Thursday, 17 April 2014

Review: Clinique Wrappings, Oxygen Bottled

Regular readers of Odiferess will already know about my hibernation tendencies, and when I wake up in the Spring, I REALLY wake up. It’s as if the sunbeams, brightness, warmer temperatures and crucially, opportunities to hit the great outdoors, make me see (and smell) everything in technicolour. My mood is elevated, I feel creatively enlivened and I recall that I have a libido. Ultimately – I’m fizzy.

 My happy place, Marsden Moor

During the Odiferess Spring, I need a scent to match my mood. Jour D’Hermes is ideal with it’s bubbling grapefruit and rhubarb vivacity. Les Eaux de Caron Fraiche emits sunny sharp lemons,herbs and moss, my personal fragrant Prozac. But last weekend these scents were temporarily shelved in favour of an enchanting and unexpected birthday present – Clinique’s extraordinarily effervescent ‘Wrappings’.

A vintage advert for Wrappings

Wrappings is a rarity in the UK. It appears in Harrods as a brief Christmas gift set then buggers off into a secret hidey hole for a year. I have no idea why Clinique choose to limit distribution as it is by far the most creatively exciting of their offerings. Also, it really doesn’t suit Christmas, it’s a gambolling spring lamb.

Wrappings smells ‘clean’. Not a scent-sation that I tend to speak of with positivity. Clean implies boring, as if scent is a mere cleanser, a ridder of bodily secretions. It is the olfactory world of white musk and laundry powder. To understand Wrappings’ cleanliness you have to ponder the word clean from a different viewpoint, specifically the cleanliness of the natural world; the smell of mountain air, water in peaty streams, freshly cut grass, wet limestone rock, soil, crushed leaves and oddly – snow.
Olfactory Heaven

There are plentiful woody and green wonders out there (Ormonde Woman being my personal witchy favourite), but I have not smelt anything that additionally smells airy. I am astounded that a scent can invoke the feeling of being cooled by a breeze in the countryside. I can only deduce that it must be due a whopping great dose of aldehydes which offer a peculiarly ‘metallic’ chilly edge to the intensely natural composition. Oxygen bottled.

This week I took a hike into the Yorkshire moorland with my friend Kerry. At the onset of our ascent, we encountered an ancient stone bridge under which a stream flowed, delivering a rapid burst of peat rich water from the hills. It was magnificent. Both in it’s historic spectacle and it’s olfactory sparkle. Cold wet stone is an underutilised note. Comme Des Garcons, this sounds like your type of thing.

The ancient Easter Gate Bridge on Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire

As I stood at the bridge I momentarily thought of Wrappings. If I’d laid underneath motionless in the icy waters and allowed them to wash over me (whilst holding a piece of steel close to my nose), I could recreate the scent in a sort of performance art/extreme spa activity. I didn’t, but I might return when it warms up a bit!

A look at the notes on Fragrantica reveals a fairly accurate readers interpretation of what you can detect, with green notes, cedar and moss sitting at the top of the list. I am surprised that aldehydes and leather feature lower in the list as both have a strident presence. Forget the florals, they are barely discernible apart from an edge of quirky hyacinth which tends to read as more sharply green than floral to me.

Who would I recommend it for?
  • Hikers
  • Naturists (naturalists?) Who are the folk who like being outdoors in the nude?
  • Steel workers
  • People who couldn’t afford to shell out for Andy Tauer’s Noontide Petals but rather liked it
  • People who were eager to smell but ultimately disappointed by Comme Des Garcons ‘Blue’ series
  • Menfolk, it’s a great unisex despite the ‘for women’ tag

I’d like to say thank you to Mags and Mum for finding this magnificent gift, it will be worn with joy. Thank you also for risking the wrath of your husbands whilst ignoring the boarding calls at the airport perfumery!

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  1. I really enjoyed your analogy with the clear water of the Yorkshire Moors, especially the bit about holding a bit of steel close to your nose, hehe. I have tried this, dismissed it as a tad too fizzy for me, but I am glad it is your gambolling scent of choice for the spring! I once inadvertently spent two weeks in a nudist camp, so I suppose should like Wrappings really...? Actually, I would have preferred to have 'wrapped up' in some clothes, if the truth be told. ;)

  2. Oh, just thought of a scent that is like a molten glacier - by design - Shared Water by Michel Comte. The 'for woman' one. Has notes of rice and small Alpine flowers I think - not that you often see rice floating by in Swiss rivers, but there you go.

    1. Ooh I need to try that one, thanks for the tip. It sounds like a scent for 'The Sound of Music' to be donned by too many hill running children. How did you 'inadvertently' spend two weeks in a nudist camp?! I need to be told. It sounds a wonderful story.

    2. Yes, Shared Water is very much that - I have a bottle, but need to check what state it is in before suggesting you try it (you won't come across it over here, I don't think).

      To answer your question, I went to a naturist camp near Bordeaux with a friend and her parents and brother and another of her girlfriends - I knew the parents had those sort of leanings, but had wrongly assumed this wouldn't be *that kind of holiday*, what with me and this other girl from outside the family stringing along. Not so!