Probably you already knew this, but noshing on dark chocolate while you're trying to sample and discuss a perfume...not the best idea. Maybe if you're trying something gourmand, it works, but not for anything else. I'm just saying. I've been wearing this fragrance for several days, however, so I don't think any harm's done tonight.
The thing about Etro: I've enjoyed every perfume I've tried from this house, but I tend to forget them, lickety-split. Or at least I think I forget them. I don't think I've put one on my "to buy" list yet, but I realized I reference Shaal Nur on a somewhat regular basis, so I must have been impressed. I'll have to wear it again and see, because if I really, really like it (cue Sally Field), then it'll have to duke it out with Royal Pavillion in a back alley in order to win back my affections.
Oh gosh. This truffle is filled with raspberry.
Uh, anyway, Royal Pavillion. Notes!
Top: rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, mimosa, violet
Heart: sandalwood, vetiver, oakmoss
Base: castoreum, civet
Jasmine and mimosa dominate the top, and the mimosa here is greener than it is sweet, setting up a terrific entrance for the woody, grassy heart. All the other flowers are quiet, particularly violet, which I think is also more of the green variety. The kickers for me are the vetiver and oakmoss, in the heart nonetheless, not in the base where they usually hang out. The mid notes under the floral add pepper and spice, and the animalic end...I hate to say it and I know better just from looking at the list of notes, but I wanted Bond's Saks for Her to really turn the white floral on its ear. I put all my stock in the vetiver in the base. It wasn't to be. While that one is ladylike and beautifully done, Royal Pavillion is more of what I've been looking for.
So many white florals are clean white blossoms, crisp or creamy, tropical or businesslike, tucked behind an ear or held in a bouquet. Royal Pavillion is a white flower pulled from a coat pocket the morning after, slightly crushed, its petals browning at the edges, telling the whole story of the night before: the memory of heat, of the smell of a man dancing close, of the long hours that follow. It's the fragrance of yellowed scrapbooks filled with crushed petals and photos of nightclubs, women in dark lipstick and white satin gowns, dancing to a live band. I find it elegant and sensual, and surprisingly easy to wear in the daytime.
Now, where is that Shaal Nur? I sense a storm brewing...
*photo from Aedes