This winter, I never moved my bike from the back porch to the basement. This was a huge difference from last winter in Cambridge, when the snowbanks were high enough that you couldn't tell which ones concealed cars, and the bike lane disappeared for months. As a result of all that cold and grey, I got on a serious amber kick, culminating in the purchase of a big old brick of Annick Goutal's Ambre Fétiche, a sticky (but still somehow so dry!) syrup blanketbomb whose bottle alone felt as wrong to the touch this winter as my all-wool leggings.
During this weird nether-weather winter, I got hooked on Narciso Rodriguez for Her. Something about NR for Her came especially alive for me, some bright cottony aspect that blooms best on sunny, chilly days, a burst of warmth that I don't usually smell until at least the third spray, and then puff, there it is (that there even is a third spray of this not-timid fragrance should reveal how hooked I am). It wears like a mood ring, knows when to scale back its musky bits and when to purr, shimmers and recedes throughout the day like a scarf that knows how to read a room's temperature in every sense of the word. NR for Her seemed even to go with the clothes that I wore all non-winter: a thick canvas jacket and fingerless gloves.
NR for Her and Lana Del Rey's "Video Games" have more in common than my inability to quit them
I ignored NR for Her when it came out, in part because I'd heard (and agreed at first sniff) that it was "reminiscent of Miss Dior Cherie," a perfume I get too much of a cheap beer note from to enjoy wearing, though smelling it on others does take me back to my college days. (To be clear, I'm still fond of cheap beer, but these days I prefer to enjoy it in contexts other than basements coated in spilled beer, party sweat, and a cloud of competing Bath & Body Works body sprays. Sweet Pea! You were so good to me. Do college girls still wear Bath & Body Works sprays? Or is it all Victoria's Secret Extreme Sexy Dream Harbor SexyHot Angels' Mist?)
[image via Rodarte's tumblr]
There are perfumes I love more than Narciso Rodriguez for Her, but I haven't had such a monogamous run with a single fragrance since Lolita Lempicka circa 2001. I would call it a rut if I weren't so eager to coat myself with NR for Her, even today--the day before the first day of actual spring, 73 degrees outside and everyone in Cambridge playing tennis and wearing t-shirts--when I'm tempted, but can't quite bring myself, to mark the season change with something new.