Thursday 10 December 2015

Bella Bellissima's PERFECT NIGHT

The eternal dream, a perfect night followed by a perfect day. The idea of a high energy, sexually charged experience with the perfect partner that leaves you breathless but wanting more. In perfume terms this is nothing new, but it has never gone to that pre-cigarette moment when your head is spinning and you can't catch your breath. Until now. Well, actually it was 2007, and the perpetrator of this olfactory pleasure was Bella Crane. When creating a sexually charged scent there is a fine line between wearability and provocativeness. So, let me show you your Perfect Night, and then tell me if it doesn't leave you wanting more.

When Bella Crane first set up her company, Bella Bellissima, in 2007 you could be forgiven for thinking that this was just another English girl playing at being a perfumer. Yes, she had studied at two very well respected perfume companies, yes she had a honed individuality, but would that just translate as a "springtime bouquet with a dusting of sunshine"? In a word, NO!

From her first collection Bella made it perfectly clear that sex was not something that she would shy away from. Quite the opposite, she embraced the idea of a powerfully provocative woman and created Perfect Night, the complete opposite to Perfect Day, or the male Perfect Man. During the day we hide sexual desires and fantasies behind a facade of respectability. Calm, contained and in complete control. However, in the evening we become a sexual predator looking for our next adventure. Well, maybe not entirely, but Perfect Night certainly takes us into the realms of carnal thought, and here's how.

When you first spray it you release a citrus freshness which contains grapefruit. Now, this has always smelt a little like salty skin to me, so we're already on the right track. It's joined by lavender, which is almost a nod to respectability, but its aromatic qualities are emphasised with a wonderfully piercing ginger. Almost as soon as you smell this opening you free-fall down into the base of the scent, and then you really start to discover Perfect Night.

The aroma of incense and an earthy vetiver are joined by quite a gentle amber, but interestingly it is at this point that a floral note appears. It is described as "midnight flowers", and I would say that it is the moment when a bloom has lost its freshness and starts to reveal its darker side. This section is all cleverly brought together by the resinous smokiness of the guaicwood, carefully used to unite rather than intrude, before we get darker still.

An ingredient which can instantly turn a perfume into a sexual scent is labdanum. It gives a sweaty, animalic aroma, and if blended cleverly can make you want to "mate with yourself", as India Knight once said of Guerlan's Jicky. In Perfect Night it is controlled by the iris and cedarwood, and it is this control which gives you that "après un rapport sexuel" feeling of breathless finality.

Originally launched as a female fragrance, this EDP works wonderfully on a man as well. But remember, you won't be going home alone! Perfect Night is available from Selfridges priced at £48 for 50ml.

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