Boomtown Boudoir


Hermes Caleche
August 17, 2007, 3:30 am
Filed under: Perfume | Tags: , , ,

Like the naive, conservative character of Janet Weiss in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, something prissy and pallid about Hermes’ Caleche begs for a comedic debauchery. It’s the sort of low-grade debutante of a perfume about which the only thing that can be said is a half-truthful, half-pandering, “gosh, what a pretty little thing!” It smells of the seashell soaps collecting dust in someone’s maiden aunt’s powder room and ivory pantyhose and smug virginity, all tied up in a crisp pink hair-bow. It’s a fresh change of nylon panties trimmed with a little rose at the top every single morning before a breakfast of dry toast and frozen orange juice. It’s a young life dessicated by too much contact with the wrong type of older women: the ones who tell you that a tampon might compromise your hymen and smile jealously through thin lips as they practice bust-firming exercises.

Hermes Caleche is roses, jasmine, iris, and some shrivelled-up woods blurred over and tinted up by the chameleonic effect of aldehydes; a creepy old sepia portrait colored in by a mawkish hand. When I put it on, I keep waiting for the olfactory punchline, a la Rocky Horror: an outrageously filthy civet note like that which occurs in the similarly composed Joy, or the lascivious banana tones that come out in the also similarly composed Arpege, the larger-than-life hot-air blimpishness of Chanel No. 5. No luck. Caleche stays sweet just like a good girl should. And frankly, I’m bored sick of her.

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