Those fabulously kitsch maraschino cherries. You know the ones? For me, they were perched atop the sundaes at the Italian restaurant my parents took me to. Later, cherries were proof of the kind of oral dexterity you needed for membership in the ‘that kind of girl’ club. Later still, in the cool twilight of summer, staining fingers deep maroon from forcing the pips into an empty wine bottle, the juicy spilling, the wine (just drunk), fuzzing up the edges of the world.
Guerlain Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto is apparently a triple threat of rose (delicate water in the opening, an “extract” further in and the classically swoony centifolia), but it’s allllllll cherry soda to me, the kind they might serve at Jack Rabbit Slims. It’s unnaturally sweet, yeah, but with a wink to say, let play this game, the game where you imagine a studded biker jacket wrapped around a satin evening gown, a girl with vampy lolly lips, coquettish but cool, and pretend she’s you.
While the leather/liquorice combo does give a darkness to Black Perfecto, it’s effortlessly sheer – midnight under a street lamp – and a drift of sugared almond underneath knowingly undermines any sincere attempt to toughen up the powdery finish of Perfecto. It’s unashamedly feminine – ‘that kind of girl’ girly. The stain of those cherry fingers just don’t wash out.
Guerlain Petite Robe Noire Black Perfecto, $131 from David Jones.