...Merci, Monsieur Cardin. Merci.
The homonymous Cardin perfume launched in 1976 and was the house’s first feminine scent. Even though it is not my favorite Cardin perfume, I decided to feature it in this month’s Forget me Not, because it is indeed, almost, if not altogether forgotten: It is listed in neither the Basenotes database, nor in Osmoz, and I fear it might soon be completely lost in Lethe. (Note: I am reviewing the much rarer parfum concentration, which I own, and as such cannot speak of the more common EdT splash and spray bottles that can still be found at online perfume discounters.) Cardin’s citrusy top notes are ever so slightly damaged by time but this does not result in drama: a fleeting moment of mildly bruised freshness and then it’s all a distant memory. Immediately after the deceptively mild opening, we plunge into a world of dense, raw and sultry essences, which although expertly blended, tend to deliver quite a blow to the nose that is more used to today’s modern, airier, transparent fragrances. Middle and base notes seem to arrive concurrently, building a web of interlaced aromas of erotic blossoms and thick, prodding, musky, mossy nuances. Beautiful roses, manage to remain defiantly tender, even as the unmistakable, sweet darkness of pure ylang-ylang embraces them, along with highly indolic jasmine. If this already sounds overwhelmingly delirious, I dare you to imagine that all the while, our floral notes are also being drenched by the most audacious civet and musk notes. Do you get the picture? Yes, this stuff is intense. An hour or so later, Cardin’s fervor relents. Our bouquet starts breathing more deeply, revealing a beautiful, earthy oakmoss and labdanum base and manages to present a profile that is at once soapy clean and dirty with musk and civet at once. The scent becomes progressively smoother and creamier, bringing to mind Ivoire’s drydown, only better blended, with a slightly more muted oakmoss note which does not demand all of one’s attention. If I had to sum Cardin into one word, it would be perfume-y, just as you’d imagine a vintage aldehydic mossy floral to be. Although it is beautiful, I have to admit it smells quite dated, as well as strangely familiar. Despite the copious amounts of civet and musk in its composition, it doesn’t manage to be quite sexy. It is however, totally worth sniffing for sentimental reasons, for this paints a very accurate picture of many perfumes of its time, as well as for getting a blast of its furious animalic tendencies.
All readers who leave a comment to this entry are automatically entered in a draw for a sample of Cardin Parfum. The draw will be open for a week’s time and winners will be announced next Monday.
Images: www.encyclopedia.com and Author’s Own