Scent of a Dream was launched in August 2016 among much fanfare and with a sultry Kate Moss in the middle of it all. When I saw that the Nose was Francois Robert, of Friedemodin and Mary Greenwell fame, I knew this would be good. I did, however, have deep misgivings about the marketing surrounding its launch.
My main bugbear with this scent is that it promises more than an optimistic tarot reader. It’s marketed as “The mind altering fleurotic scent” and “The Key to Attraction.” I like my perfumes, but to call a perfume mind altering makes me clutch my pearls and even utter a “tut.” New terms have been invented just for this launch : along with “fleurotic,” there’s “psychoactive”. It also purports to attract “LOVE, LIGHT, POSITIVITY and SEX ( capital letters) to the wearer. This is where Scent of a Dream loses me, I’m afraid. Tell me what’s in it, write something flowery like “it’s about a moment”, “it’s about a glance” etc: I’m a perfume blogger, I’ve heard it all, but selling this as if it will bring you light and love and ( SEX) is a step too far. Oh, and this isn’t a chypre either.
Right. Now I’ve got that off my chest, let’s have a sniff. I must tell you before we start that I only have what you might call a minor sample of this in that it is a peel off and rub on sample, so I can’t comment on longevity or base notes.
Here are the notes, according to Fragrantica:
Top notes: Lemon, peach, orange, lime, saffron, black pepper.
It does indeed open with all those fruits but is thankfully, not a sticky fruit salad chew aroma. Francois Robert would never be so heavy handed ( I love him, okay?) The opening is very light and delicate. Now this was, as I say, only a peel off and rub on sample, so I can’t go into too much depth, but the lightly aromatic fruit develops rapidly into a very pretty floral musk.
Middle notes are violet, tuberose, incense, jasmine and patchouli.
The flowers all gather in a posy to make a very pretty and impossibly feminine scent. None of these floral notes are dominant. This is not heady or cloying in any way. In fact, I thought the floral notes were more like petals and raindrops in their transparency and lightness. There is a muskiness in the flowers: a clean white musk, rather than a dirty musk. Musk is such a massive spectrum, and this falls in the clean laundry section rather than the animalic section.
The base notes are: ambroxan ( a synthetic combined accord of ambergris and amber), woody notes, ISO E Super ( this is really essay material now) and, the one that I had to look up- hedione. Now hedione’s name comes from the same root as the word for hedonism. In Scent of a Dream, hedione is allegedly the sexy bit that brings you all the sex.
There is an interesting GQ article by Nick Carvell that says that Steve McQueen used scent with hedione in because it “turned women on”. He used Eau Sauvage- the 1966 formulation. Looking at Steve McQueen and having seen him in several movies, I can only say that McQueen may have been mistaken about the thing that was turning the women on. It may have been his rugged good looks, manly manliness and ice blue eyes. But OK, if he thought it was his Eau Sauvage, let him be. I just think he would have landed Ali McGraw with or without hedione, that’s all. And you don’t need it either, dear reader.
To sum up then, I actually really loved Scent of a Dream. It is light, airy, delicate and the floral musk is blended like a beautiful watercolor at the hands of M.Robert. I loved the delicacy of his work for Friedemodin, went quite feral for Mary Greenwell Fire, and feel similar passion for Scent of a Dream. I would definitely buy a bottle.
So: perfume 10/10.
Marketing not 10/10
You can buy Scent of a Dream from Charlotte Tilbury and Selfridges. prices start at £49 for 30ml.