Sienne L’Hiver opens with a sweet earthy accord and a briney olive note. My perception of olives isn’t my own, it is apparently a listed accord by perfumeur Bertrand Duchaufour, and it’s like nothing I’ve ever smelt in perfumery before (I seem to say this a lot sorry).
Duchaufour’s Dzongkha instantly comes to mind when I sniff this, whilst they don’t smell the same, they have the same half full atmospheric feel which I find enchanting – however I MUCH prefer this composition.
Back to its actual smell, Sienne L’Hiver has a truffle/mushroom note that isn’t damp and earthy like traditional mushrooms but instead is delicate and perfumed. The briney/olive note is described by some as pickles… which comes across as much less appealing. I actually love this salty/oiliness and find it utterly meditative. These complicated accords create an atmosphere that goes beyond perfumery and is instead transcendent and slightly melancholy. Whilst I feel utterly peaceful when I inhale this deeply, it is slightly cold, natural and familiar. I absolutely love it on first sniff.
It’s a very hard scent to describe and pull apart as all notes seem to be blended into complex accords and then layered into atmospheric creations. It is earthy, without being green/muddy or vetiver rich. It is gently floral with what I can only imagine to be iris. It is savoury, with the black olive and green leaves creating a rich yet transparent oily texture. It really is something subtly astonishing and I am already on the hunt for a bottle!
This actually clicked with my mother more so, and having previously had more of a liking for feminine, rich, spicy fragrances – some favourites being Aziyade and Wazamba by Parfum D’Empire and patchouli dominated fragrances- after one sniff of Sienne L’Hiver she said “…I love this, I need a bottle”. It is really beautiful, really personal, and maybe something that no one else will enjoy as much as you if you love it, but that doesn’t matter.
This fragrance seems to be the sort that gets over hyped, and obviously my gleaming review will contribute to that. I think if you are going to try this fragrance, simply get yourself a sample, apply liberally, close your eyes and just enjoy and experience it for yourself. Don’t let accord names and unusual note listings get into your head too much, because Sienne L’Hiver is much more personal than that.
It is confusing, stern, and quiet, but also a unique gem in perfumery. Give it a chance.
Sienne L’Hiver – Eau D’Italie 100ml – £87 Les Senteurs