Suzanne's Perfume Journal

Marron Chic by Nez a Nez is helping me feel the part of the cultured brunette. (And it was sent to me by Jasia, which in and of itself gave me a boost of confidence.) Marron Chic is a deliciously odd and rather dramatic iris perfume that makes me think of dark-haired French actresses who have an off-kilter quality about them—an intellectual quirkiness that is not only endearing to their fans, but ensures that theirs is the kind of beauty which can’t easily be copied. Marron Chic smells green-tinged, dark and inky at its start (in the same way that indigo ink smells bitterly green, despite its name) and though this inkiness never fully departs (and I wouldn't want it to), the scent develops in such a way that it seems to mainly straddle two worlds: the cosmetic and the gourmand, both of them theatrically so. In other words, this isn’t the dainty smell of lip gloss and a Hershey’s chocolate kiss; it is the smell of a full complement of vintage cosmetics and chocolate that is not so much chocolaty in its own right, but a dark shell housing something that smells of cherries and liqueur. Imagine French actress Audrey Tautou sitting at her dressing table, getting made up by a stylist while nibbling chocolate-covered cherries and inking contracts with a fountain pen—that’s how I would describe Marron Chic if I had only one sentence to do so. In the same way that Audrey Tautou is the kind of actress who can play the comedic leading lady or the serious femme fatale—because she brings to every role she plays an awareness that life is comic and serious and every shade of gray in between—Marron Chic embraces a similar awareness. It is glamorous and more than a bit mysterious, but it has a sense of playful fun about it, too. (Any serious perfume that has a whiff of chocolate-covered cherries about it can’t be all serious.) For those who love a violet note in perfume, I should add that the violet note in Marron Chic really stands out, adding another layer of coolness to the scent, while at the same time contributing to its expensive-cosmetic smell. ~ (Created by perfumer Karine Chevallier, Marron Chic eau de parfum has notes of kumquat, orange blossom, iris, karo karoundé, violet, cocoa flower, benzoin, labdanum, vetiver and cocoa beans. It can be purchased at LuckyScent.com where a 100-ml bottle is currently $165.)

Yours Truly in April 2011 and February 2012

And though the trip isn't until the end of May, I'm making a list of everything I want to sniff.  So far this includes Olivia Gicacobetti's fragrances at IUNX (especially L'Ether); Serge Lutens bois-series of fragrances (which I'm ashamed to admit I've never sampled) as well as a number of his Paris-exclusives; and from the Guerlain boutique, Guerlain Cruel GardeniaCuir Beluga, Angelique Noire and Bois d'Arménie from the L’Art et la Matière line (as they are the respective favorites of favorite bloggers of mine) and 04 London from Les Voyages Olfactifs line (which Jasia loves and wrote a most exquisite review of here).

Oh, and the newly launched Neela Vermeire Créations fragrances, which every blogger and her brother has sniffed and ooh'd and ahh'd over by now.  I could order samples, but you know what? I’m often behind the times in terms of new fragrance launches and that doesn’t really bother me. I'll wait to smell them at the Jovoy boutique in Paris and let Ines’s review of Mohur fuel my enthusiasm until then. Because I'm saving my every penny for this trip. (And for my hair!!)

March 1, 2012:

Jovoy Paris also carries the Puredistance line. Wonder if I'll get to eye up the new 100-ml bottles?

Photos my own, except bottle images. Marron Chic bottle image is from Fragrantica.com and the Puredistance 100-ml bottle image is from the Puredistance website, where the scent can be purchased.

At the Moment . . .


I'm setting my sights on Marron Chic, in terms of both my fragrance and my hair. After years of having my hair highlighted blonde, I decided to return to a color that is closer to the hair I was born with. (When I tell people I’ve returned to my natural color, my husband is quick to remind me that if this were truly the case, my hair would be brown peppered with gray—a color he says he can live with, since it would save us a little bundle of cash. Of course, that’s easy for him to say: The man is turning 51 this month and, aside from thinning on top—which is why he keeps it cropped extremely short—he doesn’t have a wrinkle on his face and his hair is as dark as the day I first met him.

One of the reasons for the color change is that I’m going to Paris this Spring to meet up with two of my favorite perfumistas: Croatian perfume blogger Ines (of All I Am – A Redhead) and her pal Jasia (aka Asali) who guest-blogs at Ines’s site and at Ca Fleure Bon and who hails from Copenhagen. In an attempt to feel more in tune with the company I’ll be keeping and the sophistication of Paris itself, I’ve been trying to achieve a more refined look—and while there’s only so much that hair color and a newly-waxed brow line can do (in other words, I can’t promise I won’t be blonde, tan and swigging cheap beer again by July), in the meantime…

Photo of my mister and a young friend of ours who loves creative writing and chocolate icing.

At the Moment: Marron Chic and Planning for Paris


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