Category Archives: Parfum D’Empire

Azemour Les Orangers – Parfum D’Empire

Azemour Les Orangers opens with sour orange peel and tart grapefruit  – the juiciness is mouthwatering, and almost photorealistic paired with the greenery of cypress. It sounds repetitive but it really is the scent of your fingers after peeling an orange – maybe some aldehydes up top lifting those citrus notes into something flourescent and juicy.
It settles relatively quickly though, the orange still lovely, but the almost resinous greenery and warm cumin underneath turning Azemour a little more “cologne-y”. The cumin isn’t sweaty and overdone, and the orange remains become prickled with pepper.

The citrus fruit becomes more citrus floral – a bright neroli and orange blossom along with a big hit of rose come off quite dandy – without the lavender. The floral trio is relatively tame on the skin – after the gleaming opening the heart is soft and delicate in comparison. The orange blossom and neroli carry the citrus theme but for me, the rose comes off strongest. In fact, I grow Charles Darwin roses which are bright yellow and have a lemon-y tea like rose scent, and Azemour smells like it carries this aroma.

The greenery of the cypress lasts from start to finish, along with a subtle, bitter oakmoss. The chypre base of Azemour is extremely subtle on my skin – when I heat it, or breathe deep above the scent, it seems like there is a whole other world of complexity under there which just isn’t strong enough to come out on its own. There’s a rich, grassy hay, dry and brittle – along with a suede-y leather that gives it a plush “brown” colour – earthy and slightly animal, along with the remains of the dry spice of cumin and pepper. Maybe in hot weather, all this would erupt on my skin and it would be a perfect summer scent. For now, the opening is the part I keep craving, with a tame but enjoyable, classic bitter green drydown - the subtle florals thankfully steering Azemour clear from soap and powder.

Azemour is a good citrus/floral/chypre - it doesn’t quite have the bold personality on my skin I’d hoped, but it is a very easy, versatile wear (words that wouldn’t normally appeal to me), that manages to stand greater than many other house’s signature citrus colognes.

Azemour Les Oranges EDP 100ml Parfum D’Empire - £84.50 Les Senteurs

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Parfum D’Empire – Cuir Ottoman

When I first joined Basenotes, I asked the strangers at the time to form their opinion on my scent tastes from the many designer and few niche fragrances I had explored, including my beloved Boudoir by Vivienne Westwood, and my taste of animalics, leathers, and powdery florals.

One of the first suggestions, and one repeated over and over, was Cuir Ottoman…
I ignored this numerous times, even when given the opportunity to sniff it at Les Senteurs, I thought “I don’t like the bottle… It’ll smell old-fashioned”. Obviously this is when I was much more immature (not that long ago :’)).

Only in December 2011 did I pick this up and give it a spray. It blew me away, it was perfect.

Cuir Ottoman blasts open with a beautiful, creamy and slightly barnyard-y leather. Rough, slightly animalic and potent yet soft as suede. A leather opening full of textures, dusted with a vanillic sweetness to make it comfortable.

The leather in Cuir Ottoman is absolutely exquisite, it is so luxurious and soft that it becomes almost gourmand and edible. 
The vanilla retreats to come out later, and the leather is joined with a powdery iris, subtle in comparison to the leather, I hardly perceive it as “iris and leather”, it is impeccably blended to a point where even I struggle to find the iris’ scent. The textured combination is beautiful, the orris “perfuming” the leather, enhancing it’s suede quality and pushing the harsher elements of the opening out of the composition from here on.

Almost caramelized but not sugary, the leather is soaked in resins with some vanilla and tonka providing that creamy backdrop which provides the base to this fragrance, you’ll find it gleaming strong over 12 hours later. Some delicate, sweet incense floats around in the foreground too, a subtle trail of smoke throughout. A drop of jasmine sambac sits in the heart – adding to Cuir Ottoman’s rich opulence.

As I said earlier, this lasts forever – and I find that personally, after numerous hours this just becomes the most beautiful skin scent imaginable. It is smooth, suede like, and ridiculously soft – the sweet benzoin and leather on the skin makes it sweet and a little dirty. Great value, exceptional quality, and perfect from start to finish.

The most expensive smelling, and one of the best, leather scents available – hugely recommended.

Parfum D’Empire Cuir Ottoman 100ml - £84.50 Les Senteurs

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Parfum D’Empire – Ambre Russe & Wazamba

Ambre Russe opens with a sharp blast of vodka. A true to life, salty alcohol note with the beautifully rich amber sweetness underneath.
Pretty much instantly a slightly savoury spice comes in, like a de-sweetened cardamon, and a mellow incense. The incense is far from churchy and smells extremely exotic.

Ambre Russe is extremely complex, and my nose is no where near trained enough to disect it much further. There is a slightly stale note that joins in along with some tobacco and tea leaves. It is a complicated and slightly confused melange of spices, textures, sweet and savoury notes on top of a beautiful opulent amber.

This fragrance is unlike any other amber I have tried, it remains relatively savoury, despite the amber providing a great deal of honeyed sweetness. Also, unlike Luten’s Ambre Sultan, it is not medicinal and the spices seem far more exotic and complimentary.

Parfum D’Empire have created an outstanding amber, which is literally huge. It is complex, exotic and completely original. The fragrance stays strong throughout the day and is an outstanding alternative in the amber genre.
The spices and incense remind me very much so of…

Wazamba… which I guess is to be expected in a brand. It opens with an everchanging combination of notes ranging from savoury spices, to citrus and cypress, and then suddenly a sweetness emerges out of the cloud of resinous dust and leaves it all behind.

Wazamba is bizarrely sweeter than Ambre Russe, but shares a similar incense note. There is some fresh apple in there which brightens up the composition, but after the initial confusion, Wazamba remains relatively linear. It is resinous, and has a blossoming immortelle note throughout, which confuses me as it’s not listed at all, however I’ve noted other reviewers have also picked up on this.

I don’t have much experience with myrrh, but I can pick it up from what I remember of my previous encounters with it, apparantly it’s pretty obvious in this composition, but as with AR, this is an extremely complex fragrance that is very difficult for a beginner like myself to disect.

So on a whole, Wazamba is a sweet, resinous blend of what smells like pine, immortelle, powdered incense, and sweet smoked woods. It is like nothing else I’ve ever smelt, and the quality is utterly outstanding. As with AR, longevity is wonderful as to be expected.
Although I highly rate these fragrances, they are not really to my taste… and I don’t think I will ever own one of them, but if they sound appealing to you, then you must try them, they will be much better than my attempt at describing them.

I haven’t really explored the Parfum D’Empire line beyond these, and a few others - my favourite being Cuir Ottoman which is on it’s way in the post to me right now! I will review this at a later date as I truly believe it is outstanding, even if not the most original idea to some.

Apologies for these reviews being so brief, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to break down these fragrances, but I think they need to be known and Parfum D’Empire should be gaining a lot more credit than they do, so I’m sure for them, any news is good news :)

Parfum D’Empire Ambre Russe 100ml – £84.50 Les Senteurs
Parfum D’Empire Wazamba 100ml – £84.50 Les Senteurs

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