Bond No 9 Broadway Nite

Perfumes with a strong violet note tend to go in one of two directions: powdery, candied violets or green violets. Broadway Nite definitely falls under the second category. It opens green and bracing, which makes the always-pleasing-but-somewhat-cliche violet/rose combination feel new and exciting. Broadway Nite has a sparkling feel that I associate with aldehydes; imagine a bottle of champagne on a Broadway diva’s dressing room table. Eventually Broadway Nite becomes creamier, with vanilla and musk creeping in. If you smell closely, you can detect the scent of the Lancome lipstick (Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose employs the same lovely trick) that the diva applies before she belts her heart out on stage.

Broadway Nite was aptly named- it is undoubtedly the most flamboyant of Maurice Roucel’s creations. Broadway Nite is a Josephine Baker kind of gal, the type to buy her pet cheetah a diamond leash and take it for walks along the Champs-Élysées. She pities those who save false eyelashes and red lipstick for special occasions. I find this kind of high-personality brassiness delightful, but I suppose it could also be considered vulgar in some circles. Broadway Nite reminds me of my best friend’s mother, a former broadway actress and the most fabulous woman I know. I can give it no higher recommendation.

Josephine Baker. Too fierce for words!

Broadway Nite can be found at Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, Bond No 9 boutiques (which are all in New York), and on the Bond No 9 website, http://www.bondno9.com/. It is available for $45 for 7 ml, $140 for 50 ml, and $205 for 100 ml.

Disclaimer: I got a sample of Broadway Nite at Saks Fifth Avenue.

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Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron Aimez-Moi opens with the prettiest candied violets. It feels so delicate that you fear that it might burst into tears at the slightest provocation. A mint note makes Aimez-Moi feel cool-toned, especially to an oriental lover like myself. With a name like Aimez-Moi (Love Me), I had assumed that this treasure from the Caron house would be similar in tone to Marilyn Monroe singing “I Wanna Be Loved By You” in Some Like It Hot. Not seductive, exactly; alluring, yes, but strangely innocent at the same time.

I was wrong, for two reasons. First, Aimez-Moi is a rather dry violet. It does not have the creaminess of Marilyn’s exquisite skin. I have only really ever smelled violet in combination with rose before, so the dryness really surprised me. Second, after that initial phase passes, Aimez-Moi is no longer quite so fragile. While it remains soft, it reminds me of two fragrances, Lolita Lempicka (the anise) and Bond No 9 Broadway Nite (the slightly green violets), that are both known to be powerhouses.

Aimez-Moi is a relatively new Caron (it was released in 1996), and I do not find it at all old-fashioned. The anise-violet combination is just as lovely and delicious as it was in Lolita Lempicka, which makes Aimez-Moi a great choice for people who were overwhelmed by the sweetness of LL. I really find Aimez-Moi to be rather beautiful. It makes me imagine one of those naturally gorgeous blondes who always has a dreamy, far-away look in her bright blue eyes. In the end, a better song for Aimez-Moi would have been “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, from Dreamgirls. Aimez-Moi commands, “You’re gonna love me”, and I cannot help but obey.

Aimez-Moi can be found for very good prices at online discounters.

Disclaimer: The best SAs ever at Saks Fifth Avenue made me a sample of Aimez-Moi.