(Zizi Jeanmaire, Yves Saint Laurent and models. 1962. Image source unknown.)
Perfumer Richard Herpin
My liking Badgley Mishcka is akin to the person who hates all white florals loving Robert Piguet Fracas. I don’t have anything against the notion of the fruity floral per se, but I’d never smelled one that I wholeheartedly liked until Badgley Mischka. It proves that if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. The fruits are fermented, the florals have no innocence, just decay. The patchouli is a sweet undertone to the sloppy drunk feel of the beginning, but you know when it’s great? Put it on, start to sweat a bit, and the patchouli combining with the hootch makes you seem like a bit of a hippy lush. People think this stuff is ‘old-Hollywood’ soigné? Really? I find it much more blatantly queer than the mock-normalcy (and its mirror image, feral ambition) that I associate with old-Hollywood.
I think the key is the part with the fewest spoken lines: the florals. If there’s jasmine here, all I get is the indole. If there’s peony, it’s that ammonia-smelling angle of peonies just starting to turn. If these floral bits were any stronger, Badgeley Mischka’s first words to you would be bad breath. As it stands, they’re more the, “Hello! Darling!” kiss-kiss greeting of a fabulous friend meeting you at the door as you arrive just late to his cocktail party.