Cities and perfumes have one thing in common: They sell dreams.
Whether they are mythical or real, cities inspire us, bring out the best and the worst in us, make and break us, and have promised glory and delivered doom. They evoke strong opinion and fight hard for a place in our hearts. So naming a perfume after a city can be tricky, because so many imaginations are already out there and in general no one will agree with your olfactory version of Paris, Bombay or New York.
And, of course cities change incredibly fast, one just has to look at the rapid transformation of places like Shanghai. When Patricia Nicolaï created New York in 1989 her idea of the city must have been different from the one we have now. Back in the late 80’s New York was still regarded as the true and only melting pot and whether you believed that to be a good or a bad thing depended on your political couleur.
|My visual interpretation of New York, Parfums de Nicolaï|
The first time I was wearing it it created a veritable rainbow in my mind, and this will be forever the image I'll have when I think of the scent. PdN N.Y. is indeed a celebration of the melting pot New York, and all the colours of the rainbow come and say Hello while it dries down after a strong citrus beginning. There is orange spice and red flower, green and blue freshness, and most surprisingly, this rather old fashioned poudre, like a Guerlain compact, for which I have chosen the purple. To manage this kaleidoscope without making a mess is no small feast. It is classified as a masculine scent but I think nowadays it would suit both genders. I’d happily wear it. It doesn’t set my world on fire, but it’s beautifully made, slightly formal and it makes me a bit sentimental. I would certainly like that on a man and so my How and where is more for the boys this time.
How and where to wear:
First date, while the conversation will flow from A to Z and back, so will your perfume
Massimo Vignelli's 1972 New York City Subway Map (image: nycsubway.org)