Tuesday, September 05, 2006

La Prairie Midnight Rain

On Saturday, we ran through Nordstrom so I could sniff Chanel No. 22. I swear that Serge Lutens’ Clair de Musc is almost a dead ringer for No. 22 in the opening, but they didn’t have a tester open for me to sniff. While we were waiting for the SA to see if she could find one, Bob admired the bottle for the new La Prairie scent, Midnight Rain. We walked over to look and the SA started talking to us, and I ended up scoring samples of both Midnight Rain and Silver Rain.

She didn’t have the complete list of notes in hand, and I haven’t been able to find them anywhere, as this fragrance isn’t listed on any site (Nordstrom, Neiman’s, etc.) that sells La Prairie. I couldn’t even find a picture! Released only a few weeks ago (according to the SA), Midnight Rain is supposed to be the “evening” counterpart to Silver Rain, but it would probably also work well in the daytime during colder months. The few notes the SA mentioned were pomegranate and vanilla, while I jumped in and added bergamot. I swear I smell black cherry in the opening rather than pomegranate, but that might just be my nose—it seemed much sweeter. For what it’s worth, my guess on the rest of the notes: plum, tuberose, jasmine, rose, violet, cardamom, cedarwood, musk, amber, and possibly vetiver (I asked the SA if it was there and she said it was, but then she said Silver Rain also had vetiver, and it doesn’t).

In the opening, Midnight Rain is reminiscent of Dior’s Poison. It has a heavy, fruity sweetness that’s somewhat overwhelming, and it conjures for me the image of opaque, sugary dark purple, like grape Kool Aid. However, unlike Poison, Midnight Rain releases the fruity sweetness in the dry down (although I must be honest: I haven’t smelled Poison in years). The vanilla note is prominent and creamy, and there’s a period in there where the vanilla, tuberose, and jasmine are a bit overwhelming, but then cedarwood comes through beautifully and gives it some spice. I think that there must be some violet because it also has it has that dry, powdery floral undertone that compliments the cedarwood quite nicely. In the end, this scent is much drier than I would have imagined it could be through the first few hours I wore it. I like it much better after wearing it for eight hours than I did this morning. If only it got to this point sooner…

Tomorrow I’ll wear Silver Rain, which, as I said, is the “daytime” counterpart to Midnight Rain, and I’ll do a little of a side-by-side. At least I know the notes for that one—all of this guessing puts me in dangerous territory. Still it’s a good educational experience, and I feel safe in saying if you like Dior’s Poison but want something a bit spicier and interesting in the dry down, this might be a good one for you to try.