It is now the 118th day of January. Christmas was five years ago and winter is positively Narnian in length. It’s cold, it’s miserable and it’s time to crack open the heavy hitters.
I have owned Fille en Aiguilles for just over a week. It’s not a full bottle, but it was pressed into my hand by friend and co-blogger Lisa Wordbird, who said “better give you this whilst it’s still cold.” Everyone needs a friend who does this.
Now although the thinking behind Fille en Aiguilles is that of pine needles in the hot sun, its deep resinous heat is inescapably both cosy and sophisticated. It makes me feel like a proper grown up and temporarily alleviates the suspicion that I may actually be a frump in winter.
Fille en Aiguilles is the work of genius, and I mean genius, perfumer Christopher Sheldrake. He also had a hand in the stunning Serge Lutens (initially Shiseido) Feminite du Bois, as well as the majority of the Serge Lutens back catalogue, for which I thank him daily.
Fille en Aiguilles means girl on needles, which also translates, idiomatically, as girl in stilettos (hence the pic of Louboutins). It is primarily an incense scent, but the spiky pine needles give it refreshingly green edges, which appeals both to my love of all green scents and my love of the smell of a very Old High Church. Thuribles are non-negotiable, as far as I’m concerned..
Fille en Aiguilles opens and ends with incense, as if it were the cover to a book. I don’t know about sun baked pine needles, but the combination of sharp, bitter green leaves alongside the incense is a heady mixture indeed. Add in some dusty dry black pepper, grassy vetiver and a hint of sultana, and you can see why I have a full bottle in my sights.
Fille en Aiguilles is spice, sophistication and balsam-y incense. It’s totally unisex. If you were a man I would sniff you to levels that are incompatible with being a happily married woman.