A transparent weaving together of notes which works wonders at conjuring cobwebby cloth but has guts to back up all the frippery.
Musk, coconut, hedione, ambroxan, vanilla, calone, jasmine, cedar
When you see a fragrance called “Lace” it would be easy to imagine that out of the bottle will spring a genie of fluffy, insubstantial femininity. You might imagine that this will slink about insipidly, like the most banal of market stall knock-offs, before disappearing into the ether leaving just the faintest whiff of disappointment behind. If that is what you think when you approach Lace by Sarah Baker then you are in for a really pleasant surprise because the lace here has guts and is more likely to refer to a lacy garter that carries a pistol snug against thigh than it is to refer to some garment of titillation.
Lace opens up with a lovely damp, musky coconut and a nice, polished wood sort of vibe that made us think of airing out antique cupboards – in the nicest possible way. There’s a pleasant duality of inside/outside about the start of the scent. It has a close, musky feel to it, but that sits in companionable opposition to the cooler, more open feeling that the calone brings.
Most gender in fragrances is a construct, but this did lean more towards the feminine end of the spectrum for us, but here that is a really great thing. This is femininity with strength, with prowess and power, not the insipid, lacklustre sort of femininity that the typical perfume pedlars try to sell us. There is something swashbuckling about this scent somehow which really appeals. It does feminine, and it does it in a powerful way.
Lace isn’t a scent that it isn’t afraid to take up space. The overall feel of the perfume as it wears is one of creamy softness and delicacy, but it kind of hits you over the head with that. She says “I’m perfect just as I am, I shall not minimise myself for you,” whilst jutting her chin and looking down her nose at you. And you know what, that made Lace even easier to love.
As the fragrance gets properly going, the muskiness ramps up even more, and the scent loses some of the cool and gentle freshness that it started with. The coconut is definitely noticeable, but it has a lovely husky woodiness about it that takes it away from the overly sweet shower gel type of coconut and allows it to retain its elegance. Touches of sweetness are provided by the warm embrace of ambroxan which nestles around the other notes and just draws everything together and this is set against a creamy backdrop which feels satiny smooth.
As the perfume wears on, the high-frequency hum of jasmine starts to creep in and gives the whole scent a quivering intensity. The fragrance shifts gear and becomes a really musky floral, almost tropical and humid in the way that it wafts from the body when worn. There is something about the intoxicating jasmine that draws you ever closer towards the embrace of the assassin who would wear this. She pretends to be all sweet and innocent at the start, but there is something much more dangerous lurking in the base. It could be that pistol she has tucked into her lacy garter perhaps.
Vanilla adds a round voluptuousness to the whole composition, along with the comforting familiarity of cedar. All in all, Lace feels like a really good example of what could be described as a feminine fragrance, but it is empowering rather than diminishing because of that. It is the sort of fragrance that lady pirates could wear to entrap their victims and go on raids. This is a lace which is threaded through with steel.
The other stuff
The longevity of Lace is great, easily eight hours or so following an early morning application.
The projection of the scent is also good, going to around handshake distance or further.
As mentioned, this fragrance leans towards the more feminine side of the spectrum, but don’t let that stop you if you are more masculine and would like to wear it.
Lace by Sarah Baker is available from the Sarah Baker web boutique where it is priced at £120 for 50ml.
We were very kindly gifted a sample of Lace by a friend of The Sniff who is not associated with the brand in any way.