Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I love a man with a sense of smell
Dave got in late last night from a trip to New York, and when I stumbled into the kitchen early this morning I found a bottle of Neil Morris Midnight Flower sitting on the kitchen counter. I'd asked him to hit Takashimaya and see if he could get me Intimate Lily, my favorite of the vault fragrances I've tried so far. There was none in stock, but with the help of the lovely Danielle (Dave assures me she's lovely), he did some sniffing of his own, and Midnight Flower got the nod. I'm happy to report that, as usual, he picked a winner.
The sweet orange in the opening is pure pleasure, uplifting and soothing at the same time. The aldehydes are definitely present, lifting the fruit out of the aromatherapy realm, but to my nose they're quite subdued. (I have a very high aldehyde tolerance, though, so those who detest them should approach Midnight Flower with caution. )
The jasmine and gardenia in the heart are gone in a flash, alas, quickly followed by the hint of fig. What emerges in their wake is a floral accord dominated by plumeria and a full-bodied green tea note. These two compete with each other for a while, but the tea wins decisively. I am not always a fan of green tea in perfumes. It's often bitter or bland, with a faint chemical aura that leaves me feeling as if I've bathed in a neglected swimming pool. Happily, Midnight Flower's green tea is rich and wine-like, but it has enough astringency to make an interesting complement to all the flowers.
Neil lists amber in the base, but it's almost imperceptible to me. I find the dry down to be gentle musk and even gentler patchouli, with the ghosts of the tea and flowers lingering on.
Midnight Flower is one of those rare fragrances that is rich enough to satisfy a desire for serious perfume, yet is light enough that I'd happily wear it on a 95 degree day. I can only think of two others in my collection--Ivoire and Fidji, both light chypres. MF is going to be my sophisticated floral for August.
It's a wonderful thing to have a surrogate shopper with taste as reliable as Dave's. This is not the first time he's picked out a perfume for me without my input, and he never fails to choose something beautiful that I would not have had the good sense to choose for myself. Previous Dave discoveries include N'Aimez Que Moi, Chamade and Creed Royal Delight--all of them favorites now. I gather Danielle was impressed with his sniffing skills. (He asked to see lists of notes and knew what the coffee beans were for. The man is well trained.) I'm hoping to meet Danielle when Dave and I go to New York for my birthday in November. Maybe she and I can chat while he does the shopping.
Photo from Wikipedia.