Monday, September 24, 2007

Rykiel Woman

Trying to get back in the groove of writing about perfume, but I'm not doing the best job. Still, that doesn't mean I'm not here in my little world, going nuts over this and that, and I could not help but pay this one forward. You see, the lovely Chaya—regular visitors to the perfume blogs all know and love her—sent me a sample of this fragrance last winter. I wore it several times and found it lovely, but the weather got warmer, I got into a slump, and into the decant box it went.

On Saturday I was digging through all my perfumes, looking for things to sample for fall, and I found my bag of goodies from Chaya again and decided this one needed another go. Rykiel Woman (subtitle: Not for Men!) has the following notes:

Top: shinus molle, violet, date palm fruit
Heart: jasmine petals, sunny flowers, essence of Bulgarian rose, Indian black pepper
Base: olibanum, agar wood, leather, amber, musk

As often as I sample perfume, I rarely find myself complimented on what I'm wearing by anyone other than my husband. I tend to be sparing in application, so a lot of the time even Bob claims he can't smell it unless I put my wrist right against his nose. A person cannot be too careful at the office, and I love perfume so much it would be easy for me to overdose. I can recount every perfume I've been complimented on since I started sampling: Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum, Ligne St. Barth Vanille, SL Fleur d'Oranger, Weil Zibelene, SL Daim Blond, Dzing!, and finally, Rykiel Woman.

Not that receiving a compliment or two is any reason to buy a bottle of perfume (and lord knows I buy plenty of perfumes after receiving nary a compliment), but I felt compelled to own this one. It's dangerous, really, because the more I buy the things I really like, the less I want to sample.

Hrm. Telling you about the notes and about receiving compliments tells you nothing about the way this smells, I realize. Frankly, I must work from memory here. I wore it last night, to dinner with some friends, and then I applied the remainder of my sample this morning. A hint remains on my wrists, and a whiff remains in the bottle, where I removed the spray nozzle to get at the last drops. I can telly you, it's soft, warm, ambery, lusciously feminine and sensual. Shinus molle (which apparently is really spelled “schinus molle” everywhere but the Rykiel Web site, where I got the notes) is a sort of pepper tree that grows in the American Southwest and Mexico, in case you're wondering. As many types of pepper as are listed in the notes, they only lend a hint of spice, so do not expect a peppery amber, nor an incense. Who knows what those “sunny flowers” in the heart might be, but they add a delicacy and romance to scent that's quite well-grounded.

I expect I'll be receiving my share of compliments on it this winter, as I have no doubt it will become a staple. This perfume has that interesting effect where after I apply it, I forget it's there—but other people notice. I sometimes think that's one of the hallmarks of a perfume that's really well done, because it seems and feels effortless, yet people are drawn to it.

The best thing: you can get this for a song at many of the discount perfumers. Go! Go now! You'll thank me later.

*image from