40 Days and 40 Nights of Fragrance Notes: Cinnamon and Nutmeg
Cinnamon and Nutmeg
By Patti F
The husband can't cook. He can grill. Those are two entirely different things, of course. A Caveman should know how to cook meat over an open fire,
and he is good at that, for sure. But cooking, like as in pots and pans and an oven or a stove, no. His one attempt was a disaster. He told me he knew how to make the best Chicken Cacciatore I would ever taste in my life. I'm Italian, so I was skeptical, since my German-Irish-Native American husband hadn't even tasted Veal Parmigiana before we met. He told me what to buy at the grocery store and said he'd need a huge skillet because he was going to make a big batch of his masterpiece. I went to Macy's and bought a gorgeous Farberware nonstick skillet. Then I attempted to leave him alone in the kitchen. He kept calling me back, to ask for measuring spoons (who measures??) or the flour canister, and then he'd shoo me off so he could continue to concoct. I was not allowed to see him add his "secret ingredient" to whatever it was in that skillet.
Turns out, it was cinnamon. And lots of it. The cacciatore was inedible. My kitchen was a mess. He was proud. He hasn't made it since.
Oh, and the Farberware? Ruined, as he used a knife to cut the chicken in the skillet instead of cutting it before he started to cook.
So, whenever I see the little container of cinnamon in my spice cabinet, I get a little chuckle from it. I love the smell of cinnamon. It reminds me, not just of the Cacciatore debacle, but more pleasantly of so many pretty fragrances that I have. I like to wear cinnamon fragrances during the Winter holidays, because they bring to mind cooked apples, Thanksgiving desserts, and my favorite hot drink at Christmastime, Constant Comment tea. It's the only tea I like, and Christmas is the only time I drink it.
I have to wipe away a tear as I tell you about another cinnamon fragrance that I love. It seems that Forever21, the trendy and inexpensive clothing store, has opened in the former Takashimaya store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Could these two retailers be more opposite one another? I don't think so. I remember so many lovely trips to Tak, as we fondly call it in our little NYC fragrance gang. The sixth floor was the city's oasis, with comfy sofas and tables carefully set with fragrant offerings and unusual cosmetic lines. Glass cabinets held fragrances that you couldn't find anywhere else. One wall was devoted to Fragonard. I chose one every time we visited. Murmure is the cinnamon offering from Fragonard, mysterious and warm, and unlike most of the other Fragonards which are based on florals. Murmure begins with a soft jasmine-rose combination, but the cinnamon is there right away, and develops more richly as it wears. Earthy notes of patchouli and iris are the base of this treasure. I'm sure that nobody who is shopping in Forever21 would even know the name Fragonard. I'm not going to dwell on the depressing here. I'll always remember the wonderful shopping and camaraderie of so many visits to Takashimaya. And I still have all of my Fragonard treasures and the other lovely perfumes I purchased there.
Down the street a bit, still standing strong and the benchmark for all things luxurious and beautiful, Bergdorf Goodman's fragrance department on The Beauty Floor is a charming area, well lit and bright with everything pretty. It is sectioned into little areas, almost like strolling through a lovely apartment. In one alcove, I found the Acqua Di Parma line of beautiful fragrances from Italy. At the time, Profumo was the only one which was being sold as a womens' scent. Herbal at first, with lavender, sage and cardamom, and moving into its heart of white florals, the cinnamon combines with clove and woods, oakmoss and frankincense, making this a most remarkable scent for either men or women. I've never found anything that compares.
My first nutmeg fragrance was a little bottle, a decant of a perfume that was being talked about with raves on all the chat boards and forums. It was Nanadebary. A friend sent me some to try, in a swap. I don't quite remember, but I think I sent her something Creed. As soon as I opened the bottle, I was enchanted. I'd never smelled nutmeg in a fragrance. I set aside the decant and ran to the computer to order a full bottle for myself. When it arrived, I was delighted at the feminine dressing-table bottle with the bulb atomizer. I used it often, but was dismayed to see my supply dwindling right before my eyes. Within months, all that remained in the bottle was a darkened, syrupy liquid. Where did my Nana go? Evidently it evaporated right out of that atomizer! Since then, the bottle has been changed to a regular pump spray, and I have not repurchased. I still have my decant. Nanadebary contains no florals that I can detect. It's a blend of foody spices, rich woods, and vanilla.
Kilian fragrances offers a touch of cinnamon in its Back To Black Aphrodisiac. Created by Calice Becker, it contains a strong cherry pipe tobacco note as well as kitchen spices of cinnamon, cardamom, saffron and coriander, with a base of vetiver, patchouli and oakmoss. I admit that I don't understand Becker at all. Maybe that's a good thing. There are only a few Kilians that I have fallen in love with. My wallet thanks me.
More cinnamon fragrances:
Bond No. 9 Bleecker Street, Coney Island, and H.O.T Always
Joop! All About Eve (so great with the apple note!)
Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant
Shiseido Feminite du Bois
Caron Parfum Sacre
L'Artisan Tea For Two
Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur
More nutmeg fragrances:
Dolce & Gabbana Sicily
Chanel No. 22
Guerlain Love Is All
Do you love cinnamon and nutmeg as fragrance notes? Tell us which ones you love!
Reviewer: Patti F
Photo Credit: Patti F
Graphic Credit: Melanie Parker
Disclaimer: The fragrances in this review were photographed by the writer.
The fragrances in this review were either purchased by the writer or sampled by the writer or given to the writer
as gifts, with the exception of Nanadebary which she acquired in a swap.