There are some couples you come across that just obviously click; visually as well as instinctively you know from the moment you see them that like a salt & pepper pot duo they're meant to be displayed together. Psychologists tell us that couples who look alike can have a head start in relating to one another. I don't know if this is the Barbie & Ken conditioning we have been spoon fed since childhood, the rather logical manifestation of common traits that brought people together in the first place (same level of attractiveness, similar tastes, probably analogous socio-economic status) and the equally logical supposition that "a couple" sorta re-invents itself into a single entity, or -in the case of tried & tested couples of some time- a case of "growing up together one gets to look like their dog" (which poses its own delicious problem: who's the dog in that relationship?) The thing is sometimes superficial stuff isn't as superficial as it looks like.
Which nicely brings us into todays' theme: matching each other's scents for Valentine's Day -or any day beyond. Nothing is more fun than co-ordinating a couple's fragrances, for an occasion or for a special day (or even on a more durable basis, but let's not make this too committed right now). If you have matched in style with your mate during a formal occasion (instead of one showing up in jeans and the other in a floor length gown or one is olives & browns and the other in striking red and black) you know that playing matchy-matchy can be rewarding in photos. Well, fragrance matching can be rewarding in memories, since scent memories are the photos the mind takes in absence of a camera. So here is a small guide with my suggestions for doing just that; creating special memories! I have carefully chosen the fragrances combos to click together in spirit and not clash.
For the purposes of this article the duos are presented (in classic Barbie & Ken fashion, we can't escape!) in "mood" suggestions for Her and for Him, but gay couples should by no means feel excluded. All the fragrances can be interchangeable and be worn by both sexes.
Amouage Lyric Man and Lyric Woman
I had presented Amouage Lyric Man in my Best Rose Fragrances list previously. The version aimed at women is by no means lesser. Short of the smokier incense note it reprises the loveliness of the masculine version, a rich, nuanced rose that sings melodiously of l'amour!
Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial and Guerlain Habit Rouge
The haze of these powdery, soft as a duvet, cuddly as cat's paws scents can only be explained via the romantic references they make to the legendary love affair that inspired the first, classic Shalimar. This recent feminine version is less "tragic love story" and more playful, while still lovely, and the men's version with its opoponax tenderness has always been the "male Shalimar".
Cartier Declaration and Eau d'Hermes
The juxtaposition of fresh tonalities to more risque magnetism is effortless. They seem like the first thing that came to mind that morning, but they feel like there is a bred intimacy about them, the familiar scent of someone you know too well not to feel inhibited into showing up in flannels.
Frederic Malle L'Eau d'Hiver and Patricia de Nicolai Kiss me Tender
Heliotrope with its almond-like facets is both a yummy and gloriously innocent, tender note. These two takes are among the very best; an eau chaude for him, a butterfly kiss for her.
Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger and Ramon Monegal Mon Cuir
The common thread of a honeyed, dense note of orange blossom is tied to a refined but lush animalic, intimate quality about both scents. They're perfect for a romp between the sheets as they're for a candlelit dinner preceding that.
Victor & Rolf Spicebomb and Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille
The two fragrances share the spicy, sweet tobacco bouquet and project as inviting as a soft mattress someplace with a lit fireplace.
Chanel Coromandel and Ramon Monegal Mon Patchouly
The almost chocolate tonality of patchouli is peeking underneath a cluster of amber, balmy notes and fresh accents. They're sumptuous and not at all what you'd associate with patchouli's hippie image.
Frederic Malle Dans tes Bras and Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel
There's something about the scent of violet leaf and violet notes which has a twilight, otherworldly quality to me when done with a restrained hand. They're a bit wistful too, so perfect for those of us who secretly love love stories gone awry.
Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche pour Homme and The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit
A classic nostalgic barbershop scent for him (a prototype fougere). A jasmine with spices reminiscent of fragrances of older times. Star anise at the heart of both. At once sensuous and brainy.
I just realized: all the photos I picked are in black & white. Well, maybe there's something to start contrasts as well. ;-) Happy Valentine's Day to anyone celebrating!