I have a small bottle of Lanvin Arpege, only 5ml. I have worn this and no other today. It is formal, cold even, with a hint of talc and nail polish. Yet it makes me think of past glamour, of satin gloves, and a sipped glass with no lipstick marks. It smells like it’s been archived on my late grandmother’s dressing table and brought to life again on my warm skin.
If I had to categorise it, I would say a rose musk, an aldehyde with no sense of humour, but both sombre and beautiful at the same time. When you rank this against today’s raft of fussy and frilly fruity florals, it’s like pitching HEAT magazine against Charlotte Bronte. It’s Grace Kelly among the Kardashians.
I’d wear this to a funeral. But I’d also wear it to bed.