There’s a drawer under my could-fall-apart-any-minute Ikea bed where I stash my backup beauty products. An unholy amount of Q-tips lurk down there. And expired sunscreen, free samples from Sephora that I might try one day, and my winter perfume: Jo Malone’s delicious Wild Fig & Cassis Cologne. Pretty soon I’ll wrap up my precious last bottle of Trish Mc Evoy Gardenia Musk (before they changed the formula) and hide it from the poisonous rays of the sun until next May.
Jo Malone, you are the top of the very flammable perfume pyramid—and I love you—but before I can commit my heart and soul to winter I’ve found a better transition scent.
Aesop’s Tacit, the culty brand’s first fragrance in 10 years, comes out this week and I’m borderline obsessed with it, a word I hate using because, am I really? And can we use “obsessed” to talk about perfume in a post- Calvin Klein Obsession world? But I keep sniffing my wrist like it’s going to whisper some secret to me, so yeah, I guess I’m obsessed.
Ten years it took them! So I when I first opened the bottle and spritzed my arm I had great expectations (Great Expectations only took a year to write, so maybe I need to get some perspective). Immediately the citrus notes (lemony, trendy yuzu) were heavy, reminding me of my old high school standby, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue—remember the ads for that? I learned more about sex from those than in any health slash sex “ed” class I was forced to take.
Aesop’s first perfume, Marrakech, was heavier, more masculine leaning (thanks, sandalwood), but still a very sexy scent—not ideal, perhaps, for an 8am meeting. Last year, they re-released it as Marrakech Intense and it's almost all woods and smoke. I really love rolling it on my chest before Sunday morning yoga, which gives me a whiff of church (the closest I’ll be to one in a while) with every vinyasa.
Back to Tacit, a name with absolutely no connotation of church or sexy Spanish men on yachts glistening with enough body oil to host a fish fry. Instead, Tacit lives up to its name in the best way possible: subtle, understated, refraining from sending off come hither shockwaves to all of the nearest gel-metted (gel-helmet-ed) men. Once it sunk into my skin, it became grassy, but not in a way that makes you want to wear red flannel all the time. Those earthy undertones balance with the citrus and basil so delicately it sways neither masculine nor feminine, both day and night. It’s hard to describe scent, but if sweet, sugary, floral, musky, are words you tend to gravitate towards, this probably isn’t the perfume for you. It reminds me of rolling around in crunchy brown leaves, without having to later shove them into trash bags printed with grinning cartoon jack-o-lanterns. The more I inhale, the more I get excited to wear oversized sweaters and drink hot toddies again. Fall, I’m ready for you.
Photo courtesy of the author.
Also good by Aesop: the Resurrection Hand Balm.