers about it. These different traditions are reflected in food ingredients, cuisine dishes, and spices used. Everyone strives to maintain and even improve their native flavours and aromas. Meals tend to be very tasty and fun. You can choose to eat in hundreds of very different restaurants types. We often get the impression that the culinary versions of São Paulo are better than the originals. In São Paulo, I ate the best Italian pizza, the best Portuguese cod, the best Spanish paella, the best German eisbein and the best Arabic hummus.
On that particular day, my wife and I decided on a typically Brazilian brunch. My wife confessed to me that she was just eager for Canjica (caramelized condensed milk sweet). "Canjica" is a recipe made with milk, very popular on Valentine's day, to eat alone or with your sweetheart, if you are really a sugar gourmand person. Although historically it originated in the Atlantic Iberian islands, it is considered now traditional Brazilian sweet.
"I'm sorry my love, but how did you remember that now? Let's just choose a nice Aliche Pizza and drink some coconut water or soursop juice", I said.
"My dear, you smell like Canjica everywhere, so you must have eaten it earlier today. Let's pretend the time is good to stuff ourselves with Canjica", she answered.
That morning, I had only had a cup of coffee, a piece of buttered toast and a slice of papaya. I couldn't smell any kind of dessert... could I?... I just told her, "Darling, smell my neck!"
"Wow! This morning you must have bathed yourself with Canjica, you sure did...", she said.
Mystery Solved! The very unisex Noir pour Femme
by Tom Ford smells like a Brazilian caramelized condensed milk sweet!
I own many perfumes labelled as feminine in my collection. Noir pour Femme
is one of them. It opens fresh with citrus and ginger but quickly evolves into a heart with sweet florals and a strong dessert note, Kulfi. The dessert's aroma is actually very similar to that of Canjica but with a more oriental aftertaste. In it, we can feel nuances of rose, mango, cardamom, saffron and pistachio, in addition to the aroma of sweet condensed and caramelized milk. The woody and ambery base reveal a smooth and sweet continuity. It is rich in vanilla and sandalwood over a base of balsamic and slightly herbaceous resins.
I describe this fragrance as deeply oriental, unmistakably sweet, but not at all nauseatingly sweet. I find it extremely seductive and completely genderless. The performance is above average, even for a Tom Ford, and the projection delights any sweet oriental perfumes addicted. I know few perfumes that are so suitable for mid-season weather. An excellent suggestion for autumn.
Music: Joe Dassin - "L'Été Indien"