Baghari (Robert Piguet)

The month of March is approaching its conclusion. Spring has sprung, but with all this snow in the way, I couldn't tell you where it's landed. Temperatures soar and plummet -- nearly seventy degrees one day, barely hovering above twenty the next -- and society's collective tendons creak and groan in protest like a tallship's riggings in a heavy gale. As for me, I've given up figuring out whether to dress like a lion or a lamb-- just as long as the pelt du jour keeps out drafts.

For the last week or so, Robert Piguet's Baghari (original 1950; reissue 2006) has served me well as a stand-in for a mink coat whenever the mercury plunges. Indeed, this amber-laden floriental works wonders at capturing the plush insulation of a cold-climate life lived wholly enrobed in fur.

An initial surge of aldehydes and violets leads the way-- characteristically chilly, yet also enlivening. When the thaw comes, it is heralded by an intense, glowing neroli that lights this perfume's landscape and protects the soul against further frost. The wearer thaws, relaxing into the muffled warmth of orris butter, musk, and labdanum. A faint crackle of cold-weather static electricity haunts this perfume's heart, trapped like lightning; here, too, a cool, myrrh-like resinous quality stirs, evoking a vast stone cathedral filled with sacred smoke. One could be a Russian noblewoman, cloaked in sables, watching her own frosty breath commingling with prayers on the rise.

With yet another winter storm barreling in our direction, I may have to wear Baghari once or twice more. But I won't get too comfortable. Rich though its embrace may be, I will soon throw it off in favor of something light, bright, flowery, free...

Ecce gratum!

Scent Elements: Aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, iris, violet, vetiver, amber, vanilla, musk