Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tango, Aftelier Perfumes
When you’ve been obsessed with perfume as long as I have, you rarely meet a scent that seems unique. Everything reminds you of something else. There is nothing new under the nose. The only sui generis perfume in my collection is Fairchild from Anya’s Garden—at least, it used to be. It lost that status with my first whiff of Tango. I immediately recognized the weird, lovable combination of champaca and roasted seashells that makes Fairchild irresistible to me. Tango did have some fleeting top notes preceding the flowery seashells, but I can’t identify them, and in any case I was glad to see them go so quickly. I found them weird in an unlovable way, with a strange undertone of camphor and hot rubber.
Tango reminded me so strongly of Fairchild that I put a dab of Anya’s creation on my other hand to see if my memory was playing tricks. It was, sort of. Yes, the champaca / seashell loveliness is something the two perfumes share, and it gives both of them a distinct smoky sweetness, but that’s really where the similarity ends. While Fairchild is essentially a sharp, green floral featuring jasmine, Tango is an earthy oriental with a floral heart. Fairchild’s base is all brine and moss, and it’s quite sexy in a funky sea nymph kind of way. Tango goes a completely different direction, finishing with a pretty, delicate spice blend. It winds up a feisty kitten, rather than the femme fatale its name suggests.
I’m afraid that sounds like faint praise, but it’s actually a recommendation. Kittens are a lot easier to handle than temptresses, and the gentle base of Tango makes it an easy scent to wear, dubious top notes notwithstanding. Now that I think about it, I realize that Tango reminds me of yet another perfume, Ginger Ciao by Yosh—not because the notes are similar, but because it makes the same journey from unpleasantly odd to warm and cuddly. I doubt I’d ever fall in love with the opening of either scent, but knowing I’m headed for such soft sweetness makes the first part of the trip easy to bear.
Tango had pretty good lasting power—3 solid hours, followed by a quick fade. Sillage is restrained.
Flowers and Cats, Paul Gauguin, 1899