An angel lay on the mattress and spoke of history and death
With perfume on her lingerie and whiskey on her breath
~"Resurrection" by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Though not a technical term in perfumery jargon, contrary to for instance "animalic scents" or "soapy scents", there really isn't there a more to the point reference to what certain fragrances evoke: the delicate lace of a sexy ivory basque worn with silken garters, the smoothness of pink satin tap pants with matching camisole on spaghetti straps, retro merry widows in black, or chiffon baby dolls puffing under heaving bosoms...the whole accessorized with pearls and marabou-trimmed slippers with a heel!
|Kirsten Dunst seriously glam-ed up!|
"Parfums lingerie", a self-coined term, therefore denotes in my mind a category of fragrances that exude romanticism, with a wink of eroticism, drawing as they do from the rich pool of traditional feminine accouterments (including cosmetics) and at the same time a sense of insouciance and nonchalance like the very vest pin-ups images has taught us to expect. Fun as the lingerie is to wear and fantasize, alone or with the company of a loved one, these perfumes are even more fun to don! You don't have to eschew your feminist ideas one iota, as perfume is such an insubstantial entity with no visual cues to not get attached to excessive baggage, and you can wear them in public without blushing a single bit. But the wondrous, stimulating effect of knowing you're wearing a "parfum lingerie" underneath it all very much resembles the tangible frisson of wearing exquisite underwear under your prim clothes.
You can of course turn to established lingerie brands offering their own fragrant interpretations: Agent Provocateur has the killer sexy Agent Provocateur chypre fragrance which is naughtier than whatever I had in mind (but really fabulous too!) Chantal Thomass, Fifi Chachnil or Sonia Rykiel who know a thing or two about intimate apparel all have their own perfumes out in the market (Love many of them personally, especially Rykiel's Woman, Not for Men and Fifi by Chachnil). Or we have Josie Natori suggesting her Natori Eau de Parfum, a most agreeable floriental with an ambery, soft-spoken background of powder and wood. But there's no need to pigeon-hole. Let's be creative, shall we?
Classifying "parfums lingerie" we come across several common traits in their technical make-up. These are usually fragrances with demure and elegant floral notes of a retro vibe, such as violet and rose, a romantic combination that also brings to mind cosmetics. But in parfums lingerie the effect isn't waxy or sticky (such as in F.Malle's Lipstick Rose for instance, the reference for lipstick scents) but rather airy, like a chiffon camisole that doesn't stick to the body, with an added soupçon of defiance and more emphasis on the violet and the ionones than on the rose.
Rice-powder is a retro reference that can't but bring to mind glamour images of yore when actresses and opera divas were shown in front of their over-lit mirrors applying face and décolleté powder with fat, goose down puffs in pastel colors, dressed in silky robes. The fragrances that exude this powdery heaven are more delicate than the typical "powdery perfume" with orris notes combined with a little white floral (such as jasmine), a hint of vanilla and sometimes an actual rice whiff.
Last but not least, whisper soft musks carefully poised between "clean musk" and "dirty musk" (none of the piercing laundry detergent type, nor the Lutens Musks Koublai Khan skank); sometimes with a heavier leaning into one or the other direction yet never overdoing it. These musks can employ the added softness of white flowers, tactile woods and a little billowy vanilla. These scents can play the seductive game of acting like virtual lingerie...even when you're wearing none!
Here is my selection of "parfums lingerie". I love wearing some of them when the mood strikes. All the while imagining myself a more alluring subject than I am...
Violet-laced Scent Underpinnings
Love, Chloé by Chloé
Drôle de Rose by L'Artisan Parfumeur
Météorites by Guerlain
Flower by Kenzo
Balenciaga Paris L'Essence by Balenciaga
Violet Blonde by Tom Ford
Violette Precieuse by Caron
Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker
Noa by Cacharel
Clair de Musc by Serge Lutens
Bois et Musc by Serge Lutens
Narciso for Her Eau de toilette by Narciso Rodriguez
Rice & Powdery Chiffon Scents
Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan
Kenzoki Rice Steam Sensual by Kenzo
Sophistique by Mark
Sake and Rice by Fresh
Which are your own favorite "lingerie fragrances"? Let me know in the comments.
pics via Pinterest.com/hercourt originally uploaded from freshpair.com, suicideblonde.tumblr.com, photoshootbloger.blogspot.com.au