Ma Liberté (Jean Patou)

It's a rainy Independence Day here with Hurricane Arthur roiling far offshore. As torrents of rain veil the world outside our windows, echoes of Superstorm Sandy reverberate in our memory. But today, we are lucky to enjoy the greatest liberty: freedom from danger. (Honestly, in comparison to what we endured two years ago, what's the cancellation of a few municipal fireworks displays? Small shakes, indeed.)

Right now I'm wearing pajamas and Patou Ma Liberté-- not a very domestic scent for this all-American holiday, but hear me out. Back in high school, my peers and I were dazzled by the sophisticated demeanor of the foreign exchange students in our midst. Though we all shared the same youthful enthusiasms, European girls demonstrated a quiet self-confidence that my peers and I could never quite match. In its own way, Ma Liberté lays claim to the same subtle, hard-to-define allure. Composed by Jean Kerleo in 1987, it reminds me strongly of Estée Lauder's sweet-spry Cinnabar. Both perfumes feature a spicy citrus juxtaposed against soapy amber, with a heady millefleurs bouquet at the heart. But while Cinnabar is unabashedly playful, Ma Liberté wears its charms with a certain 'grown-up' self-possession -- not better, just different.

I regret recently depleting my supply of Cinnabar-- a two-wrist comparison would have offered some cross-cultural fun. But I'm glad to welcome Ma Liberté as an ally to these shores-- the second Lady Liberty for which Americans must rightly thank the French. Merci, mes camarades!

Scent Elements: Lemon, heliotrope, lavender, jasmine, rose, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, cedar, vanilla, amber, musk