Now, my mind is searching for all sorts of memories of perfumes I have worn in the past, and I wonder where some of the long-since disappeared bottles have gone, my original Shiseido Feminite du Bois included. Could I have been dumb enough to throw them away in a move (or seven), many years ago? I hope not. I hope that I gave them to friends or donated them to Goodwill. But most of all, I wish I had them back now.
In the case of Vivienne Westwood Boudoir (created in 1998 by Martin Gras), there has been a happy reunion. I remember the period in my life when I wore this, it was about 10 years ago, and I was between relationships (read: single and loving it). I went to a lot of metal shows, became a fixture in my favorite dive bar, had short, spiky hair, wore a lot of black winged liquid eyeliner and had more confidence than I probably should have had. Boudoir was the perfect perfume for me; it oozes sex appeal, hints at innocence but never quite realizes it, it truly personifies its name. It is something I would wear when I was alone to feel more beautiful, and I would always wear it out, because it attracted a lot of attention.
Notes: aldehydes, bergamot, hyacinth, viburnum, marigold, orange blossom, jasmine, orris, red rose, narcissus, carnation, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, amber, vanilla, tobacco leaves, sandalwood and patchouli
I have a lot of positive associations with Boudoir. It reminds me of feeling free and young, feeling desirable and desirous. Wearing it again all these years later has done something positive for my ego, and my mood. It is a beast of a perfume, it speaks loudly and at a fever-pitch, and it takes no prisoners. The much-talked about skank factor is still there, but does not seem as noticeable on me as it used to be. Perhaps there has been a change in formulation, or maybe it's my perception or body chemistry. Now, the sweet, heady floral punch is balanced by the perfect amount of amber. It's not the resinous, natural amber of something like Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan, but more of a vintage perfume amber, something that smells aged and dusty. This is a classic, sensual floriental perfume made very, very sexy.
Boudoir seems to have quite a polarizing effect on perfume lovers. Fans of it are very devoted, but there are not too many of us left (in fact, fewer and fewer all the time, partly due to the lack of availability in some countries). I can understand why some have deemed it cloying, some have even said it is best suited for Edwardian prostitutes. It is powerful, and if you are not in love with it, it can seem to take over your immediate space in quite an unforgiving way.
I, for one, am so happy to have reconnected with Boudoir. My husband (and even my cat!) have responded very favorably towards it, which encourages me to use it all the more. These days, I enjoy being surrounded by a cloud of clean-but-dirty, slightly powdery, cleavage-enhancing fragrance. It is the scent equivalent of a satin chemise with opulent French lace trim in a nude-pink shade. It feels good, it smells good and it makes me smile. There's not much more one could hope for, is there?
What I would like to know from you, readers, is what perfume do you like to wear that amps up your sex-appeal? What is it about the scent that gives it those sensual qualities?
[I found my bottle from a third-party seller on Amazon.com, a 1oz bottle for $44.95]