Friday, May 05, 2006

Donna Karan- Black Cashmere

The sample vial of Donna Karan's Black Cashmere was  sitting at the bottom of my sample stash for a very long time. Being related to Karan's Cashmere Mist, one of two fragrance I hate the most (well, other than anything ever made by Escada, but who wears that? No need to answer), I was never very interested in trying it.

A note regarding Cashmere Mist and why I dislike it: Looking at the list of this fragrance, one would think I'd find it fabulous- Top Notes: Bergamot ,Heart Notes: Jasmine, lily of the valley, Base Notes: Sandalwood, vanilla, amber, musk. My guess is that the lily of the valley is the offending element. I'm not a big fan of it in general, and a musky muguet just doesn't appeal to me. Cashmere mist smells extraordinarily vile on my skin, like something cheap and floral in a commercial, synthetic way (that was a polite way to say "manufactured by Glade") and I could never get why it is so popular. Until I caught a whiff of something that smelled very pleasant on my friend E. Who lives in the Midwest and came for a visit. I was floored to learn that it was my old nemesis, The Mist. The lesson is that there's a skin for every fragrance.

Back to the neglected vial in my drawer. When I finally cracked it open the first sniff was intriguing. The second was love . I could tell that this was different and not at all about soap and muguet. Black Cashmere is spicy with a capital S. I was a goner from the first day. Incense, saffron, and even more dark incense.  The woody element, slightly charred and dry, smoky and impenetrably black is more pronounced than the promised vanilla note on my skin, and that's a first. Black Cashmere deepens and darkens as the hours go by, settling into a rich but not overpowering aroma.

I know that most would find it too potent for daytime or summertime. But I live for fragrance like this and can pull it off (or at least I hope so). I wear it all day and enjoy its staying power. Refreshing it again before going out for dinner has made my husband very happy. He was all for its sex appeal and seductiveness, never complaining about the presence of rose.

Needless to say, a full sized bottle now resides on the shelf and a backup in the closet.

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