I adore Poême by Lancôme, and have done ever since the first time a chanced upon it in a little cobbled side street off the Praça da Figueira in Lisbon, more than a decade ago. Perhaps part of my ongoing love affair with Poême is wrapped up in my passion for travelling. I know that every time I enter the duty free in any airport in the world and start wandering around the little islands of enchanting beauty products I smell Poême wafting up from somewhere.
Or maybe it’s to do with the name: Poême. How lovely.
Or maybe it’s just to do with the scent, a heady, sensuous mix of bergamot, jasmine, orange blossom, freesia, ylang-ylang, vanilla, amber and musk (a list which sounds like a poem itself). Either way, all I know is, whenever I catch a warm breath of it as I go about my day, it makes me feel happy and on holiday.
The fragrance was launched in 1995 and was groundbreaking for two reasons: it didn’t follow the traditional composition of a perfume (that is, top, middle and base notes) but rather worked like an echo where the notes repeat and emerge alternatively; and it used two flowers that had never been used in a fragrance before (the Himalayan blue poppy and the datura desert flower). A warm floriental (that’s floral oriental, in case you didn’t pick that up), Poême was created by Jacques Cavallier (who also created, amongst others, Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey, Jean Paul Gaultier and Stella by Stella McCartney).
There is a reason that Poême has been around for 22 years and I smell it every morning when I get ready for work and spray the scent of holiday and freedom and happiness onto my pulse points.