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Teint de Neige – A beauty in winter – January 24, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

Photo - Wikimedia - Freshly Fallen Redux, in Toronto, by Benson Kua

God knows we’ve had some bone-cracking, tree-breaking cold weather in Toronto this season, but one thing we haven’t had yet is a solid dump of snow. Not the wet icky stuff that almost immediately turns to icy grey slush, mixing with road salt to leave white blobs and streaks on clothing, boots, cars, kids, dogs, and everything that moves above ground. No, I’m talking about feathery light puffy powder snow, the kind that deep-freeze temperatures bring – tiny crystal flakes which take hours to accumulate, creating a surreal quiet as they silently transform familiar landscapes into scenes of heart-stopping beauty.

There’s nothing better than going for a walk after a snowfall like this. The whiteness and the cold….feeling the cold in your head as you inhale, smelling the icy dryness, seeing your breath come out in vaporous clouds, like a burst of powder….muffled sounds, the occasional whiff of woodsmoke from a neighbour’s fireplace….the dog burrowing in drifts, and joyously flipping snow in the air from his nose when he surfaces. Winter has its magical moments.

Teint de Neige is a winter fragrance for me - in cold, dry, weather it’s truly wonderful. This 2000 release by the Prix Coty winner and niche perfumer, Lorenzo Villoresi, is a brilliant creation featuring powdery notes, powder in the top, powder in the middle, and powder in the base. As described on his website, Teint de Neige is “the colour of snow”, the delicate rosy hue of a powdered face. The unmistakable scent of perfumed powders, the fragrance of face powder, the perfume of talc, a soft, gentle, enveloping Eau de Toilette, yet intense and persistent.”

“Intense yet persistent” is a clue here – this is a strong tenacious fragrance which requires real restraint when applying to your skin. I use a half spritz only, and enjoy its lovely diffusion of dusty powdery sweetness for hours.

Rose is immediately apparent, a rosebush with all its leaves and thorns, the sweet spiced rose note with hints of green and wood, then the sweetness of ylang ylang mixed with jasmine intensifies the floral aspect, and powdery talc is dusted over all.

In the middle dry-down, the sweet vanilla of tonka bean mixes with the florals into a rich feminine accord, and more powder clouds create a dusty vintage effect. The dry-down in the base is transformed by almondy heliotrope, reminding me of the softly sweet pastel scent of Jordan almonds. Amber and musk give Teint de Neige a bit of hip action, and there is also an unspecified note, something slightly sweaty or resinous – is it honey? -  that stops this fragrance from sliding into sweet soapiness.

Perfumes with powder notes are often perceived as “comfort scents”, soft, cozy, and familiar but which, like baby powder, aren’t very challenging. Villoresi’s powder notes mixed with pure florals, sweet almond, and clean musk, drew me in with tendrils of powdery warmth, surrounding me in clouds of soft fluffiness, but I’ve discovered that the clouds have a strong inner core. Throughout the dry-down I detected hints of bitterness, sensations of cool followed warmth, clean musk became more animalic – there’s an artistic tension in Teint de Neige that makes it much more than a pretty comfort scent.

Teint de Neige is one of a kind and truly unique, and maybe a love-it or hate-it fragrance simply because it is so powdery. Cold dry weather tames its “intense but persistent” personality, allowing it to show off its cool elegant side and transforming it into a true beauty, which is why I’ve been wearing it these past few days. Hopefully, this cold spell will continue....

 

Today, we’re adding Teint de Neige to our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00.