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.


chayaruchama said...

Dave, baby-
Ya done good !

BitterGrace said...

Well, damn, Chaya--that was quick. I only posted this about 3 minutes ago!

Dave did do good. MF is very nice, very me.

Whodoo said...

*clapping my hands* Go, Dave! and congrats, Gracie!

Mary said...

What a beautiful review! Good one Dave. Discovering Neil's perfumes (thanks Ida) has been one of this year's perfume highlights so far.

Perfumeshrine said...

Got to love a man with taste :-)

And well-trained indeed! All those hours you were explaining and asking question had the desired effect, it seems. Brava! And enjoy your new treasure, which you desrcibe in such enticing terms.

chayaruchama said...

I love it when you get what you want.

Scentman said...

Thank you so much for your review! You may find it interesting that I wear Midnight Flower too and it's all tea, plumeria and amber on me! And YAY for Dave! A man with a good nose!

Fragrant Dreams!


P.S.Intimate Lily is now available on our website.

BitterGrace said...

Hi Neil! Dave is very proud of himself. I think it's great that you wear MF, maybe I can dab a little on Dave. I do love plumeria on myself, and I'd love to find out what it's like on him.

Anonymous said...

My Dave is in New Orleans on a business trip and is headed home this afternoon. He called me on his cell, telling me he's bringing home some souvenirs--a.k.a. "t-shirts." He mentioned he had just passed (on foot) a coffee shop, a perfume shop, a .... "wait a minute! Back up, there!" You are telling ME that you just PASSED a perfume shop without going in?

Oh please? Just a tiny bottle of something from New Orleans as a gift? Maybe not "Voodoo Love," but something unusual and regional!

I'll have to wait until tonight to see if he actually made a purchase! Has anyone tried Bourbon Street Perfumes?

BitterGrace said...

Bourbon Street Perfumes? Doesn't ring a bell, and I know New Orleans pretty well--you don't mean Bourbon French Perfumes, do you? They make Voodoo Love. I'm a big fan of their scents, especially Mon Idee and Marguerite. I need to do a serious review of their line one of these days. Anyway, Hove and BF are both great, and right across Royal Street from each other. Next time he goes, give him a list and directions--that's what I do ;-)

Anonymous said...

Of course, you are right about "Bourbon French Perfumes!" Dave phoned about 20 minutes ago on his cell from inside the shop. It was cute because I could hear him ask for assistance. He sampled the Voodoo love, the Pluie (didn't like the color?), and the Marguerite. He decided on the Kus Kus! We'll see. . . I can't wait. It's supposed to be a soft, powdery scent--the "scent of New Orleans." I'm just happy he didn't pick out a t-shirt! I'm glad to have a little something from New Orleans! Now, if I could just visit Cafe Du Monde and order a cafe au lait with a begnette! Jeannemarie

BitterGrace said...

Kus Kus is a great choice! Powdery and ultra-feminine. Very old-fashioned in the best possible way. I love it, and wear it pretty often.

I hope you do get to New Orleans one of these days--just sniffing your way around the perfumeries is worth the trip.

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad to hear that you enjoy that one! Yes, I'd love to visit New Orleans one day. Seems as if everyone's been there but me! I would LOVE to see your review of the line sometime, by the way : )