The second color I’ve chosen in my color Pantone Color Experiment is Linen 12-1008. When I first started out I figured it was either ”off-white leaning toward pink” or ”an extremely pale, medium toned pink” but soon I realized that, for me, it was none of those things. What it was, is the near exact match of my skin tone (yes, I’m pale even by Scandinavian standards) and it became impossible to think of it as anything but ”skin colored”. So, I’ll apologize right away, this post is more about skin sensations than Linen 12-1008, in my case, they just happened to coincide. So feel free to substitute your own skin color and we’ll get going!
Among the skin scents I’ve tried, there is one to rule them all, namely Frederic Malle, Musc Ravageur. I still remember the chock I got first time I tried it, my impression was something along the lines of: ”OMG, this is a huge, 300+ pounds man, dressed in a bunny suit, caked with baby powder, who preys on little girls”. Add then, you know how it goes, I stayed away from it for a while. Then: ”Could it really be that bad?” And before I knew it I was head over heels in love, on my way to introduce him to my mom. To me, now, Musc Ravageur smells like I’ve dusted my body with the loveliest spices, the kind that swirl around in the air, beckoning people to come closer. Then, there is a layer of sticky vanilla syrup on warm skin, turning me into a human Venus Fly Trap, all gorgeous and cuddly smelling from a distance but lethal up close. Just as bunnyman intended it, come to think of it…
Musc Ravageur is an exception in the skin scent category, as it’s so dense and HUGE. A more representable scent is Huitième Artes, Poudre de Riz. This one starts out dry powdery, reminding me of when I was an exchange student in Thailand. The climate there is very warm (the daytime average temperature in the region where I stayed is around 35°C or 95°F) and neither my host family nor school had air con, so most of the time I spent soaked in sweat. The only time of the day I felt really fresh was for about an hour in the morning. The air was cool, I had showered, washed my hair, dusted mentholated baby powder all over my body and then donned a clean and freshly ironed school uniform before going out to catch the boat to school (no, they were not as stylish as the dresses in the picture). I won’t say Poudre de Riz smells anything like those mornings, it doesn’t, and it’s far more polished ladylike than I’ll ever be. But it does captures that precious feeling of finally being fresh, clean, groomed and ready to meet a new day.
A skin scent without powder is Sonoma Scent Studio, Egyptian Musk. Whenever I wear this I see myself in a very airy, sunny room, waking up all refreshed after nap, in a bed made with exquisitely made, high quality, cotton bedsheets. The scentroams the borderland between skin and cloth, both very fresh and recently washed. It probably won’t sound that special to anyone else, but as I have small kids and can easily count the whole nights I’ve slept, for the last 6 years, on one hand. It’s utter luxury!
A workable, but flimsier feeling, substitute for Egyptian Musk is Clean Skin. The Cleans have some vile abominations in the lineup but this one actually isn’t bad. It’s VERY subtle, just a hint of clean warm skin and cotton sheets hung up to dry in the wind somewhere far in the distance.
So, what have I learned from Linen 12-1008?
- When talking about skin scents, there is a big difference between skin scents that smell like ones own skin, only somehow enhanced, or skin scents that smell like other peoples skin. I adore Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan and love to wear it, but not in a hundred years will my own skin smell anything remotely like it. It’s anothers persons scent, a mans scent, and in that fact lies a lot of its appeal.
- Skin scents are not a category I’ve previously been very interested in. I used to think, ”I love perfume and isn’t the point or perfume to NOT smell like your own skin?”. I’m still not converted (except for Musc Ravageur), but I’ve been thinking about if I’d been of a different opinion if we lived in a society where clothes aren’t the norm. I have a friend who spent all his childhood summers at naturalist campsites with his parents. They were not into the nudist thing in other ways (that I know of) but their explanation for why they preferred nudist camps were that ”the toilets are always cleaner”. Would we be more attuned to our bodies if we saw them all the time? I bet we’d eat healthier as those growing love handles can’t be hidden under a thick swearter. And would it also affect our choices in scenting it? I have no answers here, but if someone has an opinion on that or anything else, I’d love to hear!
Big thanks to Parfumistan who let me have her last drops of Poudre de Riz fo this review
Pics: pantone.com, travelfish.org