When Laurie offered to send a sample of her newest fragrance along with my purchase of 2011’s Fig Tree, I (of course) accepted the gracious offer. While I don’t categorize myself as a vintage-fragrance lover, I most certainly categorize myself as a die-hard SSS fan (one bottle of each fragrance in my cabinet is a dream I hope to one day fulfill).
When that little vial arrived, I glanced at the attached note-card “notes” listing:
“aldehydes, jasmine, rose, mimosa absolutes, mysore sandalwood, violet leaf, orris, amber, oakmoss, musk.”
Those notes don’t particularly speak to me. If I was reading a review on say, Now Smell This, and the reviewer listed those notes, they would not inspire a blind-buy, even from the catalogue that I’ve had the most consistent success with. Because, let’s face it, I’m not an AldeHo. And while I like (maybe even love) rose, I don’t much care for jasmine, and on top of that, there are only a few vintage style fragrances that really appeal to me (Unspoken, Citizen Queen, Ivoire de Balmain).
But the reality of a perfume can transcend the perfumer’s list of notes, and Nostalgie is a fine example. One sniff and I’m sold. This stuff smells like gold.
The aldehydes don’t employ the blasting quality made famous by Chanel— a plus in my book— just a golden effervescence, followed by a warm, velvety textured melange. Here’s what I love best: while I can identify some sultry jasmine, for the most part, each of the notes is so well-blended into the others, I can’t pick apart the composition. There are a few fragrances that “read” this way for me, and they all happen to be favorites. It’s seamless, and it’s beautiful.
Nostalgie smells of fine things. The image it paints for me is of a woman who is used to the finest of everything, but isn’t haughty or superior about it. She sees her privilege as an opportunity to do good, and we love her for it. A modern woman with an old-fashioned taste for masterfully artisan crafted things.
In my obviously biased opinion, it’s what Kate should have worn instead of that bland, boring, White Gardenia Petals thing.