Monday, April 16, 2007

What to Wear for a Nor'Easter? Parfumerie Generale Ilang Ivohibe

I had the best intentions to post a review of Quel Amour!, one of my favorite sunny fragrances. But the weather we've been having is on the Quel Horrible! side, and requires something even more cheerful. Enter Parfumerie Generale, a house that never fails to enchant me.

Ilang Ivohibe might have an impossible to pronounce name, but the scent is very wearable. The notes (ylang-ylang, citrus orange, jasmine, vanilla, tree woods, musk) could have gone very wrong (how many white flowers and vanilla scrubbers can be found on the market?), but in this case the result is mellow, sunny and almost cozy.

The opening notes are very floral, and on my skin they had a soapy and almost sharp early spring quality. But it warmed up rather quickly into a soft, pleasant orange blend. There was something about the mix of fruit and ylang-ylang that for a second I got a similar feel as in Tom Ford's Black Orchid heart notes. But, while Ford's creation is deep, sexy film noir version of the notes, Ilang Ivohibe is more of the Doris Day edition, and I mean it in the nicest possible way.

My skin skims the musk and most of the woods, and jumps right into the vanilla dry-down. It's sweet, alright, but not cloying or candy-like. That's where the cozy aspect of the fragrance starts. It's not a classic comfort scent, because it gives an elaborate, ornamental feel, but it has an embracing femininity that makes a stormy day become much better.

Photo by F.C. Gundlach, 1955

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