In Sweden there is a notion called ”a white week”. It means that a person abstains from alcohol for a week (or month or year, depending on what seems like a reasonable period of time). I haven’t been doing that type of a white week, but as the days are getting brisker I am reaching for perfumes out of my ”white” sample box, the box that contains lighter orientals, vanillas and powders.
I’ve bashed vanilla scents at times, but I do like them – as long as they smell mostly of other things than vanilla. The ”other things” can be incense, smoke, spices, wood or even filth. A scent I’ve rediscovered this week, a vanilla smelling mostly of wood, is Parfumerie Generales Cadjmere.
Cadjmere is driven by contrasts. The start is very brisk. There is a resinous, almost astringently so, spruce note, and myrtle, a Mediterranean herb smelling slightly mentholated. The woods and aromatics are counterbalanced by a luscious vanilla, made even richer and sweeter by adding coconut. There is sandalwood in the very middle, creating a bridge between those two, polar opposite, sides.
The aromatics are stronger during the first phase of the wear, the dry down in purely soft vanilla. However, the vanillic part has a much greater sillage than the aromatics. After an hour or so the woods can mostly be felt when sniffed very close up. The vanilla leaves a longer trail and when I’ve worn Cadjmere on my chest, it wafts up, teasing my nose for most of the day.
I choose a winter picture as an illustration here, still I don’t think Cadjmere is tough enough to wear on a Scandinavian, hard core, winters day. Cadjmere smells like a a snowy forest, imagined by a person who has never actually witnessed real snow. Where there, in reality, is biting iciness, this person only imagines soft and fluffiness. Neverhteless, Cadjmere is a lovely pick-me-up during the time of the year when summer is starting to slip through ones hands.