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terça-feira, 22 de março de 2016

Shop Your Fragrance Wardrobe: Jean-Louis Scherrer

by: Jodi Battershell


Welcome to another installment of Shop Your Fragrance Wardrobe, in which we take a fresh look at fragrances that have been in our collections for some time. Join us for the journey and share your experiences of revisiting old favorites.
I was still in primary school when the original Jean-Louis Scherrer fragrance was introduced. Though I was an avid reader of fashion magazines until my late 20s, the haute couture designs of Scherrer were somehow never on my radar, so the fragrances certainly were not, either. Were these sold at American department stores? Did the brand advertise in the United States? I can honestly state that I never heard of the man, the brand or the fragrances until I joined Fragrantica in 2008. (My apologies to the late M. Scherrer, as I am 100% certain this was an oversight on my part and is in no way a reflection on his talent or legacy.)
Once I began learning about fragrances and swapping with Fragrantica members, I found myself gravitating toward a category that was largely out of fashion in 2008: the classic oakmoss-laden chypre. It began when I purchased Mitsouko, then progressed to include Niki de Saint PhalleIvoire de Balmain and newer but still classic-smelling chypre Cabaret de Grès. My fervent chypre obsession would continue for a couple years, and though I no longer pursue any category of fragrances with such intensity, the chypres are still a category I enjoy very much.
Sometime in 2008, I swapped for some samples of Jean-Louis Scherrer. I received three generous vials of the EDP, and I was smitten from the first sniff. My passionate review from 2008 is still up on the site:
(Ugh! Does anyone else cringe when they go back and read their earliest reviews?)
I hoarded those vials, dispensing the precious drops only for the most special occasions. I knew I wanted a full bottle, but by the time I was ready to buy in 2009, the EDP was scarce and my attention was constantly drifting elsewhere thanks to frequent sampling. The price and availability of Jean-Louis Scherrer EDP never hit the sweet spot when I had money to spend on fragrances and eventually I stopped looking for it.
As luck would have it, I acquired a partial bottle of the EDT in a swap sometime in 2010. I found it lacked the longevity and fullness of the EDP, but was still potent enough to get through the workday, and the scent was largely the same. I was a happy camper and the fragrance was worn frequently for the first year or so.
Over time, my nose and my interests changed. I stopped chasing the vintage scents that had fascinated me in my first few years as a Fragrantica member (though I acknowledge their role in educating my nose and helping me understand my own preferences) and began turning my focus towards new and modern fragrances. Scherrer remained a favorite, as did its sister scent Scherrer 2, but the original is one I was no longer reaching for with any frequency.
More than a year had gone by since I last tried it, and when I gave it a spritz one Saturday afternoon, I learned that absence does not always make the heart grow fonder. Oh, such an unpleasant and unfamiliar aroma! The flowers were too loud, with a big, honking carnation aroma overtaking all. The animalic notes were too strong. Gone were the soapy aldehydes, the musty oakmoss and the woody notes.
Perhaps my bottle had turned? I wondered. I believe the person who passed it to me in the swap had purchased it new, though who knows how long it may have sat in a warehouse somehwere... I held the bottle up to the light and no, it had not turned cloudy. There were no particulates floating. The color of the liquid was the same golden-green I remembered and it was uniform throughout.
I sprayed a bit on paper to test it. On the test strip, the complex aroma I had fallen in love with was still there.
Oh, Jean-Louis Scherrer! We're breaking up, but it's not you. It's me!
Or more specifically, my skin.
Some claim there is no science behind our perception that our personal skin chemistry alters fragrances. I cannot speak of such matters from a scientific point, but anecdotal evidence and my own personal experience lead me to believe skin chemistry plays some role. It was clear that Jean-Louis Scherrer and I were no longer compatible, so I put the bottle in the box of fragrances I was setting aside to give to friends or sell on the auction site.
But here is where the story takes a twist!
"What do you have in there? Let me smell those," Mr. NLS said. My husband's appreciation of fragrances has increased significantly in the last few years, thanks in part to all the sniffing we get to do in conjunction with my work on Fragrantica. We both smell any new fragrance that comes into our home and we have a large shelf of "shared" fragrances (not all of which were marketed as unisex scents) that we both enjoy. His personal fragrance shelf includes a few that others might identify as distinctly feminine, such as Fragonard Fragonard and Fragonard Capucine. He lovesHèrmes Eau des Merveilles—on himself!
He sprayed the Scherrer on the hairy part of his forearm, sniffed it, nodded and walked away.
The next morning, I noticed the bottle of Jean-Louis Scherrer had moved from the "outgoing" box to his fragrance shelf, where it sits alongside such masculine classics as Bill Blass Mr. BlassCumming and L'Occitane Eau de Toilette. He wears the Scherrer once a week and on him, thankfully, it smells as pleasant and balanced as the EDP smelled on me when I first fell in love with it in 2008. All's well that ends well!
What about you, dear readers? Have you ever revisited an old love and found it no longer works for you? Do you ever give fragrances that don't work for you to another family member? Tell us about your experiences of shopping your own fragrance wardrobes in the comments!

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