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Derby – Shared sensibilities - June 18, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikipedia - Charlin Chaplin and Jackie Coogan in "The Kid", 1921,

wearing his trademark Derby, or Bowler, hat

My father has been on my mind lately, which is OK, cause I like having him around. He was a gentle, loving man who passed away at far too young an age.

My parents were in their early twenties when they had me, so my mother and I were girls together and my dad and I were buds. Making bonfires after raking the leaves in the backyard, taking me to the corner store in a wheelbarrow cause I liked it and letting me ‘shave’ him with a bladeless razor.

Now, this is the part where I am supposed to say ‘Tobacco scents remind me of being in his arms’ or ‘Leather scents remind me of his boots…’ but the truth is I have no real scent memories of him, no real scent triggers. And, besides, I find clichés boring. What I have instead, is a strong sense of the man. Which brings me to Derby by Guerlain.

The first time I smelled it was at the Guerlain store on the Champs-Élysées in 2006. That first sniff so resonated with me, that I am taken back to that moment each time I wear Derby. That opening of sweet orange blossom with a bite of bergamot and a note of herbal artemesia. It smells familiar - well it is a chypre - and comforting. Notes of pepper and nutmeg rising from my skin, heating things up with their spicy warmth. Then, shazam! Rose, lush and full along with exotic, intoxicating jasmine together adding a floral opulence that takes Derby from the familiar to the unexpected, chypre or no. But it is at the base where Derby really distinguishes itself with sandalwood blended deftly with patchouli, leather, musk and oakmoss creating one of the best drydowns I know – which is why I make sure I never run out of it.

The Guerlain website says that Derby is the signature of an assertive masculinity through a daring, impetuous and sophisticated fragrance. Sophisticated certainly, but I find it more subtle and gentle than aggressive, and strikingly beautiful as well.

One day my sister asked what frag I was wearing, so I told her “Derby”.

 “You know who would have loved that?” she asked.

“Who?” I said.

“Dad” she said.

I may not have specific scent triggers that remind me of my father, but Derby does remind me about just how close we were and how much we shared and how much we continue to share. And, hey, Guerlain doesn’t charge extra for that.

Sentiment aside though, Derby is one of the great masculine frags of modern times that just happens to smell great on a woman, and they don’t charge extra for that either!

Today, we’re adding Derby to our decant listing. Decants are $4.00.