One Thousand Scents

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Lactose Intolerance: Comptoir Sud Pacifique Matin Calin


I wish Comptoir Sud Pacifique hadn't had the bright idea of renaming all their existing scents. I'm not sure what the point was, but they did it anyway, and while I might have bought a bottle of the appealing Coeur de Raisin, I would just feel odd owning it now that it's called Princesse Muscat. I know: I shouldn't care what it's called, and yet in some strange way, I really do.

Matin Calin means some approximation of "morning hug" or "huggy morning" (ick); I'm not quite sure because ordinarily in French the adjective precedes the noun, and neither of those words has an ending or a preposition that would mark it as an adjective. (The French name for "Care Bears" is "Calinours", which more or less means "huggy bears".) Anyway: it was originally called Lait Sucré, which means "sugared milk" and sounds pleasant into the bargain, as opposed to the choppy, consonantal "Matin Calin".

"Lait Sucré" is, as it turns out, a pretty exact description of the scent. You can read all sorts of descriptions of what people think it smells like, and I can see some merit in most of them--maybe not "baby vomit", but most of them anyway.

It's a very linear scent; there isn't much if any development, as far as I can tell. It smells from the outset like warm sugared milk with vanilla stirred in and a pat of salted butter floating on top. Some think it smells of buttered popcorn, and I can see why--there's definitely a light salty tang to it. There's also a very slight soured-dairy note which must be what reminds some people of baby puke. But mostly it smells like what it's supposed to smell like; warm sweet milk. If you have fond childhood memories of condensed milk, or of a glass of hot milk at bedtime, this is going to bring them back in a rush.

Lasting power? Not much, on my skin, which usually hangs on to everything. The fleeting nature of the updated CSP line is legendary; I mostly have the older scents, and they stick around for quite a while on me, but this one doesn't have more than a couple of hours in it. It's pleasant enough, not enough to make me crave it. I think I would rather have the more straightforward Demeter Condensed Milk at half the price.

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