Wind Song (Prince Matchabelli)

Luca Turin once said that classic feminine perfumes become masculines with age, and it's one of a precious few bits of Turin's wisdom I completely agree with (I'm a bit of a petulant asshole, you see). Those old chypres and orientals really don't match today's concept of "feminine." Wind Song is one of them, a fragrance that blares its woody and green notes from a mountaintop, and smells very adult, very sincere. It hearkens from 1952 or '53 - there are conflicting reports - and yet it makes me think that women in the 1750s smelled like Wind Song. Even though it's a twentieth century perfume, it is very classically poised, incredibly well composed, and ridiculously inexpensive. I wish I could build a time machine (or tinker with a DeLorean) and go back to check it out, just to see if this scent isn't on some French aristocrat's night table.

I've never knowingly smelled L'Air du Temps, but I do like Wind Song. Apparently the Nina Ricci perfume, which came only a few years before, was the inspiration for Prince Matchabelli's creation. Wind Song's massive bergamot/carnation/orange balm/coriander is an incredible intro, loaded with pungency, and unfortunately a little too much alcohol. Inexpensive drugstore frags sometimes smell nice in the opening and crappy in the drydown, but Wind Song suffers crudeness on top and becomes better as it dries. Its heart is full of spice, loads of clove and tarragon, and its base is rich with amber and benzoin resins. The far drydown is a nice clean sandalwood, very smooth and dry. There is something darkly alluring here, despite the associations with "old soap" that I get from the bergamot and carnation top notes. The richness of the sandalwood base wouldn't be out of place on a scheming, cold-blooded siren, like Hitchcock's Madeleine in Vertigo.

Would I wear Wind Song? I have to say, if I had one of those small $9 bottles, I would probably have occasion to wear it, here and there. I don't know if I could handle the density of the scent beyond an hour or two, but I'm not afraid to try it. One thing is for sure, though: I wouldn't worry about smelling like a lady. Le Male, 1 Million, and Acqua di Gio contain far more estrogen than Wind Song ever will.


  1. After reading your review I have to try Wind Song. When I get it I am going to wander over to Mission Dolores and visit the grave of Carlotta Valdés and see if Madeline shows up. Great review.

    1. Thanks Lanier, you know I hear Madeline has a thing for Ernie's . . .


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