Paris Eau de Toilette (Yves Saint Laurent)

There are fragrances far more profound than Paris. Its primary notes -- rose, violet, iris, hawthorn -- have occupied perfumes containing more melancholy, more poetry, more drama per droplet. On its surface, Paris appears wistful and wan-- but is it only play-acting? True, its eyes brim with the tears that are requisite to all sentimental florals. But the corners of its mouth turn up instead of down, so what are we to make of this enigma?

Paris infuriates and infatuates me by its refusal to embrace the part of mourner. All of its lamentations come out sounding like lyrics to some upbeat foot-tapper that packs the dance floor. Even its bottle -- that gorgeous faceted plaything which is impossible to stop touching and turning in one's fingers -- refuses to look sufficiently dour. It keeps catching the light, sending up sparks of rainbow hope.

Paris is no Après L'Ondée. But maybe I like it better that way. Whatever's in the forecast for the future, this petal-drenching rain shower will not last for long.

Scent Elements: Mimosa, geranium, bergamot, mayflower, hawthorn, juniper, rose, violet, sandalwood, iris, amber and musk