Si (Chloro – Cologne)

2015-03-09 12.32.03 (2)At first Si, by Schiaparelli (Schiaparelli 1957) is slightly smoky with vibrant springlike florals, clear and dainty green notes and aldehydes – Schiaparelli labels this a “Chloro-Cologne” meaning a green scent.  There’s also a special emphasis on rose, jasmine, tuberose and lily-of-the-valley.  In general, I’ve noticed that lily-of-the-valley is often a strong note in Schiapparelli fragrances.

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Si has a layered effect, like a pretty vintage tulle dress.  It’s powdery and feminine without being cloying or losing its crisp bite.  If a color could describe Si, it would be the iconic Schiaparelli hot pink – classic, dramatic and slightly edgy.  I really like this one with its fresh opening warming into a sandalwood and vanilla beauty in the late drydown.

So, last week I said that I had many questions about Carmen after reading A Pocket Book of Great Operas, and one of those questions was about the plot.  I felt that there was a striking similarity between Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and the plot of Carmen.  I thought that I might not be totally delusional in seeing the similarity but so far I can’t seem to find any other published piece that concurs with my observation.  So, either I really am off or…  I don’t know what.

I mean, the plot of Carmen, as I understand it, is basically that a man is drawn to a beautiful woman who never commits to or loves any of the many men with whom she has erotic interactions.   The man gives her his heart and she decides to throw it away for another man who can give her what she “really wants” and, in the end, she finds herself dead.   And then there’s The Sun Also Rises, where a very attractive woman who has sexual interactions with many men and is very popular with men, draws the heart of a man/men who lose her to a man/men/situation that offers her what she’s looking for, but in the end she finds herself not dead, but in a terrible state. They both involve Spanish bull-fighting scenes of great romantic/sexual/emotional importance too.  So…  am I being an nitwit or are these plots similar?  Was Hemingway inspired by Carmen? <cricket chirp>

Anyway.  Whatever the case may be, I love A Pocket Book of Great Operas.  It’s a charming little book that does indeed fit in pockets.  I’ll probably bring it with me to the opera in May (just as a quick, familiar reference that can fit in my pocket).  I’ll discuss the rest of this book in next week’s post.

Until Friday.  🙂


my Salut de Schiaparelli eau de parfum, presumably, from 1939

Salut de Schiaparelli eau de parfum, from 1939

Salut de Schiaparelli was launched by Schiaparelli in 1934.  It was supposedly intended for young women but like many children’s shows, there are themes clearly intended for a more mature audience.

Salut (Schiaparelli 1934) is intoxicatingly attractive, although I wouldn’t call it a warm or enveloping fragrance. Instead it is reigned by an earthy yet urbane lily-of-the-valley (a more sophisticated and green Muguet Des Bois lily-of-the-valley) surrounded by a mysterious darkness.  An ad from 1939 claims that, “…a whole flower garden emerges from white petals set against a blue satin background.”  However, again, to my nose the “blue satin background” is more of a dense, slightly dangerous, but lovely and almost inviting, dark, damp fog.  I’m not usually a fan of lily-of-the-valley perfumes, but this one is complex and quite ingratiating.

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Eventually during the drydown the strong lily-of-the-valley merges with the darkness (or blue satin) and the overall effect becomes very light, bright and almost angelic.  It keeps becoming softer as time progresses.

Not much can be found about Salut online, it was supposedly discontinued after only twenty years on the market (in 1954), but according to a website devoted to Schiaparelli perfumes, they believe the top notes are: aldehydes, citrus, citronella, geranium and possibly hyssop.  Middle notes are: lily-of-the-valley, jasmine, ylang ylang, neroli, gardenia, narcissus, hyacinth, and tuberose.  And, base notes are: sandalwood, oakmoss, vetiver, and benzoin. I think I can also detect rose, musk, bergamot and maybe even a little of opoponax…

"S"  for Schiaparelli

“S” for Schiaparelli

Given the stressful nature of this week for me, there was something nice about the somewhat somber, but very pretty lily-of-the-valley meets late Art Deco aldehydic sophistication in Salut.  I hope this weekend provides a further respite from it all…


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Shocking, launched in 1937 by Schiaparelli is a sweet, spicy olfactory treat with notes of rose, jasmine honey and tarragon.  Wearing it is like wrapping a warm vintage sweater around you on a chilly day…

DSC07569 (2)Last night I wore Shocking by Schiaparelli to the emergency room…  It was perfect actually because it’s such a light, gentle but warm scent (not particularly shocking ? Although maybe, “shocking”) that I doubt it bothered anyone around me in the slightest and it was nice to wear.

My son needed to be seen for a high fever and, of course, it was late and nothing else was open…  Poor little guy.  He’s doing a bit better today.

This post is being put up later in the day than usual because I’ve been a bit distracted.  And, I am now too, which is why it’s short.

Thankfully we have a few days off this week and that will be enormously helpful…   Until Wednesday, have a nice beginning of your week.  Stay warm.  🙂