I consider these little sample vials precious, so haven't hit them much. Yesterday was the third time, in fact. But it may be the first time it was just them, all day. XII and XIII, that is. First time all alone, perhaps because sometimes I'll try something on bare skin but after something else already is developing...the "I'm so excited to see this I want to try some now!" slip. Or perhaps because one of the times I was for sure in a sniffing orgy with a friend in perfume.
This time, just me, those two vials, and passing hours.
Out of the bottle (vial), they continued to be what all the first reports were. One bitter tea patch mash up, the other cold earth spice spiked leather. NO, more than that. I'll come back to that, in fact, because they are complex and interesting and challenging and I'm still not sure if I am seduced by them but I am intrigued.
It's the creature that comes out after that seduced me. My goodness, folks...these things morph. And for all the demands the opening makes, the drydown is...easily beautiful. Hints of Attrape-Couer wafting in the air above your skin, kind of like how En Passant can sometimes haunt you with Apres L'Ondee. Which means you can start your spray/day projecting I Am Complex and Interesting And You Will Have To Spend Some Time With Me to Figure Me Out (Though It May Not Be Easy).
And then end it with purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
I am making a note to return to this, to do a more traditional job of catching XII and XIII in words. But for now, I thought I had to share. Share the discovery that yes, after hours and hours of catching whiffs of this delightful, deep, and yet ghostly cloud, I was able to confirm that it came from spending time with The Hours.
If you find yourself in a position to sample them, do so. And sample nothing else. (Fight that urge! Fight it!! Bring vials, remember? Make up samples to take home. Nothing on your skin but Time!!!) Then engage with those openings...they're doozies. But wait for the waft in the drydown. I am telling you, I think Mathilde Laurent is haunting herself.
See Denyse Beaulieu's reviews of XII and XIII in her wonderful Grain de Musc blog. She'll take you through the notes, as well as illuminate backstory to their creation. These reviews are part of a series on Les Heures, along with an interview of perfumer Mathilde Laurent.
☛ My sample of XII and XIII was prepared by me in a Cartier store, with permission from the sales associate. I *have* mentioned keeping vials with you, yes?