December 22, 2009

Marron Chic - Nez a Nez

I was introduced to Nez a Nez at Aedes De Venustas, which now carries the full line.  They gave an event this autumn as an opportunity to try the perfumes and meet the perfumers.  Their atmosphere of richly embellished darkness is very conducive to the seduction of scent impressions, along with the drinks and charm being passed around, and meeting other perfume enthusiasts busily engaged in the pursuit of finding something wonderful.  Happily, I at last met the Non-Blonde,  Gaia Fischler, who is  untiring in her soft-spoken enthusiasm for all things relating to personal beauty culture.  I tried about half of the full line there, and received a packet of fluffy feathers scented as samples to try later. As a  presentation for sampling, feathers work surprisingly well, since the feather holds the scent for a long time, like skin or hair,  and you can waft it before you like a fan.  In the interests of full disclosure, I will say they were very generous and gave everyone there our choice of a full bottle of perfume from the line.  Since I was on sensory overload at that moment, after I tried a number and was unable to decide,  I requested the assistance of those around me (particularly Gaia) and one of the designers of the perfumes (Stephane Humbert Lucas) to help me choose.  I came away with Marron Chic, which was the obvious choice since I am thoroughly brunette, and been around long enough to appreciate the pull of opposites in a perfume.  The reference to the look and flavor of the variegated warm and dark browns of a polished chestnut have a great appeal for me personally.  I associate well brushed, polished brown hair as particularly French in that most French women I have seen have that hair color, and use it to set the palette for what they wear.  Then also the traditional street vending of roasted chestnuts in Paris associates them with the typical French seasonal experience of autumn and winter.  The opposites joined in the scent are the initial strong icy cool sweetness of iris and violet, against a background of creamy warm cocoa, which becomes softer and more powdery over time and settles down into a slightly spicy nut-powder woodiness, once the iris has burned away.  Because of the joining of two such opposites in one scent, it is not an easy one or immediately seductive, but more a conceptual interpretation of autumn and winter embodied by the combination of a brisk, sweetened cold violet and iris with the powdery warmth of a creamy cocoa flavored aromatic wood.   Rather like coming into a warm wood-paneled room after being out for a long walk in the winter air and having a hot drink of cocoa while a few snow crystals melt on your clothes and eyelashes. There are citrus elements that impart a tang and unify the impressions into a composition that holds together strongly opposing forces of cold and hot.   The perfumes are indeed strong and dense as compared to for example, L'Artisan (which I find typifies the taste for transparent scents).  Marron Chic lasts for a full day, so it is a commitment to a certain frame of mind to choose this perfume in the morning, and it is definitely not one for an effect of easy prettiness, but rather of an associative and "interesting" cast.  It is a true unisex fragrance, and I can't picture it worn by someone in their twenties, though the stroke of midnight at thirty would be enough to carry this type of perfume if you have a serious side (while understanding that being sĂ©rieuse is far more of a compliment in France than it is here)...The notes listed are: top - kumquat, orange blossom, heart - karo karounde, violet, cocoa flower, base - benzoin tears, labdanum, roots of vetiver, cocoa beans.

Above photo, the Havana Brown Cat,  elegantly chestnut brown from tip to tail...they sound like great breed.


chayaruchama said...

I, too have this one, and find it very sophisticated and delightful.

Less 'plastic' in the first sniff than Dior Homme [ which powders down well, but has that initial blast of 'fake' that annoys], it is a very well executed variation on what appears to be a now-popular theme.

I'm loving that magnificent beast in your photo....
[I'll bet $$$ to doughnuts Gaia would KILL to own her !]

Scented kisses to you.

Lucy said...

Dear C,
yes, this kitty personifies well the concept of Marron Chic in
physical form, very elegant.
Interesting that we both like this one, I do know that there are some who do not at all, at all...

Qwendy said...

I seesaw between the quest for the Beautiful and the Interesting in perfume, it sounds like this covers both bases! Have a great holiday week or two! XXX

Lucy said...

Well put, Qwendy, that is the
constant push pull.
You have a great holiday too!
I love the shoes!

Scent Hive said...

This one sounds very lovely and intriguing. Fabulous review Lucy!

Happy Holidays,

Lucy said...

Thank you Trish --

Happy holidays to you too.

Abigail said...

Hi Lucy!

I can't wait to try the perfume, your review makes it sound like a must.

I used to have a Havana Brown kitty. Her name was Payton and she was even more beautiful that the photo. Her face was less Siamese/angular and her eyes were blazing amber. Havana Browns are a fantastic breed - sociable and elegant - but they prefer being alone (no other pets) or with another Havana Brown (snobby?!)


Lucy said...

Good to know Abigail, I was imagining perhaps Dante would like a such a cat friend but I see it would not do...cats like to have the place to themselves in general anyway, n'est pas? Yes, try the perfume, and the others in the line, if you can get to Aedes to try them all at once that would be best.

Nasir said...

nice and awesome....Nice blog :)