Perfume is a mystery.
Today I planned either to wear Loukhoum or Messe de Minuit. My experience yesterday with Hidden Cove had me running for incense or something dry. I was rooting through my samples looking for these when I saw Miel de Bois.
I may have alluded to this before, and I know I’ve left this little story in the comments on other perfume blogs, but here goes: When I first got this sample from Aedes, back in May or June, I sprayed a little in the air just to see how it smelled, and when Bob got a whiff, he absolutely hated it. In fact, I believe he said something along the lines of “What the hell stinks?” And after I told him, he said, “Never spray that again.”
Now, I know Bob is not alone. Many people hate this fragrance. I sighed and tucked my sample away at the bottom of the box. And this morning as I poked through all the glass vials and little plastic bags, there it was, still at the bottom of the box. I’ve been keeping everything stashed in the guest bathroom we never use, and because I knew Bob wouldn’t have any reason to come in there this morning, I figured it was safe to take out the sample and give it a little spray-and-sniff.
Oh amazing, amazing dry woods. I got a fleeting hint of cat pee, and then it was all woods. Oh. It’s been a hell of a week, and I was feeling rebellious, so I decided to give it a shot. I sprayed it on and went to get dressed.
Miel de Bois smells like someone has poured honey on a slowly dying fire made up of the most fragrant wood you can imagine. The notes are:
Top: ebony, gaiac, and oak wood
Base: beeswax, hawthorn, and iris
I’m sorry, but I don’t understand. How on earth could anyone say this stinks? Why do people hate this? Why do people think the dry down is the best? How could people like any one part of this experience better than another when it’s all so amazingly wonderful?
In case you hadn’t already guessed, I love this perfume. I love it. The woods! (And, no cat pee when it's on the skin.) I wanted to protect it from Bob, because I knew I was going to try to leave for work and he was probably going stop me. He would do his best to convince me to go back upstairs and take a shower so that I wouldn’t inflict the nasty smell on my co-workers. With great trepidation, I headed downstairs. I tried not to get too close to him as I organized my things. I thought I was managing to dodge him pretty well, but as I headed back upstairs to grab my iPod I heard , “What’s that you’re wearing? That’s nice. I like that.”
“Really?” I said. I came back downstairs.
“Ya,” he said. “It’s very unique. I like it.”
I didn’t bother to remind him that he’d asked me never, ever to spray it again. I just said, calmly, “Yes, I like it too.” And then I went upstairs and did a quiet little happy dance. This is full-bottle-worthy Serge Lutens. The others I've tried all pale in comparison. (Close second favorite is Gris Clair.) Call me a freak.
Perfume is a mystery.
*photo from Aedes