Debut Wearing O’ the Green

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Most of the time, the mere mention of “lily of the valley” in a perfume’s notes in enough to make me shake in my boots. Some perfumers do it with just the right touch, not too wet, not too dry, not too loud.  Others make it a stomach churning experience, like being trapped in a room full of hairspray.  Utterly Deadly. 

This lily of the valley phobia is one of the reasons I have avoided the green genre until a recent decision for self improvement in the perfume world.  Some perfumes have instantly amazed me, like Miss Dior and Bandit.  others reconfirmed my phobia, like Parfum de Therese, though that one is coming up for a re-sniff to see if I can now appreciate it.  Parfum DelRae’s Debut was at first in the lily in the valley of death category, though I think now I am starting to get it.

First and foremost, I must apply this one with a light hand, as the lily can certainly overwhelm me into stomach churning waves of nausea. However applied properly, it is graceful bliss.

I love the opening. Bergamot combined with what I think is underused in perfumery, lime, make the usual citrus burst more interesting.  It’s definitely greener, fresher, shall I even say zesty?  While that might not seem like something a perfumista wants, fresh and horrors, zesty, it is a terrific interpretation of a citrus top note, standing out against the usual lemon-bergamot suspects.  Eventually this fades into a pale yellow-green leaves and florals where the lily begins to sing. As I mentioned, over application makes the lily shriek, however a light hand renders a loud, beautiful song.  Sometimes I find this pleasant, other times it’s an obnoxious hairspray note. The lily never seems to dies off in the composition.  It partners with some linden, which I must think is the green leafish and slightly white floral notes I get, to a pretty effect.  In fact, uninterrupted by the lily, the florals are quite elegant, reminiscent of the first blooms in spring floating their delicate scent along a cool breeze.  Here and there, there is a hint of something indolic, something a teeny, tiny bit dark, like the gathering of a few dark clouds that can threaten heavy rain or even snow on the newborn spring.  Dry down is where I really appreciate the perfume.  The mix of green vetivier with a honeyed sandalwood and musk is a politely sexy finish.  The skin scent reminds me of spring’s fertility, the call to be fruitful and multiply.

The scent is quite young, and applicable for a young debutante with the freshness of the citrus and the elegant florals.  It reminds her to be proper and ladylike, hiding the  burgeoning beginnings of sexual maturity as the composition only hints at something mildly dirty. 

It reminds me of a time before sex was a more or less common place discussion topic. Girls were dressed in white, told how to behave and how to suppress their natural urges in order to be virginal and able to make a good marriage.  Only then would they be permitted to explore that side of womanhood.  Sadly some were unable to find it.  Others understood the innocence was a facade, much like the notes in the perfume hide the underlying indolic and musky notes.  Hoping for the right chemistry to release them.  I could see a young Grace Kelly being well suited for the perfume.  She was the icon of elegance, debutantes modeled themselves on her cool look.  The otherside of the coin are the allegations of her promiscuous behavior. Certain factions like to indicate she was a bit less than the refined, repressed image we see.  Who really knows for sure, and truly, who should really care what she did or did not do in private life.  I do not bring that up to tarnish her memory, only to point out that underneath the cool refined exterior was a flesh and blood creature, with natural tendencies.  Much like Delrae’s Debut.

I do not reach for Debut often, it took me a very long time of repeated wearings to correctly mitigate the dosage and appreciate it’s charm.  However I think it’s perfect for breezy spring days, particularly while wearing my most elegant ensemble of crisp while blouse, full white skirt cut to the knee, decorated with a black pattern, all cinched in with a black leather belt.  Nice black heeled sandals and matching bag.  No panties and enjoying the delicious breeze as it blows about the womanly parts.  Yes, Debut would be the perfect choice. 

Debut needs the chill of spring to keep the lily of the valley in line.  Otherwise the intense heat might let loose the animal underneath.  Current bottle is and EDP though I believe it was originally an EDT.  The EDT may have been lighter and better for warm weather wear or wear for someone afraid of lily of the valley.  I wish I could get my hands on that formulation.  However, the EDP is very lovely and makes a nice edition to my collection. Makes me long for end of April in Michigan when I could finally open the windows and let the breeze air out the house.  The swishing sound of the wind laden with the new green leaves and early blooms ushered in Spring. 

notes: bergamot, lime, ylang ylang, and fresh green leaves; middle notes of lily of the valley, linden blossom, and cyclamen; and base notes of vetiver, sandalwood and musk.

Update:  I just noticed the way my daughter smells after playing outside in the grass and plants this morning.  There is a similarity to the middle and ending of Debut. Could they have captured sun-warmed human in their sandalwood musk and greens?

PS  Jen, if you want something verdant and pretty, this one might be for you.

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Published in: on March 5, 2008 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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