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When you’ve climbed Everest, where do you go?

I like the idea of beginning the year as I mean to go on, so I made a point today of enjoying one of my most exciting Christmas perfume acquisitions: a small travel-size bottle of Clive Christian C.

I’d never seen a travel bottle of C before I bought this on eBay; I don’t know where it came from. To the best of my knowledge no one here in the states sells it, nor have I ever seen it online. Having now worn it all day, however, I can attest that I believe it to be genuine: it’s incredibly beautiful and it lasts like iron. I put one small spritz on my stomach and I have been gently bathing in the beautiful scent all day.

C was the first Clive Christian I ever tried; I sampled it at Bergdorf Goodman in the summer, and it was almost so huge I couldn’t stand it. Even then I could tell however that it was just plain gorgeous. It is like the perfume version of Catherine Zeta-Jones. Other women might inspire you to wax rhapsodic about their classical nose, their stunning lips, or the exquisite line of their throat. When it’s Catherine Zeta-Jones, you just stare in awe. The whole package is nothing short of sheer perfection. C is just that beautiful. Oh, there are notes, but picking them out would be a crime against such a composition. If you call C a fruity floral I shall have to toss my gloves in your face and ask you, sir, to step outside.

The snob aspect of Clive Christian, I’ll admit, appeals to me. It’s shockingly expensive but I really can’t put any credence in the idea that it isn’t worth it. The scents are incredible compositions, incredibly constructed, out of what are clearly incredibly concentrated ingredients of the highest quality. I bought some C partly because it is, as Victoria Christian said in her Sniffapalooza presentation, “stonkingly strong”, and I’m really sincerely tired of not being able to smell my own fragrance in this desperate dry weather. Isn’t it enough that my skin is flaking off my body and my hands catch on all the fabric in the house? I should at least be able to smell a pretty perfume, right? But it’s not just that it’s strong; every element gives one the sense of something that is silver where another scent would be aluminum foil, or silk where another scent is nylon. It is built of ingredients that somehow blend together into an incredibly solid, smooth porcelain egg of artistic, if not brilliance, then integrity. It smells like quality and delivers the same sort of experience as a luxurious hotel room: if I don’t want to live there (and I don’t) at least I deserve to rest there for a while.

I really want a travel set of the Clive Christians for women but mostly because I want to collect them; the only other one I really want to wear is No. 1. I’m OK with waiting to acquire the set, or even some No. 1 of my own. I could be very, very happy with C for a long time.

I have another Christmas acquisition I’ll have to fill you in on at a later date. For now, I am going back to staring at Catherine Zeta-Jones gently living in a light fog of C.

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