Boucheron’s Boucheron (Extrait, 1988)

Boucheron Extrait © Victor Wong
Boucheron Extrait © Victor Wong

My friend calls himself the “microwave oven expert” – give him any food, particularly leftover dishes, he can tell you exactly how much time each needs to be reheated to perfection. Chicken? 1:55. Pasta? 3:10. Frozen soup from the freezer? 18 minutes. “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m sure.” And sure he is. I wish I have similar skill, not of setting the timer on the microwave, but the exact number of sprays of any perfume that would make me satisfied throughout the day while other people around me happy, meaning I am not killing anyone with a fume cloud. (Seriously, a first-world problem.)

So I’ve learned that wearing parfum/extrait is a good alternative if you worry about wearing too much. You apply them by dabbing the stopper on your neck and pulse points, and they are less diffusive and last longer (debatable). Sounds like a good solution, but I am too lazy and clumsy to dab, dab, dab. I simply decant them to a little sprayer bottle and spritz it on my neck generously – repeating the same mistake of over-applying, but this time with parfum, not EDP, making it worse.

I have only started paying attention to parfum or extrait recently, not because of their quality, but simply I have run out of desktop space. I have too many 100ml bottles and I know there is no stopping. I used to worry about finishing my favorite EDP/EDT perfumes too soon but I had realized that it’s an unfounded worry as I couldn’t even finish a 10ml bottle of decant in two years. (I will have a long and lonely time selling my perfumes on eBay before I go to a senior home.) Parfum/extrait usually comes in a cute 15 mL or 7.5 mL bottle, although it doesn’t sound there’s much, but it’s enough, trust me.

Boucheron parfum – where to start? I’ve been warned. I know it’s a beautiful floral monster – jasmine, tuberose, ylang, orris, lily of the valley, on and on… Wear it and hope no one can smell you is like wearing a Halloween costume not on Halloween and hope no one can see you. But I wasn’t prepared to smell this kind of floral – it’s so realistic and beautiful, but somehow you could tell the scent is all synthetic. I have been to some upscale malls where they put really expensive, full-bloom perfect flowers in giant urns that I thought no way they were real. And they were real, because in the middle of that giant bouquet, one flower had turned brown. And there were malls where they put synthetic flowers and trees in planters that looked imperfect, which I thought were real from faraway, and as I walked by them and touched them, it’s fake. Boucheron stays on my skin for a long time probably the ingredients are synthetics, and synthetic flowers don’t wither. Glorious.