Tuesday, 24 November 2009


Helena Rubinstein launched a new fragrance, Wanted. It keeps in line with several recent launches, to my mind comes Idylle, that feature sugary fruits and linoleum and I find them all equally uninteresting. The last Rubinstein's fragrance before Wanted, of which I may want a sample to ponder upon but not a drop more, was Barynia, launched in 1984 and long discontinued.

I have a large box full of random miniatures. I use them as testing material, they are still larger than sample tubes, easy to get rid of towards collectors and some are even pretty (one would think about several starry creations of Thierry Mugler, for example). One of the pretty ones is Barynia, too. The usual bottle, differing only in size for the miniature and a full-size one, is a neat piece of Cubist sculpture, featuring a prism on hexagonal base, with burgundy cube-shaped lid, standing on its vortex. More showy version existed at least on the adverts, with crystal cubic stopper. And you guess right that with my predilection for all things pretty and shiny, I would love to have this bottle.

The box design follows the Cubist inspiration. I wonder whether the creator of the bottle and packaging had Cubist architecture of Prague on their mind, since it's the only source of direct inspiration I can think of. It could have been plain geometry, though.

Alas, the purse atomizer design lacks the enchanting juxtaposition of a prism and a cube, it was reduced to a simple crystallic form. Well done geometry, still; I wish I could rave like this about many more bottles.

The fragrance itself was a bit puzzling to me. It doesn't go too well with my skin, it seems to be a boring fruity-woody something and remains so for half an hour before disappearing into oblivion. It took me a while to get the ingenious idea of trying it on fabric but without the interference of my evil sweat, it gets much better. After the first blast of something weird (in the last few days, I have a general impression that many perfumes just start ugly) but after a while, it settles not to fruity-woody-boring but to.... intensive salty tone I seem to find in Amazone by Hermes (1) or, to a certain degree, in Via Lanvin (2). All three of the fragrancs were launched in the earlier 80's so I sense a tendency.
I wasn't able to find notes for this fragrance, only Perfume Intelligence says 'floral bouquet, classified as b3f' (3), I'd add spices and a handful of musk. It is very eighties, strong and pervasive and I'm talking only about the eau de parfum, I didn't bring myself to trying the parfum. For those who are scared of the eighties' powerhouses like Opium, be assured that Barynia is much lighter, it's violets and lily of the valley that spread across the whole room, not spices and musk.
Barynia has been discontinued for years but it is possible to find it in the internets at a few discounters, mostly in eau de parfum concentration.

Advert taken from Parfum de Pub, the neo-Cubist paper comes from Kubista.

(1) I plan to get some soon so a rant or a review should follow
(2) There's extrait waiting for me at O.'s and a huge bottle of eau de toilette in the P-space
(3) here and no, I don't know what 'b3f' means. I should find out someday.

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