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Kiss Me Tender - Love me tender (Monday, July 25, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo - Wikipedia - Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Dance at Bougival - 1883

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

I’m talking about another Patricia de Nicolaï fragrance today – a total opposite of the PdeN  I recently posted, Cédrat Intense, the ultra-bright, juicy-fresh, high-octane lemon citrus, which is lemon perfection, but genderless.

Kiss Me Tender was unmistakeably created for feminine skin, and when I first smelled it, I was immmediately transported back to a much younger innocent self, that girl/woman I was for a couple of years before the real world intruded, full of hope, and unspoken yearning for ..... but I’m getting ahead of myself.

This fragrance, an Oriental floral released in late 2010, could be called Patricia de Nicolaï’s homage to heliotrope. Don’t know heliotrope? – an ugly name but a great plant, especially for summer planters. I always have heliotrope in my pots – it grows tall, densely green mint-shaped leaves with ridges, and perfect small purple flower clusters which have an incredible fragrance. They smell of sweet almond and vanilla with hints of peppery licorice. When the humidity and the air temperature are right, it’s a bewitching scent, soft, sinuous, one of nature’s perfect perfumes. Even the dog gives it a sniff every morning as he checks out his estate (if you saw the size of our back yard, you’d fall off your chair in hysterics).

In the opening of Kiss Me Tender, I inhale almond and vanilla, punched-up with lemon, a wonderful contrast. Anise adds a green dimension to the sweet accord that leads into the heliotrope heart of the scent. Heliotrope is multi-faceted, almost a complete perfume in itself, but Patricia de Nicolaï’s genius amplifies its natural magic through the addition of spice - cinnamon and clove - and fragrant white florals - ylang-ylang and orange blossom.

The scent is intoxicating. In the dry-down, vanilla, musk and opoponax (sweet myrrh) reduce the floral intensity, soften the sweetness, making it smooth and deeper, richer. After an hour or so, the vanilla has decreased, the musky almond is more prominent, soft yet still spiced and tempting, a definite skin scent.

Kiss Me Tender has been described by many as a gourmand – the almond vanilla combination conjures up images of cream pastries, or sugared almonds, to some noses. That image is definitely there for me – Jordan Almonds – a candy I love to admire for their pastel-coloured shapely beauty, and their delicious almond scent. (But I never eat them - do they even still make them?) But to consider this fragrance as simply a gourmand  is only examining its surface, and leaves the most important and best part unexplored.

Let’s go back to the beginning, where I was getting ahead of myself. What about that yearning feeling? Inside Kiss Me Tender is another story, which I found described on the PdeN website.... “still waters run deep…behind Kiss Me tender, a mischievous perfume is hiding. When you get close, it bewitches you with an irresistibly fragrant trail. It brings women the magic of scented flowers, which give off their perfume to attract pollinating insects....  Kiss Me Tender’s extremely sensual vibrations provoke an irresistible desire to kiss.”

AHA! This explains the yearning feeling I had when I first sniffed it!  Kiss Me Tender smells feminine and young, and its haunting sweetness is that of honey for bees – it pulls in with magnetic force and holds tight. Isn’t that what happens when you’re young and full of desire? That first real romantic involvement, when the intense desire to kiss and be kissed is overwhelming, the man of your dreams has you in his arms, pulls you in for a kiss, and you feel yourself falling in love.

Kiss Me Tender makes me remember that feeling – it’s another perfection from Parfums de Nicolaï.

Music out....

“Love me tender
Love me sweet,
Never let me go.
You have made my life complete,
And I love you so.”

Love me Tender by Elvis Presley
Words and music by Vera Matson


Kiss Me Tender is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.