Scented Advent, December 11

I’m happy to report that today’s Advent calendar SOTD is a bargain beauty! It is Natori, from the brand Natori, in EDP format. Right away upon application, I smell aldehydes, plum, and a plummy rose. It’s interesting that this starts out with a very evident burst of aldehydes, because this fragrance was created in 2009 and I always think of aldehydes as a more vintage perfume note. I think the plum note, also very evident from the start, saves Natori from smelling old-fashioned, because it really doesn’t. The perfumer was Caroline Sabas, who works at Givaudan and has created some other interesting fragrances, such as ELdO’s You or Someone Like You. According to the brand:

A sparkling floral oriental, the NATORI fragrance opens with an effervescent bouquet of fresh rose petals enriched by deep, dark plum notes. The heart is an exotic and alluring hybrid of ylang ylang, purple peony and night blooming jasmine. Slipping languidly over pulse points, black patchouli, amber and a hint of satin musk complete this mysterious and tantalizing fragrance.

The dominant note in the middle phase is the ylang-ylang, combined with jasmine. Together with the rose and aldehydes, it makes Natori slightly reminiscent, though not a dupe, of Chanel No. 5 and Chanel No. 22. As it dries down, the scent warms on the skin, with amber most evident in the base notes, to my nose. If you like florals, this is a very charming one! The purple bottle, shaped like a lotus blossom, is also very pretty. It is available for quite low prices online, as low as $18 for 100 ml.

Purple bottle of Natori eau de parfum
Natori eau de parfum; image from brand Natori.

I don’t know why, but this fragrance smells to me like a nice, youngish mother, like some of my friends’ mothers when I was growing up, or my late aunt. They wore classic but pretty clothes, nothing too fancy unless they were going into “the City” (meaning New York) for an Occasion, or attending a suburban black-tie event, often at a country club; they wore floor-length tartan kilts for Christmas holiday at-home soirees. They volunteered for everything in our town; they hosted lovely, intimate dinner parties in pretty but unpretentious homes; they liked children and gave hugs. These were women who mostly married young in the 1950s and early 60s, often right after graduating from a “Seven Sisters” women’s college, and started families soon thereafter, so when I was in elementary school and middle school, few of them were even 40 yet; some had just entered their 40s. Some were also friends of my mother, though she was less cuddly and more aloof, certainly with children who weren’t her own. I have fond memories of these women, and Natori is bringing them back.

I’m enjoying Natori, and if you’re in search of a modern floriental, give it a try! I think it would suit women of all ages; it has enough fruitiness to please even an older teenager, unless she is firmly committed to gourmand scents, though it doesn’t quite cross the line into “fruity floral.” I can see this being very office-friendly; it’s not a “statement” fragrance, but it’s very well-made. The Scented Salamander blog had this review when it launched in 2009: “Natori by Josie Natori; Sensual Yet Pointing To No Visible Body Parts.” That reviewer noted a similarity not only to Chanel No. 5, but also to the late, great Joy by Jean Patou.

It’s always fun to find a new “bargain beauty”! Have you tried this one, or any others lately that are new to you?

8 thoughts on “Scented Advent, December 11

  1. I have never tried it but have thought about it before. My plummy cheapie is Avon Imari Seduction, which I have had since long before I was interested in perfume (a mom friend was selling Avon). My calendar perfume for today is Essential Parfums Divine Vanille. Which only barely smells of vanilla let alone any other notes on my skin. It’s ok – it’s state championship game day so I’ll be wearing Stash for that! We just hit the road – 4 hour drive to Hershey.

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  2. I agree this is a great scent, but where did you find it for that price? I bought mine a year or so ago at Fragrancenet, but at that time only a little mini bottle was available.

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  3. I love me some plummy goodness. Natori doesn’t seem to be available in the UK. I get my plum kicks by eking out my TF Plum Jap, SL Boxeuses & FdB.

    Your description of the young, suburban housewives of the 50s/60s fascinates me. So very different to the housewives & mothers of my childhood of the same era. None were graduates, most married between 16-20, many had jobs around family, cleaners, local shop, bar work or waitressing. All smoked, has their hair done weekly, wore headscarves & housecoats. Very different to my mum, who was a nurse, in her 30s when she had her first child & didn’t welcome visitors.
    Your description seems so clean & prosperous!

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    • Yes, they were very “preppy” as we say in the US! The post-WWII suburbs in the US were prosperous; quite homogeneous, and many educated women ended up feeling stifled, but the one where I grew up had been a small 18th century town with lots of farms and several big summer estates outside “the village” where the shops were. When the farms and estates were broken up for houses, there was still a lot of woodland, and it was a very safe environment for kids. I think the grownups were trying to create a safe haven for themselves and to raise young families, and it really was, for a long time. It’s more upscale and pretentious now, I’m afraid, and less run by civic volunteers.

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  4. The Natori sounds really nice. When I saw how cheap it was on fragrancenet I ordered a small bottle. I wore Five O’Clock Eau Gigembre on the 11th. I was really upset when I couldn’t find it the day before. Then of course I found the Lutens Gigembre and Malone’s Ginger Biscuit hiding in the back of the cabinet. Whew! Those are my 2 favorite holiday perfumes and I would have been very sad if they were lost.

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