This is an interesting one. Like all my favourite fragrances, this is one of those scents that changes as you wear it, rather than staying static. When I first applied this, I thought little of it, then glibly dismissed it as a smell-a-like of Gres Caberet i.e another Rose Musk. Pretty but nothing to email home about. How wrong I was. Well not totally, as it IS a sort of Rose Musk.
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania has a trick up its perfumed Kimono sleeve. I sprayed some on my skin and some got on my clothes as I did so. As the day wore on, the musk emerged, as did a hint of pretty and old fashioned flora: rose and peony. How very ladylike, I thought to myself. However, as it wore off on my skin and warmed up on my clothes, I realised that this begins to smell intimate and a bit…well…private. This is not in the knicker gusset league of Worth’s Courtesan, it’s more an impression of being too physically close to someone you don’t know very well. There’s a slight bit of discomfort, with a shiver of the forbidden.
The musk smells like you accidentally stuck your nose in someone’s cleavage and although you feel terribly awkward and British about it, a dark and secret part of you enjoyed it. The musk suggests closeness to skin, intimacy, as if the wearer is gently breathing down your neck or leaning over you. And this is the secret that Anglomania has up its camisole. It’s pretty and ladylike with a rather rude side, like a piano teacher with no knickers on.
The musk reminds me of Frederic Malle’s Iris Poudre, the closeness of which I find nothing less than claustrophobic. However, Anglomania has a nice aftertaste of incense smoke, like the faint dust left behind by a spent joss stick on a cold windowsill, with a tiny pot of wilting violets next to it.
Many people get leather notes from this, but I was not one of them. To me, this is a Floral Musk with a hint of Violets and Powder, delicate and intimate, with a dirty wink.