Wild Desire

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Wild Desire, a vintage solid “perfume stick,” by the brilliant Hazel Bishop (she really was a genius), reminded me of Tabu when I first applied it.  However, I had my husband do a comparison smell between Tabu and Wild Desire and he pointed out that Wild Desire is, as he phrased it, “lower…” (meaning that if Tabu were a violin, Wild Desire would be a cello, etc.).   Then I asked him whether he preferred Tabu or Wild Desire on me and we both agreed that Wild Desire is actually the better of the two.  There’s something gentle and serenely beautiful about Wild Desire.

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Then came the drydown and oh my goodness…  Wild Desire became fantastically airy, powdery, soft, balsamic and tinged with the perfect hint of lemon (a little reminiscent of vintage Jean Naté).  It is gorgeous.  And, frankly, considering that it seems to be fairly unknown and somewhat cheap on the internet I’m probably going to be a bit greedy and start hording this scent when I can.  Seriously.  I think it’s that good.  However, sadly, I haven’t been able to find many specifics about Wild Desire, but in period adds it is promoted as, “provocative” and “oriental”…

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I found it interesting to note that many people selling this solid perfume on sites like Etsy thought that it was a lipstick.  I can see the misunderstanding, since the perfume is dark, almost lipstick-like in color and the container looks very much like a tube of lipstick… However, I’m positive it’s a unique, very early 1950’s solid “perfume stick” (as evidenced by an add found here), and by the way, it has lasted well.  The fragrance is still very much intact and the longevity is excellent.

Perhaps another reason some people mislabeled this perfume variety as a lipstick is because Hazel Bishop, a cosmetics innovator who was originally an organic chemist for Standard Oil Company, created long-lasting, “no-smear” lipsticks that were very popular.  Her lipsticks were in fact revolutionary when they first came out in the early 1950’s as a part of her very own, Hazel Bishop Inc.  Sadly though, she only managed to maintain control of her namesake company until 1954.

She went on to become a stockbroker and then an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.  She passed away in 1998 at the age of 92.