Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A breath of fresh tuberose

Today is a banner day, in that I was finally able to squeeze myself into a dress that I hadn't been able to wear since I got pregnant with the baby. It's a tailored sleeveless navy dress, so I might actually pass for a lawyer, for once. I'm wearing it with my excellent tortoise patent peep-toe heels with a strap across the front, from the brilliantly comfortable Cole Haan Air collection. These things are genius for work, in that you don't feel a compelling need to amputate your foot at the ankle by lunchtime. In addition to everything else, my feet swelled to massive proportions when I was carrying that kid, so these were also missed.

To go along with the general impression of sophistication and put-together-ness, I busted out my bottle of Fracas by Robert Piguet. It is described thusly:

Classic femininity and modern sensibility collide within this lush white floral fragrance. Seductive tuberose mingles with jasmine, jonquil, gardenia, Bulgarian rose and orange flower in a profusion of fragile white flowers before revealing a base of sandalwood, vetiver, and musk.

Amazingly, this fragrance works beautifully on me, because jasmine more often than not turns sour on me, white flowers can go powdery, sandalwood can dominate everything else, and vetiver can turn everything it touches into misery. But this is supremely well-balanced, with the Bulgarian rose and gardenia supporting the tuberose (the dominant note) and the jasmine, orange flower, and white flowers adding a sweet and light top.

I became consumed with desire* for a tuberose fragrance after my friend Christi got married 10 years ago at a fabulous and fabulously low-key beach ceremony in Malibu. Christi wore a simple wreath of tuberose in her hair, and for the entire day I could not stop sidling up to her to sniff her head. Tuberose reminds me of every lush, romantic, tropical vacation I've ever taken. So I spent quite some time visiting fragrance counters and trying everything with tuberose on. Eventually I narrowed it to Fracas and Michael Kors, and went with Fracas in the end because that added sweet lightness made it more wearable for me. But I do think I need those musk, wood, and yes, even vetiver underpinnings to keep it from feeling cloying.

The only thing I would improve about Fracas is its staying power. For such a lush scent, I do find it's pretty much gone by afternoon.

*I do not say "obsessed" because one of my pet peeves in beauty writing is the way every editor of every fashion magazine writes her monthly little column about how she's currently "obsessed" with some overpriced, of-the-moment product that some manufacturer sent samples of. Obsession is a big concept, and it really shouldn't apply to the toner you've been using for two weeks.

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