Tag Archives: Guerlain Samsara

Guerlain Samsara: I Can’t, I Simply Can’t

samsara   Everyone has one.  A fragrance that is associated so strongly with another person or time that it cannot be seen as a stand alone fragrance to be viewed objectively.  It could be the signature scent of a former colleague, or in-law, or it could be the smell of a disastrous night out or date. Whatever the reason, many perfume lovers have a smell they cannot detach from, no matter how random or illogical the association.

For me, that smell is Guerlain Samsara.  It may explain why it has taken me so long to get around to reviewing it. Years ago, I knew a couple who had appalling personal hygiene. The smell of Samsara in their flat was all pervading day and night and masked the strong, unwashed smell of hair and clothes and body so that I was never sure if the perfume was musky or if it was the unwashed clothes.  It served to put me right off, good and proper, like the opposite of Pavlov’s dogs.  I see a bottle of Guerlain Samsara and I walk away, swerving with almost comical briskness.

samsara ad1

Decades later, I steeled myself to chase away the perfumed ghosts.

It wasn’t until I spent a few days wearing it that I realised how similar Samsara is to Serge Lutens Feminité du Bois.  Feminité du Bois is woodier and has rougher edges (deliberately) but the robustness and dusty spice is similar.  Sadly, to me, Feminité du Bois smells like unwashed knickers ( which I tried to Google and wished I hadn’t), so I guess we’re back to square one on that one.   Or maybe one explains the other.

On first spray Samsara is immediately woody, green and juicy.  The sandalwood is then the strongest note, followed by the Musk, at least to my nose. There’s a touch of earthy iris and orris root, and it’s rich samsaraad2with amber, but the opening is fruity and juicy and spicy all at once.  There is a waft of definite banana like ylang in the top notes, but it skidaddles before the mood gets serious. The base note holds that unmistakable musky sandalwood that means you can spot Samsara from 20 paces, and longevity is of course, excellent, whether you like it or not.

You could wear Guerlain Samsara on a date and you (and your date) would still be enjoying olfactory reminders three days later.  The success of this is up to you.  Please wear Samsara responsibly. Whatever way I look at it though, and whichever angle I come from, it will sadly always be the smell of a girl who uses perfume instead of soap.

I’m sorry Samsara fans, it’s not you, it’s definitely me.

PS If you are a friend of mine and you are reading this, you are not the unhygienic couple.  They are long gone.

Follow

L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier: Fig, Fig and More Fig, followed by the Fig.

 Image

Let’s talk Fig.  I only recently discovered Fig, which is frankly a scandal nine months into a perfume blog, but I have never claimed to know it all.

Image
wikicommons

The portal through which I entered the World of Fig was Hermes Un Jardin En Mediterranee. It knocked me out. It was marvellous.  I was as desperate as Eve to find more Fig stuff. Obligingly, my dear colleague Lisa Wordbird, presented me with her bottle of L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier to see what I thought.

One thing’s for sure. Having spent a few days alone with this, I can now Fig spot from ten feet away.

Image
telegraph.co.uk

To me, Fig is rich and creamy with heavy green notes around the edges. The fruitiness is like smelling the dried fruit of a Christmas cake before you add it to the mix. Fig equals Sultanas, Milk and green leafery.  However there is one caveat that stops me fully embracing the figginess of Premier Figuier.  There is to my nose, an animalic or musky note that vividly reminds me of a scene in my life many years ago. No names, no pack drill.  Gather round for a fireside story with ole IScentYouADay.

Many moons ago I knew someone who had sterling family ancestry, pots of money and was quite the aristocrat.  However, he had the most appalling personal hygiene. So shocking was it, that the entire abode in which he lived smelled to High Heaven.  Clothes, furniture and air carried the unwashed stench around  from room to room and even onto the street Imagewhen the door was open.  This man, who was terribly nice, and is massively unlikely to be reading this (I hope), had a girlfriend who doused herself in Guerlain Samsara. You may notice I have never reviewed Samsara.

The end result is that  despite Samsara having no fig, Premier Figuier reminds me of that brief window in time when my nose was trying to divide the musk of stale BO from the Green,  fruity rich Samsara.

This is in no way the fault of this lovely Fig perfume, since Premier Figuier is beautifully put together. There are many non fig notes listed: Asfoetida, Fruity notes, Fig leaf, and Sandalwood.

But all I can smell is Fig and Musk, and that rather fetid London Spring of 94.