In the nineties, my perfume adventures were limited to what mass market ladies’ counters had to offer. But since there were much less new mainstream releases back then, usually after getting familiar with everything available for the appropriate gender I would entertain myself sniffing what was offered to gentlemen telling myself that my vSO might need one more bottle (as if he was running out of those four or five I’d previously persuaded him he would love).
One day, while smelling new masculine releases, I suddenly found myself drawn to one perfume.
π (Pi) by Givenchy – created in 1998 by Alberto Morillas, notes (according to Fragrantica) include basil, rosemary, tarragon, mandarin, neroli, geranium, lily of the valley, anise, vanilla, tonka, cedar, benzoin, almond and yellow sugar.
I liked it. Not for my vSO – for myself. I kept going back to the counter to try it again and again. It felt strange because, in my mind, there was supposed to be a strict distinction: feminine perfumes, masculine colognes and some new trendy creations called unisex (but those that I’d come across then were neither fish nor fowl). Finally, an SA struck a conversation with me and I admitted that I was thinking about buying it for myself. I don’t think she whispered but she definitely lowered her voice when she told me, in confidence, as if it was something about what people do not talk out loud, that many women like masculine perfumes. What was more important, she gave me a couple of samples of Pi.
When the samples were gone I bought a bottle. I think it was my way of breaking out of the habitual floral perfumes I used to favor (and probably still do). I wore Pi Eau de Toilette pour Homme reveling in my eccentricity and fearlessness. I think I liked not as much the perfume itself but that feeling of dare. And then we just grew apart. I didn’t suddenly start disliking Pi – I just didn’t feel like wearing it anymore.
Last year, a friend of mine whose birthday is today, March 14th (M., if you’re reading this – Happy Birthday!), told me about that day being known as a Pi-Day. I’ve never heard about it before: having grown up with the European date system I’ve never seen the connection between 14/03/YY and number Pi. It was too late to do anything last year but I told her that if I would still be blogging in a year I’d write a story about this perfume, since I kept this bottle for the last ten years. And I would have missed it again if it weren’t for her reminding me.
So, here’s my Pi-Day story about Pi – the first masculine perfume I bought for myself. Now it goes into the Retirement Box.
I haven’t found any real reviews. Either it was really that bad or at least it wasn’t good enough for anybody to contradict Luca Turin’s disparaging comment in the Guide.
Do you remember your first perfume that crossed the gender line?
Image: my own