Category Archives: Parfumerie Generale

Cuir D’Iris – Parfumerie Generale

Cuir D’Iris has a brilliant leather opening. It smells like the leather used in Oud Cuir D’Arabie – that photorealistic, rough leather with that barnyard, medicinal, almost oud-y edge to it. The iris merely is a texture to begin with – a powder that adds a dusty, “old-book” style accord to the leather, turning it paper-y. Once the scent of dusty libraries and worn, handled leather becomes more prominent and familiar, it sticks with Cuir D’Iris to the end, and smells like what In The Library should have been.

The iris’ rooty and earthy feel gets more obvious as time goes on and the leather begins to settle a touch, the scattering of talc cleaning up the rough opening but still smelling like it is trying to disguise the soiling underneath. Cuir D’Iris gets warmer as an amber/vetiver combo joins in – the vetiver intensifies the orris root and the amber smooths out the leather so that the balance becomes a little more steady between the two leading notes.

The relatively linear development only gets sweeter and creamier as time goes on – the amber turns more vanilla-heavy, reminding me of the vanilla/leather of Cuir Ottoman, only this leather stays true to the tanned-hide stench where the Parfum D’Empire rounds out into a suede. The talc powder note gets stronger and stronger as the iris takes over (and is later joined but a subtle smoke of slightly metallic incense); the fragrance seems to be an ongoing battle between which note can be stronger – but it’s seamless and not at all uncomfortable.

The sweet powder under the still animalic leather lasts on the skin in a lightly fragrant layer that remains full of interest until the end – and whilst I prefer Cuir Ottoman’s more opulent leather/incense/iris/amber/vanilla combo, and also Parfumerie Generale’s other standout leather Cuir Venenum, Cuir D’Iris still has a solid place amongst leather fragrances and is another fragrance from the PG house that I could happily wear.

Cuir D’Iris 50ml EDP Parfumerie Generale – £81.50 Les Senteurs

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Un Crime Exotique – Parfumerie Generale


The start of Un Crime Exotique as with many of the best Parfumerie Generale fragrances, is a delicious gourmand explosion. Here, a huge spicy gingerbread leaps off the skin, reminiscent of both German christmas cakes, and cracking opening the heavy glass lid on a holiday candle. The opening is actually really similar to Hansel & Dreidel by Smell Bent – unfortunately I no longer have my bottle for a direct comparison, but the opening here is a little sweeter, but less edible (it avoids the strong honey note that Hansel & Dreidel pushes forward).

Up top to make up this gingerbread yumminess, is a sheen of spicy black clove, lots of cinnamon sprinkles, nutmeg, the scent of bitter stewed tea leaves adding some translucency, and of course some spicy ginger. Un Crime Exotique is a warm spice basket, less literal than Tauer’s brilliant Eau D’Epices, but more wearable and mouth-wateringly appealing.

The spices mellow a little later on, as a really rich vanilla warms up from the base. Although another sweet note, the vanilla doesn’t become sickly, and instead mellows out the spices onto a more controllable level. The vanilla acts similarly to its treatment in my new-found love – Musc Maori, where it brings a “warm milk” accord – turning Un Crime Exotique from intense Yankee candle to snug chai latte.
The unusual note of brown sugar, the clever lead in Pierre Guillaume’s Sucre d’Ebene, makes a little appearance – surprisingly powerful enough to maintain it’s presence amongst the remaining ginger and cinnamon.
The cloves soften relatively quickly, they blend into the other spices to create a balanced gingerbread accord rather than standing alone as in the opening.

The predictable honey inclusion which I didn’t detect in the opening begins to show up – with the same consistency and dosage as Hansel & Dreidel – the fragrances have a lot of similarities. The only main difference being where H&D takes a musky turn towards the end, here in Parfumerie Generale’s spicy offering, sandalwood provides a woody support – smeared with the vanilla and made lighter with the inclusion of tea – I prefer this.
In the late drydown, it is also reminiscent of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Tea For Two – which was too intense on the smoke and cloves for me (I love me some smoke, but the clove inclusion proved too much). The vanillic sandalwood, with the bitter tea and spice has the same comfort factor and seasonal familiarity.

Un Crime Exotique is not something I would buy and wear, but I do enjoy to sniff it. It is extremely familiar and delightfully joyous – a perfect Christmas fragrance for sitting inside in the warmth when it’s cold out – I’d love to use this as a room/fabric spray more so than on my skin. Still, a lovely offering in the gourmand sector of Parfumerie Generale – a house who is constantly impressing me with the sheer diversity of a very talented perfumer, currently my favourite niche brand.

Un Crime Exotique 50ml Parfumerie Generale – £81.50 Les Senteurs

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Musc Maori – Parfumerie Generale

This fragrance is only the second perfume that I have sprayed – and then bought the bottle almost immediately afterwards (the other being Tubereuse Criminelle).

The weird thing is, Musc Maori is really not my sort of fragrance. Well – that’s a lie. I love sweet gourmands if they are done right, but at first this could easily be considered too literal and simple. Ok so I’m starting to give all this away, so I’ll move on to the good stuff :)…

Musc Maori opens with the merest subdued hint of citrus at first before a gust of powdery cocoa floats to the surface on a bed of smooth milk. Mmmmmmm. Within a minute, Musc Maori perfectly reproduces the scent of a thick chocolate milkshake.

The cocoa isn’t as deep and dusty as in Borneo 1834, but instead, accurately reproduces the scent of milk chocolate, smooth and creamy, but not as sweet as the real thing – thankfully.
Milky notes underneath are warm, blended with the cocoa perfectly to create a seamless illusion of a gourmand delicacy.
Some delicate almost untraceable wood – as gourmand as the cocoa itself, add a tamed support as the milkshake begins to shed some layers and release its radiant translucency.

Musc Maori sounds dense, thick and almost congealed – it’s not. As just mentioned, it has a radiancy that literally glows off the skin – light as a feather but extremely invasive – in the best possible way. From start to finish it constantly throws itself off of my skin and I’m always surrounded in the cosiest halo of perfume.

Musc Maori is linear – allowing a little sweetness from the beginning to evaporate, and the cocoa to mellow out slightly. After about an hour, the vanilla becomes much more prominent, still gripping the remains of the cocoa and never releasing it. It is around this point that the musk comes in – it is not a leading player whatsoever, and instead provides even more “lift” to the fragrance. The musk hovers dangerously on the clean/dirty border, never giving in either way but dipping in and out of both. Sometimes I find the white musk blends with the vanilla and cocoa and makes me swoon in gluttonous delight – at others the darker aspect comes out, almost turning the lactones acrid and inedible, but I thoroughly love it when this happens. This dirtiness reminds me of S-Perfume’s 100% Love, with its cocoa/rose/sweaty feet, the latter note being almost invisible but still a little sinister.

I won’t lie, Musc Maori is a little immature – I am contradicting myself a little bit when I think how I described A Lab On Fire’s What We Do In Paris Is Secret as a “cheap attempt” at a gourmand by including such cliché notes… well, yes this is doing the same: “CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE!” it screams! But, it depends who’s wearing it of course. I guess I wouldn’t be the type of person you’d look at and expect to smell sweet chocolate dessert, and I guess that’s why I love it so much. It makes me feel different… confident, playful and a little bit naughty.

Musc Maori gets slated for its simplicity, its literal gourmand immaturity, and its lack of longevity. I’ve tackled my opinion on the first two points – BOLOGNA! – as for the last point, I don’t understand this – on me Musc Maori lasts from first thing in the morning until a long day at work, the gym, and then the train journey home. I constantly catch whiffs of it throughout the day – it’s gorgeous.

The fragrance’s base drifts on and on and on in a light, sweet aura of vanilla, vanilla-heavy amber, tonka and the memory of cocoa and milk.
A deliciously different fragrance that has its own unique place in my collection – I love it!

Musc Maori 50ml Parfumerie Generale – £81.50 Les Senteurs

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A Wednesday In London

So, on Wednesday I decided to make my way to London and have a sniffathon – and a little shop at the end of it.
I had a few things in mind I originally wanted to buy – and was completely open-minded as to what I wanted to sniff.

My shopping goals for fragrance were something smoky (I was thinking Lonestar Memories/Vierges et Toreros/ the-then-untested Les Nombres D’Or Cuir/ anything else that some sales staff want to throw under my nose), and something for summer.

After arriving in London – the first point of call was Selfridges.

There’s the main beauty department bang in the middle of the bottom floor – filled with all the designer brands, a little to the side in a small room (or two) are a few niche fragrances and generally, the more interesting bits.

Walking past Dior firstly, I was thrown a piece of paper with Oud Ispahan written on it – and this is one of the things I actually came in to try.

Oud Ispahan is the new release in the Dior Prive line, I haven’t got much experience with the line as although I love the bottles, they don’t really appeal to me :( However, I figured if I liked it enough it may be a buy, but it didn’t quite hit the spot.

That’s not to say Oud Ispahan is not nice – it is a really nice, safe rose/oud combination. It is rich, with a slightly soapy edge. The rose is crisp and clear as is the oud, they are both perfectly balanced and the fragrance was MUCH cleaner than I expected. A really good beginner oud scent, long-lasting, but delicate and refined enough to wear regularly (unlike most rose/oud combinations).

I also gave Leather Oud a quick sniff, but yet again, I just find it too perfectly balanced and not quite scary enough for me to really get attracted to it (I considered this in my smoky fragrance list also); it may be a daring composition for them, but it still feels like a Dior fragrance (if that makes sense).

The only other fragrances I gave a quick sniff too were a couple Lutens’ I have already tried, and two of the new Robert Piguet fragrances – Notes and Casbah.

Notes was unlike anything I normally try, very masculine in a “cologne” type of way, I really liked the strange opening clary sage and geranium, but it got very uncomfortable on me very quickly. It is very loud and powerful (a little nauseating) with such a strange combination of notes, I had to ditch my paper blotter pretty quickly.

Casbah I can’t even remember what this smelt like, I hated it straight away. It definitely had the Piguet signature in pretty strong (I don’t know much about the signature but so far I have not got on with his fragrances at all as they all have this weird component tying them together). All I remember was that it was spicy, but cool, and really musty and dated. Horrible.

That was me in done after that – scared away by the Piguets and remembering that Selfridges is actually not a very good fragrance shopping destination…

Next, around the corner to Marble Arch and a much-needed visit to Les Senteurs.

Welcomed as always by the lovely staff, my first sniff was at the central table where they were promoting the new Ruth Mastenbroek fragrance – Amorosa.

I wanted to try Amorosa after reading The Candy Perfume Boy’s write-up of it and hearing about the wonderfully unusual watermelon opening!

Yes the opening was quite unusual, a lovely juicy watermelon – non aquatic and instead sweet and almost fizzy. The white florals underneath were good also – that was pretty much all. A nice, safe summer fragrance with no “umph” to make it unique enough for me, but I like my weird shit :P  It was also one of the very few occasions where I sniffed something feminine and thought “Nah I couldn’t get away with that” which was a shame.

After much snooping round in awkward silence, I made my way over the Frederic Malle counter, and asked for some advice. I have tried a couple of Malle’s – the gorgeous Dans Tes Bras, Musc Ravageur, Carnal Flower, Vetiver Extraordinaire, Bigarade Concentree.

I firstly had another quick sniff of Dans Tes Bras - a beautiful extremely salty combination of clean sweaty skin, seaweed-like salt, and the most unusual violets. I just adore it and was tempted by a bottle – but it wasn’t what I came for!


After asking what I had tried and liked from the line, I was directed to Une Rose. One sniff and I was overcome with “mmmm”‘s and “ahhhhh”‘s. I said “This is one of the best things I’ve tried in ages”.

It is a clean, almost soapy rose, but undercut with earthy mushroom type notes. It has that dirty/clean vibe that balances in perfect harmony, with delicate presence on the skin, but great surrounding throw. Whilst it sounds silly to say I enjoy the “refined” quality of this, and not the Dior’s, the complexity of the rose here is presented in all it’s glory and it’s far more fascinating than the more simple compositions of the Prive line I sampled. Whilst I do think that this is currently too mature for me (another thing I never say), I will own a bottle in time. I was going to add it to my basket in Les Senteurs but when I was told the price, I moved on!!

Sticking with the Malle’s for a minute, I also gave brief sniffs to -

French Lover – bitter greenery, galbanum, green pepper, raw cedar – all that jazz, I felt like I had smelt it before, not for me…

Noir Epices - surprised me and is something I will sample properly in time. I imagined something close to Tauer’s Eau D’Epices but it turned out to be far cleaner with a crisp clear display of spices, an aldehydic orange and floral accord up top brightens the opening and makes Noir Epices feel more classical than other spice-basket fragrances. Maybe not something I would wear, but very nice.

Une Fleur De Cassie - Reminded me instantly of Carillon Pour Une Ange, not sure why as lily of the valley isn’t listed but it’s what I got strongest. It was a pollen rich floral bouquet with a carnation spiciness. I didn’t like it.

Lys Mediteranee - I really like – an aquatic note of salty ocean, warm and beachy, with a gorgeous spicy lily (which I adore) floating throughout. It’s light and lovely – nearly bought this.

En Passant - I also thoroughly loved and didn’t expect to – water and lilacs, so unbelievably delicate with abysmal, poor longevity, but heavenly whilst it lasts.

So is that all I sniffed? Hellllll no, my nose was practically burning but I continue…

I went onto my smoky cravings, where I smelt a lot of stuff not worth writing about. A few caught my eye including Mona Di Orio’s Cuir which I hadn’t tried before. I do not like Mona’s creations as narrow-minded as that sounds, but I just can’t stand her base. However, Cuir was a lovely smoky leather, the kind of smoke that is delicate in its volume, but piercingly uncomfortable in its texture – it had the feel of stale cigarette smoke and it had this rich/trashy clash going on and it was a very near buy!

I went on to sample Lonestar Memories again for the millionth time which constantly makes me collapse in delight. I pretty much knew this is what I wanted to buy, but I had more smokiness to try later in the day in other shops…

At this point, my nose was knackered, so I needed a coffee and a change of scenery, and I promised I’d be back later!!

So after a an hour of chilling, I headed over to Liberty.

I mainly came to Liberty to sniff two fragrances. One was the intensely smoky Patchouli 24.

I hated this when I first tried it, and I didn’t have much luck again. Patchouli 24‘s smoke is extremely dense, loud and uncomfortable. It is literally bonfire smoke, with that hit-the-back-of-your-throat pitch. Underneath is a sickly sweet vanilla, and the whole composition is completely unbalanced and immature, I hate it (but wanted to love it)

I also came to try Pulp by Byredo as I heard of its rotten fruit accords which I was craving for summer. Unfortunately it reminded me a lot of Multiple Rouge by Humiecki and Graef – more the combination of every cheap shower gel scent exploded into one opening. It wasn’t richly fruity and natural smelling as I hoped, and instead was an extremely synthetic combination of overpowering, unappetizing fruit notes. Not at all what I was after.

I was hoping the Blood Concept line was still on sale but they were no where in site (I had my eyes on AB!).

I was in and out of Liberty very quickly, taking a quick sniff of Goutal’s Mon Parfum Cheri Par Camille, which was a huge, stuffy dated patchouli with some high-pitched metallic notes scattered throughout – I liked it! But I don’t need another patchouli.

I quickly stopped by L’Artisan Parfumeur in Covent Garden to pick up a bottle of Dzongkha on sale for my mum (who loves it) – so that was my first purchase of the day, but not for myself!

So, from here it was off to Harrods.

In Harrods I instantly walked to the Perfume Hall, which was buzzing with people and sale signs. I entered the room by Boadicea The Victorious I noticed a sale on – I hoped Complex was on sale but, it wasn’t…

Instead a little bottle of Reviving was on sale for £35 – bargain considering RRP is £90. I sprayed it on my hand (the first skin test of the day), and it was a nice enough masculine composition of vetiver, oakmoss, a light floral opening and a saltiness throughout, I enjoyed it and was going to buy a bottle but, it was only because it was on sale, that £35 could be put to much better use…

I continued around the hall, nothing taking my fancy, so up I went to Roja Dove’s Haute Parfumerie.

Greeted initially by a hugely enthusiastic lady with the most forcefully upper class accent I have ever encountered, I quickly shunned her off and headed over to the Vero Profumo just to glare at the bottles with serious wanting.
I sniffed the glorious Onda and Rubj EDP once more when another sales assistant came over.
He began talking to me about how the Onda EDP is “a wonderful lavender and leather”, I held back my chuckle through watery eyes and just smiled and nodded… I said, “Yeh… and of course the vetiver, ginger, citrus and honey – I mean, they make up the most of it” :’) He smiled, nodded, and then proceeded to say “The perfumer was inspired by Tabac Blond… would you like to smell it?”
So why not. He brought of a paper blotter with Caron’s Tabac Blond extrait on it – it was undoubtably beautiful and I said so.

I heard the posh lady in the background “sharing a larrrff” with some ladies out back and I heard both the words “fabulous darling” and “so drôle!” before I had to make my way out this hell hole! Not my scene!

Back to the sanity of Les Senteurs

I’m back at Marble Arch now after a beer in Knightsbridge, and I’m ready for my spending :)

Greeted again, I say I want to find something for summer – no citrus (I was considering Azemour Les Oranges by Parfum D’Empire but they didn’t have it in stock), no vetiver soliflores and no white florals (although I do love them). So, I asked to try some iris fragrances
(randomly).

I was shown me the new W1X (iris, violet, rose…) by new London based niche line BEX. Infact, I gave a brief sniff to the whole line (4 fragrances) – which I will go into detail about in later.

I also tried Naiviris by Huitieme Art (I really want one of these fragrances – I love the bottles!), which I actually really liked. It is a relatively straightforward iris with a lovely warmth and spice to it. Nothing complicated, but delicate and easy to wear with a nice doughy texture to it. However, after trying these two I figured iris wasn’t my summer craving.

I went to the Parfumerie Generale display – convinced this was my last resort (and I LOVE the line). I sniffed almost everything:

Cedre Sandaraque - is a very unusual resinous, woodsy fragrance, with a warmth and spice to it that reminded me in the heart of Dior’s Fahrenheit, with it’s slightly petrol undertone. I loved the almost cotton candy sweetness up top. It’s nice – but not quite my thing.

Felanilla - another iris that is very very similar to Dior Homme, only warmer, spicier and a little richer, this would be my choice over and above Homme, although I wouldn’t want to wear either.

Psychotrope – was a very unusual dense watery, floral fragrance that Nick described as “the smell of drowning!” which is very true, it reminds me of Skarb, with its watery/chlorine type scent and a Calone/melon thickness. Uncomfortable to wear, but bizarrely intriguing.

Iilang Ivohibe - was a divine ylang ylang, narcotic floral, that somehow came across as the scent of men’s calogne/shaving cream. I loved it, but it wasn’t what I wanted – I’ll probably end up with a bottle in the near future, it’s very unusual.

Louanges Profanes - also really really good – a lily/soapy orange blossom opening becomes a rich, narcotic floral bouquet and rich vanillic benzoin drydown. I haven’t got anything like it and it was a contender for a full bottle as well. Damn I love this line so much!!

L’Oiseau De Nuit - I loved the opening of this, boozy rum and cake! I was instantly craving some more yummy goods after smelling this – and the only thing that put me off was the warm spicy amber dry-down which reminded me of my L’Artisan, I don’t need another amber soliflore…

“More yummy things!” I said…

Musc Maori - MMMMMMMM! YUM! Musc Maori is a chocolate milkshake. Slightly warmed frothy milk, and the scent of creamy milk chocolate. There’s this slightly animalic musk underneath which just turns the fragrance from being too edible into something that almost smells ever-so-slightly off. I loved it. It’s gourmand (I don’t own a gourmand), and is light enough for summer.
“Does it last like this though or is the drydown boring… HONESTLY?”
The gourmand factor of Musc Maori is so strange it had me going from “Mmmmm” to “Ewww :’)” in seconds. It’s almost grossly gourmand, in the same sense as the unedible 100% Love by S-Perfume with its “sweaty foot” note.
I was pretty much sold. But asked for more anyway :)

Une Crime Exotique – holy moly lovely opening! Gingerbread with extra spice. Gorgeously gourmand, I wouldn’t wear it myself but asked for a sample for my mum (who loved the ginger notes in Etat Libre D’Oranges’ Like This). It goes through a lot of stages in its development but somehow gets more and more lovely – but diverting slightly from the spicy, super-gourmand opening into more “perfumey” territory.

I have already tried other wonderful gourmands in the line – Aomassai, Tonkamande, Cadjmere, Praline De Santal, Indochine…
I pondered around the shop for a while, staring at everything I had sniffed that day…
What “smoky” do I want…

“You know what” I said “I’ll get Lonestar Memories. I just love it so much, nothing will beat it I don’t think :)”

And for the summer scent?

“And it’s going to have to be Musc Maori, I think I’ll be able to pull it off in the summer!” I kept sniffing the Musc Maori which I put on my skin straight after trying the carded sample – it was just so so so good. At times it is gorgeously edible, at other’s – sickeningly grotesque, so much so it makes me laugh :’)

So that’s what I walked out with, and a huge bag of samples :) A successful day! (And more thorough reviews of some of these scents to come).

What was your most recent purchase? and because I’m rubbish with summer scents – What will you be wearing regularly this summer?

I do not own the pictures of the shop exteriors :)

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Cuir Venenum – Parfumerie Generale


Cuir Venenum opens with the most ridiculous combination of super tart orange blossom, citrus and honey, that it instantly morphs into an almost futuristic, robotic grape soda scent. Yes, the opening is so reminiscent of grape soda it’s like cracking open a fresh can of pop under your nose.

Spiraling upwards from the base is a long stream of smoke. The smoke isn’t from incense, and is instead an almost stale cigarette cloud – the exact accord that should have been in Jasmin et Cigarette but wasn’t. It’s dirty, ashy and true to life. It’s extremely playful and almost “naughty” smelling.

Some coconut and myrrh round the fragrance completely, turning these harsh opposites into a smoother scent – that of a stale “left on from last night” kind of scent. What started as ridiculously fun and potent, does settle down slightly, but the composition never truly sorts itself out.
At the base, along with the stale scent of cigarette smoke, is a potent leather. The leather is often described as creamy and plush, but I think that’s due to all the hyper sweet synthetic notes on top and the dash of coconut. The base to me feels bitter and dirty, with a slighty skanky musk providing a scattering of powder.

The fragrance is far from clean, despite the usual soapy nature of orange blossom and citrus. The top is super sweet and synthetic, with a real syrupy feel to it. The powder is dusty and similarly to Dark Aoud by Montale, feels old and very well worn in. The leather, musk and myrrh add that skanky breathy-ness to the base, and the fragrance feels as full of contrasts as it sounds. I personally would have great trouble wearing it and feeling comfortable, and whilst I initially found it my favourite amongst my recent batch of samples, it has slowly shuffled its way back down a bit. I am fascinated by it, but my mother was completely bowled over and a bottle is soon to be on order for her. She describes it as “the smell after a messy night out”. I agree, it has that trashiness of fragrances like Boudoir and Putain Des Palaces, only I feel even they have a more delicate refinement, Cuir Venenum is much more literal.

If this sounds like your sort of thing, it’s definitely worth a try! Another oustanding, creative and challenging composition by the brilliant Pierre Guillaume, but not something I would enjoy smelling of all day.

Cuir Venenum Parfumerie Generale 50ml EDP – $95 Luckyscent

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Papyrus De Ciane – Parfumerie Generale

I have grown extremely fond of the Parfumerie Generale line. They constantly impressive me, and the openings are always something truly captivating and exciting.
I only own one, but have samples of many, and am torn between what to go for next. To be honest, I have been paying more attention recently to the Huitieme Art line, but after a tad of disappointment, I have crept my way back over to these originals.

Green fragrances are something that I don’t go for due to cravings or excitement like I do with leathers, avant-garde fragrances or controversial scents. No, instead, green fragrances are something I am forcing myself to enjoy, and thankfully I feel I have got to a point where I can now appreciate a “good one”, even if it is not really to my taste. However the aim of my green exploration is to find one that IS to my taste but I’m still not sure what I’m looking for… So this one was a good start :)

Papyrus De Ciane to me is a bit of a stinker to begin with! It is the most bitter green that reminds me of old 80’s powerhouse fragrances, true macho masculines. Now, I’m crap with naming greenery, but if I’d have to take a shot… actually you know what, I’m not going to guess here: Galbanum, neroli, mugwort are just some of the notes listed in the top. So if that helps you, then so be it :) To me, it is almost a typically bitter green masculine that I would imagine sniffing in a Polo or Aramis fragrance, not that I’m familiar with either of them!

Unusually, there is something underneath this greenery, and it slowly begins to take a turn towards the sweet and powdery. It’s completely different to what I expected (a further tumble into vetiver and dry woods), instead it becomes soapy, delicately floral with the green notes more transparent but still adding that bitter edge, and a wonderful smoke of incense.

So it sounds complicated: Basically after a bitter green opening, the almost dirty dank scent of grass, reeds, leaves and herbs, thoroughly mellows into a soapy greenery, a very faint incense and a surprisingly pleasant vetiver. It’s clean, smooth, has a gentle muskiness to it adding a touch of delicate sweetness and a little bit of powder.
Apparently there’s a famous base in this called “Mousse de Saxe”, I’m not familiar with it, but if it’s there, it smells good :)

I actually wasn’t planning on giving this such a positive review – initially I felt it had a great (not to my personal taste) opening, followed by a disappointing, mellow drydown, but instead I’ve began to realise the drydown is my favourite part. Wearing it on my skin whilst reviewing this I’m starting to think “Yehhh…. I could happily wear this in the summer :)”

It starts aggressively masculine and turns thoroughly unisex – with a little bit of green leather (Isobutyl Quinolin, which I really enjoy) providing a dose of grassy, slightly animalic support on a soapy, floral heart. Unusual, and maybe even a future purchase! Recommended.

Papyrus De Ciane Parfumerie Generale 50ml EDP – $95 Luckyscent

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Parfumerie Generale – Intrigant Patchouli

Having tried a few Parfumerie Generale scents recently, I am now beginning to see what an incredible line this is, and I have dismissed it for so long :(

I have a love/hate kind of thing going on with patchouli. My mum loves patchouli, and I guess because of that, I’ve grown to really like it. Sometimes though I see it as too stuffy, or maybe sometimes too boring. I find it hard to find a patchouli dominated scent which I think “Yes I’d love to wear that” and instead am more often saying “Ooh I like that, I wouldn’t wear it though”.

This fragrance however falls between both categories, I guess I’m not used to wearing a patchouli which is why I would be hesitant, however, it is without a doubt the best patchouli dominated perfume I have smelt to date.

A blinding, tart floral and citrus blast opens Intrigant Patchouli but then instantly up shoots a dark… very dark patchouli and intense animalic civet… WOW. It’s an amazing opening. It smells like the richest oriental composition imaginable, almost to a point of being completely unwearable.

Some ginger spices up the patchouli, but the general feel is a dark, leafy, completely un-hippyish patchouli with amazingly rich animal tones merged with it. The animalic sweetness reminds me of Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdijan, but this is very different (much better!). Castoreum adds a nutty and earthy sweetness to it – I keep mentioning the sweetness, but trust me it is completely counter balanced by the bitter green.

I really love this. The underlying woody/resinous support appears to be a deep, crumbly amber and musk, along with a wood that I can’t be specific on. Intrigant Patchouli remains relatively linear throughout its life, staying rich, full and unbelievably luxurious throughout. It does however (and thankfully) slightly mellow out to a level of less projection and more comfort – if it stayed like the opening, I think no matter how divine, it would be almost unwearable. An hour on, the fragrance has a slight translucency to it and it seems to just radiate off the skin: a musty patchouli, rich animalics and heady florals (mainly jasmine I think).

The overall effect is a classic yet completely modern oriental, with every aspect of the drydown boosted up x100. A sophisticated, daring and completely captivating fragrance which I will definitely own in the near future.

Parfumerie Generale Intrigant Patchouli 50ml EDP – £81.50 Les Senteurs

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Parfumerie Generale – Indochine

A very generous eBay member sent me the remains of her sample of Parfumerie Generale’s Indochine. I had heard nothing about it, and have not read up on it much. I’m gonna do a similar thing to what I did with the H&G samples and just try it now, and give you guys a brief description.

Indochine opens with a lovely, creamy benzoin. I can quickly pick up honey, which is rich and dense like a set honey. The only honey scent I’m really familiar with is Miel De Bois which I own and love, but that honey is sheer and hot, it radiates, Indochine’s honey melts.

This fragrance has a Play-doh like texture, it is doughy, full, and is ever so slightly salty. With this beautifully tasty benzoin and set honey, it’s sweet, but not cloying at all. There’s some slight spice in there which I’ve read up is pepper, it took a little time before I could find this but it is just sitting underneath everything providing just a little kick to the cream.

The base must be composed of a very pale but smooth wood, it’s resinous and blends in beautifully with the heart of this fragrance. There is absolutely nothing unpleasant in this at all and it’s extremely easy to wear.
After just 15 minutes or so a lot of the density has mellowed out and the fragrance becomes lighter and more powdery. It smells a little ambery at the base but I’m not sure if that’s listed, it may just be the resins and the benzoin which is mimicking this.
There is also a slight green underneath it all, but it’s very subtle and doesn’t distract from the gourmand quality of Indochine which I like. All the spices are in full order in perfect proportions, the benzoin stands out the most in Indochine and everything else just adds an accent on it. Cardamon is listed which I love but it isn’t a featuring note to my nose as I can only just pick it out… maybe that’s what’s adding the green sweetness?

Anyway. Lovely, easy to wear gourmand fragrance, not edible, but very comfortable. I do keep picking up a Play-doh type of note but I actually really enjoy that. The honey is calm and cozy and I’d definitely recommend it as a light, cloudy gourmand for fans of vanilla and benzoin. I’ll definitely have to explore more of this line.

Parfumerie Generale Indochine 50ml EDP – £81.50 Les Senteurs

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