In my mind, Etro straddles that awkward middle ground in the fragrance world—in the most basic sense: price wise, they’re not cheap thrills, but then, they’re not “investment” fragrances either. I have, for some reason, a really hard time buying perfumes that fall into this price category. I always wonder one of two things: “if it’s really good, why isn’t it priced higher,” or “shouldn’t I be able to find this cheaper somewhere?” My husband runs a music distro, and he has a similar product category—it’s a sort of purgatory of good stuff that is perceived as less good (or less collectible) because of the pricing. Higher and lower priced items outsell these items consistently.
That’s my two-cents on Etro.
The first blast from Palais Jamais is pure petit grain, followed by softly smokey woods. In my notebook I wrote “campfire effect,” but that doesn’t quite represent what it is Palais Jamais does. What it does do is transport you deep into unspoiled nature, to the clean and happy smell of the first day of a camping trip. The rocks, green needles, and other forest debris have been swept aside, and the tent is set up in just the right place. The firewood is gathered, the cooler is stored safely away, and you sit down compainionably with your partner and crack open a crisp cool beverage. The lazy scene before you includes your gear, yes, but beyond that a bubbling water-feature (this is your fantasy, you can pick the water source :)), and unfettered forest. A deer that you didn’t see previously suddenly lifts it’s head and leaps away; you point and smile.
This fragrance in no way brings to mind the garden of Allah, which supposedly inspired it’s creation back in ’89, but that’s no criticism. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Image is my parents, just a few weeks before my birth.