One Thousand Scents

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Orange, Blossoming: Boss in Motion


Yesterday morning I was showering with what's left of my bottle of Yves Rocher's 2005 limited-edition Christmas shower gel, Orange Vanillé, which smells more of spices than vanilla; in fact, it smells very much like one of those clove-studded oranges an aunt or a grandmother might hang in her closet. I was breathing in the luscious orange scent and knew I wanted to wear an orange-based scent that day, and I knew just the one, too.

When Clinique's Happy for Men came out in 1999, I was instantly smitten by it. The top note is a breathless charge of citrus notes, most prominently mandarin orange, and it's so cheerful and bright that I couldn't resist being seduced. But after wearing it for a while I noticed that, on my skin, at least, the aftermath wasn't so delightful; laced with vanilla and creamy-sweet guaiac wood, it dried down into a thick, cloying, sherbet-like scent that was so intense as to be nearly nauseating. I think I had been ignoring this, having been so charmed by the hesperides, but after a while I couldn't ignore it any more, so I gave away my bottle and that was that.

Then in 2002, Hugo Boss launched Boss in Motion, in that smart Death Star bottle with its cleverly invisible spraying mechanism; you form a letter C with your hand, hold the bottle with your thumb on the bottom, and press upwards. And what is the scent but a near-copy of Happy for Men without the choking sweetness?

Oh, it's still sweet and orangey; it still has vanilla in it, it still suggests orange sherbet, but it's been toned down, tempered by soft spicy notes, woods, and musk notes more evident than those in Happy for Men. You want real happy? Boss in Motion is happy.

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