Puckrik On Perfume

Katie Puckrik ON Jul 03, 2009 AT 9:20 am

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Katie Puckrik: Photographer Martin Shaw

Lolita Lempicka Fleur de Corail
By Katie Puckrik

The other day I was dum-de-dumming around the mall, doing my mildly psychotic Sephora ritual where I absent-mindedly cover my face and arms with little scribbles of make-up and squirts of perfume. (The scene in David Lynch’s freaky “Wild At Heart” where Diane Ladd colours in her entire face with red lipstick comes to mind.) By the time I was a patchwork quilt of pretty smells, there was really no distinguishing what I had carelessly spritzed on various nooks and crannies. Except…drifting over the sweet sludge was one accord entirely unexpected in Sephora: incense.

Incense? I love incense! And there seems to be some unspoken taboo against it in mainstream perfume. But this was definitely incense – a mild, bittersweet Nag Champa, to be exact. I was forced to retrace my nose’s steps, past the eye-watering harshness of Caroline Herrera 212, the disconcertingly manly Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, the delightfully loopy Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame – until I found the source. It turned out that my incense was Lolita Lempicka Fleur de Corail.

Lolita Lempicka Fleur de Corail

Lolita Lempicka Fleur de Corail

Created by Maurice Roucel, this eau de parfum is a kicky little number. There’s some sort of citrus fizz at the beginning, and then it pulls the old switcheroo and starts hunkering down into spicy woods and a salty hint of tropical flowers. It’s a hot, thick smell, but not the kind you need to wait for winter to wear. In fact, winter would be all wrong, because Fleur de Corail conjures up a humid night on a summer beach – the driftwood bonfire making the perspiration shine on your skin.

A suspicion of vanilla floats through – did someone drop their toasted marshmallow in the bonfire? And then, thar she blows: Nag Champa, doing its smoky herbal stuff. Its dryness cuts the sweetness of the rest of the composition, toughens it up a bit. At the tail end of the scent, there’s a resemblance to Bulgari Black, with its hot vanilla-rubber vibe. Fleur de Corail references nature without smelling at all natural. And that’s part of its allure.

When not sniffing up a storm, Katie Puckrik is a TV presenter, journalist and performer, as well as the author of a memoir, Shooting From the Lip.

Click here to visit Katie’s blog for more perfume rants and rambles.

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