Confession: I'm no fan of Salvador Dalí. I don't "get" him, and I have no desire to try. Is that bad?
Once upon a time, I believed that my inability to fathom his brilliance was a symptom of some grave personal deficiency. Everyone knows the man was a genius!-- but still my heart refused to leap, twang, ache, or swell at the sight of his paintings. Those forced and pompous images, full of deliberately cryptic symbolism yet devoid of emotional substance, continually frustrated my attempts to connect with the soul that made them. No matter how long I stared at them, they never flowered into meaning for me.
I had no such difficulty with Miró, Magritte, or de Chirico. But then, none of them possessed personalities half as infuriating as Dalí's. Just like his modern-day heir Lady Gaga, he delighted in outrageous behavior for the sake of raising other people's hackles. I am edgy, revolutionary, groundbreaking, such people love to proclaim, even unsolicited. I shock you, don't I?
No, you BORE me, I want to reply. Deeply, thoroughly, to sobs. But they'd never hear me... let alone believe me.
Salvador Dalí himself did not design the following two perfumes, so there really is no reason for me to hold a grudge against them. Only their bottles attempt a Dalíesque level of tomfoolery-- but are not ludicrous enough to succeed. If you, like me, avoided them on general principle due to their name affiliation with the great provocateur, relax. They're just regular perfumes. You can take them anywhere without fear of embarrassment.
Dalissime (Parfums Salvador Dalí)
Released by Parfums Salvador Dalí in 1994, five years after Dalí's death and one hundred years after his wife Gala's birth, this sweet Mark Buxton composition offers a montage of idyllic summer images-- sunshine in a cloudless sky, sweet floral breezes across the back patio, ripe fruits in honey spooned up from a chilled glass bowl. If all this sounds commonplace, you clearly need a vacation. Incentive: that nice, raspy little animalic note lending subterranean interest when you least expect it. You'll may even find yourself focusing harder so as not to miss it-- which will give the neighborhood bumblebees time to sample the fruit salad nectar remaining at the bottom of your cup.
Scent Elements: Blackcurrant, jasmine, peach, apricot, ambergris, rose, vanilla
Daliflor Eau de Toilette (Parfums Salvador Dalí)
I don't know whether to love or laugh at this bottle. Based on the graceless main figure of Femme à la Tete de Roses and sporting a bizarre floral toque where a head ought to be, its very ugliness is bizarrely appealing. It seems to cry out for affection, as does the perfume it houses. By turns herbal, floral, savory, and sweet, it grows curiouser and curiouser with every passing second. It's got the same perverse accord of hot steamed white rice that I loved in Amanda Lepore's fragrance, along with a strange touch of salty green approaching fresh flat-leaf parsley... but these are wedded to a fruity-floral of consummate girliness, with a shot of caramel syrup calculated to really throw the wearer off. What does it mean? I'm not sure. But I'm willing to wear it until I find out.
Scent Elements: Grapefruit, jasmine, rose, verbena, sandalwood, Bourbon vanilla