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This year 2012 is the 30th Anniversary of the launch of this magical fragrance Niki de Saint Phalle, last month was the 10 year anniversary of Niki de Saint Phalle’s death. Born Catherine-Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle (29 October 1930 – 21 May 2002), Niki de Saint Phalle was a French painter, sculptor and film maker. She came from a titled French banking family that lost all their money and had to move to the USA to run the American arm of the family bank. At 18 she eloped with childhood sweetheart Harry Matthews and while her husband studied music at Harvard, Niki started experimenting with different styles of art.
Photos Stolen Niki de Saint Phalle
It was Gaudi’s work in Spain that really opened de Saint Phalle’s eyes to the wondrous and breathtaking possibilities available for an inspired artist in all sorts of materials. Her inspirations would come to include objects of violence, women’s societal roles, size, architecture and the tarot, plus many more. Her work was ground breaking and inspirational in turn and is still copied, homaged and referenced today.
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
So, to the fragrance. Like everything else Niki de Saint Phalle has bequeathed to the world the juice is extraordinary. The opening is simultaneously green, sweet, herbal and fruity, it is strong and powerful and will certainly put some backbone in you. It is almost like a call to arms. The one thing you don’t get in the first few minutes is warmth, it is a lone sirens call across the cool waters, yearning for your warmth to give it life.
As we move into the second stage it’s like the fragrance has picked up your humanity, there is an almost sweat like saltiness on top of the florals and herbs. It becomes warm and inviting and musky, like you had a shower last night and perfumed yourself before bed. This is the slept-in sexy Sunday morning wake up with arousing kisses next day. Spicy, erotic, the leather and ylang-ylang here are buttery, fleshy, worn and I think the oakmoss gives a real dark dusky whiff to the undercurrent. Over the top of this sexy and hefty slab base plays the sharpness of carnation, cedar and the mint that keeps reappearing when you least expect it. The other flowers are there but unpickable for me, melding seamlessly into a garden that has been ruffled by warm evening breezes.
Dry down is a whisper of itself that fades and is gone in about 4 hours on my skin to the point where I lose it completely. As someone who rarely wears the same scent for the full lengthy of a day Niki de Saint Phalle is different, when it’s gone I spritz again. I am sad to lose this wonderful journey, it’s like I’m wearing the beautiful, quirky, confronting, yearning heart of a world shaping artist and mother. Through the life of the scent there is that interesting dichotomy of warm and cool, inviting and abrasive, calm and charged. Do seek out and try this, it’s worth it.
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
According to Fragrantica
Top notes; Artemisia, mint, green notes, peach and bergamot
Middle notes; carnation, patchouli, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, cedar and rose
Base notes; leather, sandalwood, amber, musk and oakmoss
Thanks for coming along on my fragrant journey today,