Aphrodisia ("for the night-blooming you") is a luscious and complex floral chypre bursting with fruity sweetness that is tempered with spice, mossiness, and animalic warmth. (It has musk; my beloved civet; and ambrein, the substance that gives ambergris its oomph.)
A great example of an animalic that isn't dark and brooding, Aphrodisia radiates joy and warmth, and has the olfactory color palette and texture of those rich-hued art deco works by Tamara de Lempicka.
Top notes: Bergamot, lemon, neroli, fruit note
Heart notes: Rose, honey, ylang-ylang, carnation, jasmine
Base notes: Oakmoss, vetiver, civet, ambrein, musk
Aphrodisia might be too forward to be considered an aphrodisiac. I mean, my thoughts on perfumes or foods that claim to be aphrodisiacs is that they work on the same principal that voodoo spells are supposed to: without the intended target's conscious knowledge. You'd smell Aphrodisia coming at you from a mile away, along with your would-be seducer's intent, which is not to say you wouldn't succumb anyway. I'm sure Angelina Jolie or John Hamm's targets are near-helpless even if they know they're the objects of seduction.
But I digress.
I told commenter and blogger Angela yesterday that I wasn't sure if the formulas for these Fabergé scents (cologne strenth, I might add) were as high end as their first incarnations in the 30s. Partly, I think, that was because as much as I liked Woodhue, it seemed a little janky in its construction, a curious combination of smelling kind of cheap, but revealing its pedigree through its interesting notes.
Aphrodisia, on the other hand, (like Flambeau), seems to have weathered the 50-something odd years it took to get to me, and I'm rethinking that assessment. It's not my type, and it's definitely dated, but wowee zowee is it freaking sexy! I cannot stop smelling my wrists. Whereas Woodhue was easier to appreciate in the dry down as the vanillic base began to mute the other notes, I loved Aphrodisia from beginning to end, with an emphasis on the beginning and middle sections. It's an embarrassment of (aphrodisiac) riches: fruit, honey, ylang-ylang and lush florals combined with spice (vetiver, carnation) and an animalic chypre base. Throw in some truffled oysters and you might not survive it.
If this is the drugstore version of a once-grander Aphrodisia, perfume lovers back in the day still had it better than we do. (Or at least, better than women on a budget today.) This is just an amazing perfume.