digging (into) vintage: Ralph Lauren Safari, 1989

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Perfumer Dominique Ropion.

Safari is an interesting alternative to other designer florals. It’s heavy on galbanum, but the high-pitched green florals keep it from seeming chalky. It starts crisp and stemmy, but it’s the heartnotes that categorize Safari: green, woody floral.

The sweetness of the grassy, fruity topnotes reminds me of the nose-tickling feel of downing a shot of wheatgrass. I like Safari for its crisp coolness but the snappiness slowly fades. It remains cool to the touch, a great feature in a hot climate, but it gets saccharine over time.

A note: I haven’t the least idea how this fragrance relates to a safari. Just another opportunity for the Ralph Lauren schtick of surrounding yourself with the trappings of privilege to fuel your fantasies? If so, why not go whole hog, stay a bit, and call it Colonialism?


(image source, Veruschka in the 1970s Yves Saint Laurent Safari Collection)

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