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1740 – Wrapped up in a fragrance (December 12, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo - Wikipedia - Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree

-December 1987 by James G. Howe

I love Christmas, I just don’t want it to come.

No, I’m not a Grinch and ‘Bah humbug’ isn’t my mantra. I just look ahead to the next few days and it looks like a tsunami coming right at me and there is no where to run. Shopping, baking, wrapping, labeling, partying, eating, drinking, drinking, eating – and then there’s the tree. Oi vey! It’s all part of the season and it’ll all get done and it will all be fun, but right now all I want to do is throw some jewellery on a houseplant, leave the egg nog out of the rum and call it a holiday.

I need a little motivation, a little 'something-something' to get me in the jingle bell mood, so I decide to go down to the basement where my husband has wrapped and hidden my Christmas gifts. Maybe a little Christmas gift look-see might give me the lift I need. I start touching ‘em, squeezing ‘em, shaking ‘em.

One box makes that heavy clunk sound of a glass bottle in cardboard a box. Oh this is the one. Carefully, oh so carefully, I ease the wrapping paper off just enough to see what it is. [Oh, come on! Like you’ve never done this before?]

OMG! It’s…

“What are you doing down there?” shouts my husband from the top of the stairs.

I’m too startled to think clearly.

“Filing my nails.” I shout back. 

I don’t move until I hear his footsteps move away from the basement door. I think he buys the filing-my-nails ruse.

Back to the box. I unwrap it. I open it and find a bottle of 1740 by Histoire de Parfums. I am dumbstruck. I spray it. I love it. In fact, I’ve loved it since I first smelled it in Paris. This stunner is named for the year of the Marquis de Sade’s birth. Whatever – I’m so wrapped up in the scent that the back story is inconsequential to me. I spray it again and treat myself to a big lung full.

It opens with a citrus sparkle from bergamot and boozy fruitiness from davana. The bergamot fades and the davana leads to a heart of earthy, dark patchouli lightened by herbaceous coriander and anise from cardamom. What a set up for one of the best drydowns I know - a rich amber/leather accord softened by woody cedar and birch. There’s immortelle here too, which gives 1740 mojo by adding its distinct warm caramel/curry note. Elemi lightens it with a tender pine note, while vanilla gives it a gentle lift of exotic sweetness.

1740 is a bottle of boozy, leathery, ambery, spicy, woody rich happiness. But there’s a lightness to it too and it’s the way the darkness and light play off each other in this scent that means it’s never heavy or strong, but smooth, warm and cozy.

The perfect frag for a cold day – but who am I kidding? I’d wear it on a hot day just to experience the way it blooms on warm, sweaty skin. Oh, and that ‘masculine’ designation that it has? I just ignore it.

“Hey, what are you doing?” came a voice from over my shoulder.

Oh, Holy Night! I didn’t even hear him come down the stairs.

“Smelling this great perfume you got me for Christmas.” I said. “I love it. I’ve wanted it for so long and it’s just so perfect, I mean smell this opening of bergamot …”

“Wait a minute. You opened one of your Christmas gifts?” he said.

“Yeah. I’m sorry, I just…”

“….needed a little lift. I kinda thought so.”

“Are you mad?”

“Nah. Gifts are supposed to make you feel good, so wear it and enjoy it now. It would just be mean to make you wait till Christmas to have it.”

“Hey, that makes me feeI a whole lot better. Wanna go see a man about a Christmas tree?” I said.

“I’ll get our coats.”

Today, we’re adding 1740 to our decant sample offering. Decants are $4.00.