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Popy Moreni – A second bottle, please – October 23, 2016

Popy Moreni dress, 1988 - Palais Galliera, Paris

Out of nowhere, the name pops up. Popy Moreni.

Today, I want to wear Popy Moreni, I want to open the harlequin box, spritz from the sleek glass bottle with the prismatic bottom and the quirky needle and thread cap, and bask in its warm glow all day.

Popy Moreni is a fragrance from 1997, and is now discontinued, so it’s therefore one of those frags that triggers Fragrance Fears, fears so graphically described by Gwen in the previous post. I’m not prone to scary nightmares, but I do experience cold sweats and nausea when I contemplate spritzing the last drops of some very special fragrances like this one. I don’t know which is worse…

The needle and thread on the cap is the first clue that Popy Moreni is a fashion designer. So I do the research and find out this:

Popy Moreni is Italian, apprenticed in Paris, opened her own shop in Les Halles in 1973, and was on the fashion runways with her own lines throughout the 80’s and 90’s.  She is avant-garde in the best sense, "combining distinctive style elements from both countries— a strong Italian sense of color and coordination, with a chic French practicality”, according to fashion encyclopedia.com. She has a taste for the theatrical and the baroque, which shows up as commedia dell arte influences in her women’s designs - black and white, strong colours, harlequin prints and jagged-cut details, satin capes and stiff starched collars. This video of her amazing Fall/Winter 1988 collection is really worth watching! I see her design vision as unapologetically bold, colourful, and joyful, but with an underlying warmth and elegance that is so appealing.

Popy Moreni the fragrance is exactly the same. An Oriental floral, it is sweet and faintly fruity at first from ylang-ylang and orange blossom but also fresh with bergamot and geranium and a faint herbal bitterness from coriander. And then, here is the savoury coffee note which controls the sweetness as it dries into the heart.  But with the addition of more soft florals such as mimosa, heliotrope and broom, the coffee caramelizes into a comforting and warm natural accord which washes over notes of patchouli and sandalwood into the base.

Now there is a wonderful swirl of coffee, sweet waxy florals, herbs and wood, all joining with rich amber and vanilla in the dry-down. The subtle wafts from my skin alternate between the accords, rising up unexpectedly with the patchouli and woods, or surprising with the coffee, or offering only the powdery earthy floral notes. The scent is never gourmand, never too sweet, too strong, or too heavy, but always fascinating with its message of warmth and elegance and calm confidence.

Popy Moreni has a definite feminine character, one reviewer refers to it as a backstage scent, which I think describes it perfectly. Lipstick, powder, makeup, flowers in a vase by the mirror, scented silks, cashmeres, satins and velvets, a cup of coffee with cream and sugar ready to sip, leather boots to step into. It’s about creating a persona, a version of personal beauty and strength, and the anticipation of an entrance.  Somewhere.

Popy Moreni is unique and exceptional, beautifully conceived and very well-made. It always lifts my mood and makes me feel glad to be me when I choose to wear it. So to deal with my fears about running out of a favourite discontinued fragance, I will make certain to buy another bottle or two before the perfume universe expands into warp speed. Make it so.

Popy Moreni is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.