As much as I admire ruffles and lettuce-edged hems, I know they don’t suit me. Similarly, the thin-boned elegance of some aldehydic florals such as Chanel No. 5 doesn’t sit right on me, either. Yet, I’m a sucker for a fragrance with a retro feel, and richly aldehydic florals scream 1950s silhouettes and kidskin gloves.
At last I discovered that not all aldehydic florals are No. 5 clones. Instead, some are warm and boast plenty of flesh. Robert Piguet Baghari is one of those.
Baghari, developed in 1950 by perfumer Francis Fabron (also the nose behind Givenchy L’Interdit and Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps), had been long discontinued when the Robert Piguet perfume house hired Aurélien Guichard to reorchestrate it in 2006. Piguet lists Baghari’s notes as rose, jasmine, iris, fresh citrus, powdery amber and natural vanilla.
Piguet calls Baghari a soft oriental, and Perfumes: The Guide calls Baghari an orange chypre. To me, Baghari is a spicy-citrus aldehydic floral. Baghari smells as if the perfumer were dreaming of No. 5 seen through Rita Hayworth’s sunglasses. Baghari has all the throwback glamour of a Champagne coupe full of fizzy aldehydes, but its heart is loaded with musty flowers and dried orange zest, dusted with fine-milled powder.
Baghari sweetens and its sparkle diminishes as it dries down, but it remains powdery. Its amber-vanilla-powder is going to remind some people a little too much of baby care products, but to me it evokes a vintage vanity more than a diaper changing table. After a few hours, Baghari leaves a flesh-like fragrance that reminds me of No. 5’s dry vermouth and sandalwood dry down. Finally, incense appears just as Baghari fades to skin.
Baghari lasts a good six hours on me and has moderate sillage.
In a few words, Baghari captures the elegance of old aldehydic florals but adds warmth and a few curves, making it much easier for someone like me to wear. Other round, earthy aldehydic florals include Guerlain Vega, Sonoma Scent Studio Nostalgie and Tableau de Parfums Miriam. What would you add to the list?
Robert Piguet Baghari comes in 50 ml Eau de Parfum ($95), 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($135), 30 ml Extrait de Parfum ($235), and in body products. For information on where to buy it, see Robert Piguet under Perfume Houses. Also, Baghari has made it to the online discounters.