Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Bold and the Beautiful- Parfumerie Generale Corps et Ames & Querelle

This is probably the worst post title ever. I just can't think of anything more fitting. We'll just have to let go of over made-up actresses with frosted hair and storyline in which they discover they have married the son of their mother's first husband who disappeared under questionable circumstances.

Back to drama in a bottle.

Who's afraid of big bad chypres? Not me, considering that I wore Paloma Picasso at 19, Eau du Soir at 20 and the original Sonia Rykiel at 22. I have no idea how I pulled it off back then or why I stopped. The answer to the latter part is probably the decline and almost disappearance of these type of scents. It's not that I spent my late 20s or early 30s wearing fruity-florals, but like the majority, I turned to more elevator-friendly perfumes.

Corps et Ames by Parfumerie Generale smells like something from a world long gone. Dramatic, I know. It's meant to be. It's a dark and mysterious scent, very Greta Garbo. Not overly feminine and definitely not girly. It's a black dress and vintage compact scent, but a man could wear this immortelle and sandalwood blend just as easily, as long as he's not afraid of big scents.

There's supposed to be some leather in there, but I'm not getting any. The drydown is a lot softer than I'd expect. It leaves the drama behind and becomes mellow and very pleasant. I'm not sure I need this in my permanent wardrobe, but it's a nice fantasy of a scent: "What to wear if I'm playing Mata Hari?"

In comparison, Querelle is a lot more subtle. It doesn't lack in drama with notes like myrrh, vetiver and incense (those are the three that are most dominant on my skin, but there's a lot more in there), but the citrus which stays there beyond the top notes, is keeping the perfume in check. To my nose, it's one of the most beautiful incense scents I know, and causes that uncontrollable wrist-to-nose action, until late in the drydown, when all of a sudden I find myself wearing an almost ordinary citrus-woods fragrance. Not bad and not really boring, because it's very nice, but compared to all the loveliness that preceded, it's no longer as exciting.

(photo of Greta Garbo from SKJ Studio)


  1. I love Querelle: on me it doesn't get that boring phase. I get a carnal finish with hay. Lucky me!

  2. T- Lucky you, indeed. I'm jealous. A carnal finish sounds way too good.


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