Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Coffee Perfume Coffee

Coffee in Perfume article from Heather/Memoryanddesire.

Yes, as I explained to a friend this week, they do make "coffee perfumes," but who wants to smell like a big cup of stale Folger's, or worse, coffee breath? The current trend in perfumery is to invoke little hints of familiar things without really smelling much like that thing itself. Such is the case with two of Bond_perfumistaboxBond No. 9's many New York-themed fragrances: New Haarlem and So New York.

I have to admit that I can't smell any coffee/espresso in So New York, even though this fragrance is said to be constructed around an espresso-and-milk accord that others have praised (or despised). On me, it opens with at blast of big, sweet flowers and tart bergamot. If I hold my nose very close to the fragrance on my skin and keep it there, I can experience the entire life of So New York's chocolate/cocoa note over a span of about two minutes. Later, the flowers soften into a disarmingly creamy melange of patchouli and tonka bean. For me, no espresso, no latte with a heart drawn in milk, but there is certainly the suggestion of the kind of cafe that carries the best chocolate gelati you've ever tasted. A perfectly lovely fragrance that suggests gourmet pleasures without actually being foody at all. So New York was created for Bond No. 9 by perfumer Laurent le Guernec.

Japan_082New Haarlem, on the other hand, has a clearly detectable dose of coffee anchored in vanilla, amber, and patchouli. On me, it is the perfume version of a perfectly bittersweet vanilla latte, it's sweet and creamy but it has an edge, an earthy/nutty texture that reminds me most of mocha pastries and coffee beans. New Haarlem is utterly without gender. It is dark, rich, and delicious and remains interesting hours after So New York has gone to bed. I was not surprised to find out that New Haarlem was composed by perfumer Maurice Roucel, who also created the divine Musc Ravageur for Frederic Malle and L de Lolita for Lolita Lempicka, among other outstanding perfumes.

Other perfumed items that contain a coffee note include:

Ava Luxe - Cafe Noir
BodyCoffee - Body Polish
Catherine Memmi - Cafe Noir (candle)
Comme des Garcons - Series 7 Sweet: Wood Coffee
Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Vanille Mokha
Frank Los Angeles - Frank No. 2
Il Profumo - Cafe Vert (based on green coffee beans!)
Jo Malone - Black Vetyver Cafe
Memoire Liquide - 102 Fleur de Cafe and 211 Cafe Royale
Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier - Santal Noble
Parfumerie Generale - Cose 02
Perlier - Caribbean Vanilla / Vanilla Coffee EdT
Ralph Lauren - Polo Double Black

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