October 1, 2012
Perfumer Shelley Waddington of En Voyage is introducing two fragrances for the fall and winter seasons. She was inspired by the spiritual significance of the marigold flower in the rituals of Nepalese and Latin cultures, and named the fragrances Tagetes Femme and Tagetes Homme (tagetes is the genus of the marigold family). The myriad golden and orange hues of the marigold are striking. I was astounded by the photographs a friend posted from India, of the lavish decoration of everything in sight with endless brilliant garlands and heaps of marigolds. I have always liked their odd earthy aroma, and would love to experience whole rooms full of it, or a big heap of them around my neck.
A Customer Chooses From Scores of Marigold Garlands
When I first tried on Tagetes Femme, I was reminded of some of the sweet, floral musk oils I wore in my days of being a young hippie girl when I wanted a change from my ever-present patchouli. The aroma was an almost instant comfort, sending me back to a more carefree time. I imagine that because I think of my hippie days as being more toward the exploration of the colors, attire, and scents of India, this fragrance, with its hints of sandalwood and blossoms, evokes an image of being clad in swirling, bright skirts dotted with embroidery and tiny mirrors, of silk scarves and the tinkling of tiny bells on my wrists. There are musks in the base of this that are, wonderfully, the kind of musk I can smell, so they take the forefront for me of what is enjoyable in this fragrance. Tagetes Femme is unabashedly sweet. It is not cloying in the least, just a lovely clear hit of the best parts of floral, slightly fruity, musky delight.
Dog are honored on the second day of the Nepalese Tihar Festival
Tagetes Homme is a sultry, rich composition that at first blush reminded me of the iconic Hermes Bel Ami. It has the same earthy spiciness that makes me want to curl up next to someone wearing it and snuffle their neck. Tagetes Homme is more herbal than Bel Ami, and I get a better sense of the grounded quality of marigold than in the blossomier Tagetes Femme. As it progresses, the woods and resins bring a welcoming depth to the scent. I find this perfume to be the counterpoint to the swirling colors of the Femme; it is the scent of quiet meditation in a darkened temple made of earthen brick, where incense and candles have been burning for centuries. It is a somber scent to me, but very beautiful. The drydown is fantastic, like smelling the dregs in an incense burner, full of sticky, woody resins.
Sugar Skulls in a bed of sacred marigolds for Dia de Los Muertos
If I were asked to choose one or the other of these fragrances as a favorite, I would not be able to. They are night and day, dark and light, male and female. One is light and air, the other is darkness and meditation. As perfumes, they could be worn by any gender, although they do skew a little bit toward the names they have been given. Shelley’s perfume collection is diverse and interesting; these two are excellent additions. Tagetes Homme is available now on the En Voyage website and Tagetes Femme will launch on November 1st.
Femme: Indian marigold, citrus, black currant, orange flower, white sage, sandalwood, musks, resins, and exotic spices.
Homme: sage, green violet leaves, Indian marigold, cedar, amber, patchouli, vetiver, woods and ambers.
My samples were generously provided by Shelley Waddington of En Voyage, who is also offering a reader’s choice of a 4ml bottle of either Tagetes Femme or Tagetes Homme. Let us know your choice in the comments. We will draw a winner on October 5, 2012.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.
-Tama Blough, Senior Editor