Dans tes Bras, the 2008 Maurice Roucel creation for Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums is a brilliant example of a truly modern perfume. Not because it's light or fresh or one of those Seinfeldian perfumes that smell like nothing. The opposite, really. It might not smell like a "perfume" (at least in the dry-down. The top notes can be quite assertive), it certainly smells like something. The modernity of Dans tes Bras lies in its complete abstraction and the way it still manages to convey warmth and joy.
The very first time I smelled Dans tes Bras was at the Frederic Malle boutique on Avenue Victor Hugo in Paris, several months before the fragrance was released. I can't be completely sure that the fragrance as we know it today is 100% identical to the straight-from-the-lab lab bottle I spritzed in June 2008, but I think that my initial impression of powderiness and violet might still be what you get from first contact. Of course, what I love about Dans tes Bras is its atmospheric character and the somewhat haunting quality it takes after the first blast of spice and violet. The fragrance changes, stretches and expands on skin, filling the space around you with the warmth of a cashmere shawl and really expensive incense. There's a feeling of contentment, of a happy place, being comfortable in your (beautifully smelling skin).
Sometimes I apply Dans tes Bras at night, just before going to bed. The next day, while I'm still very much perfumed, I often need a few moments to pinpoint what exactly smells so good (that would be me) and what perfume it is. Frederic Malle's vision for Dans tes Bras was skin at its very best- warm, salty and intimate without being dirty. I doubt it gets any better than this*.
Notes: bergamot, clove, violet, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, salicylates, incense, Cashmeran (a mix of musk, woods, and resin), heliotrope and white musk.
Dans tes Bras by Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums ($110, 3x10ml travel sprays) is available at Barneys, Aedes, Frederic Malle boutiques and fredericmalle.com.
*Dear Uncle Freddie, please ask the good people in your lab to make a Dans tes Bras body butter. The lotion thingy doesn't do much for my cuir de crocodile.Love always, Gaia.
Art: Butterflies by Pamela Sukhum