Haiku Perfume Reviews: Histoires de Parfums’ Petroleum / 1969 / Moulin Rouge 1889

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Photo sourced from HdP US Website: http://www.histoiresdeparfums.com/us/histoiresdeparfums/preface.php Copyright Histoires de Parfums.

Introduction to Histoires de Parfums Reviews

Last year in my Facebook perfume appreciation group some of the members took part in a perfume review challenge. In this group task, we each chose a fragrance house that we wanted to become more familiar with, and wrote a review on a different scent from that house, every day for seven days. I chose to review seven fragrances by the French company Histoires de Parfums. A few months ago I shared four of these reviews with you at Perfume Polytechnic (scroll to the bottom for links to these reviews). Today I’m sharing with you the remaining reviews, a series of three haiku poems. At the time of the perfume review challenge I was a little burnt out after a few days from the “review a day” concept, so I tried to come up with a novel, concise way of reviewing my remaining three fragrances!

While I don’t claim to be a poet, I wanted to convey a sense of the remaining three perfumes without resorting to long sentences, anecdotes and similes. So… here you have the final three reviews in my Histoires de Parfums Perfume Week Review Challenge. I’ve presented the haiku for each fragrance first, followed by the fragrance notes for each one.

Petroleum (Edition Rare)

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Car oil, not petrol —
Trees ooze sap, dark earth, dry, cool;
I glimpse a musk stag.

Fragrance Notes:

Top Notes: Oud, Bergamot, Aldehydes / Heart Notes: Rose, Oud, Amber / Base Notes: Oud, Civet Absolute, Leather, Patchouli, White Musk.

1969

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Among ripe peach trees
Orange sun, I sit eating
Musk rose chocolates.

Fragrance Notes:

Top Notes: Fruit of the Sun, Peach / Heart Notes: Rose, White Flowers, Cardamom, Clove / Base Notes: Patchouli, Chocolate, Coffee, White Musk.

Moulin Rouge 1889

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Legs, flesh, silk, feathers
Powder puffs and grease paint — lights!
Lipstick kiss: salut!

Fragrance Notes:

Top Notes: Tangerine, Prune, Cinnamon / Heart Notes: Absinthe, Rose of Damas / Base Notes: Iris, Patchouli, Musk, Fur.


If you’d like to read my other four reviews from the HdP line, click on the following links. They also include some background info on the perfume house.

Tubereuse 1: Capricieuse

Tubereuse 3: Animale

1740 Marquis de Sade

Olympia

What’s your favourite Histoires de Parfums fragrance? Tell me in the comments section below!

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Perfume Review: Tuberose Fragrances by Histoires de Parfums – Part One – Tubereuse 1: Capricieuse

Introduction to Histoires de Parfums Reviews

A few months ago, in my Facebook group For Love Not Money, some of us took part in a perfume review challenge. In this group task, we each chose a fragrance house that we wanted to become more familiar with, and wrote a review on a different scent from that house, every day for seven days. This was a great way to get through some of my samples, which seem to have multiplied faster than Mogwais in the movie Gremlins over the past 18 months, and to really explore both the fragrance house, and their scent compositions.

I chose to review seven fragrances by the French company Histoires de Parfums and I’ll be sharing some of these reviews with you here at Perfume Polytechnic.

A couple of weeks ago I shared my review of 1740:Marquis de Sade with you. You can read that review here. Last week, I wrote about Olympia and you can read that review by clicking on this link. If you’re interested in some background information about Histoires de Parfums,  it can be found in this post.

In this two-part review I will be sharing my thoughts and impressions of two of the Tuberose Trilogy fragrances by Histoires de Parfums, Tubereuse 1 and Tubereuse 3. I won’t be reviewing Tubereuse 2: Virginale at this stage.

PART ONE – TUBEREUSE 1: Capricieuse

Let me start off by saying I’m not sure that I like tuberose. It’s one of those overpowering notes that tends to dominate any fragrance it’s in. I find its indolic, sweet and heady nature too much, most of the time. I can admire its camphoraceous, sarsaparilla-like qualities as found in Serge Lutens’ Tubereuse Criminelle, and I respect Robert Piguet’s Fracas, which renders tuberose in intense, creamy tones. But to me, tuberose is like the colour fuchsia: I just don’t like it. Both fuchsia and tuberose scream “femininity” to me in a way that, as a woman, I don’t want to be represented.

It is with some surprise then that I have to confess I absolutely adore both Tubereuse 1 and Tubereuse 3. This may make me sound like a hypocrite, but, as I will reveal, the way in which this powerful note is used and combined in these two fragrances makes all the difference.

One day early last year I was on one of my perfume self-education sessions in Melbourne. These would go on for hours, several times a week in the early days of my fascination with perfume. On this particular outing I was reeling with excitement from sniffing Tubereuse Criminelle: I had finally learned to identify tuberose! The goal of some of these self-education sessions would be to learn, by elimination and deduction, what a particular note smelled like, then find as many perfumes as I could which contained that note (using Fragrantica and The Guide), and go and sniff them. This is how I discovered the Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse Series. I was fascinated by this trio of perfumes that utilised tuberose as top, middle and base notes. Surely they would all be too overpoweringly “tuberose-y” for me? But, to my delight, when I spritzed Tubereuse 3 (T3), I was pleasantly surprised. T3 is essentially a tobacco and immortelle dominant perfume, with the tuberose playing only a supporting role in this fragrance, adding a sweet, robust layer and strength to the fragrance. I will review T3 in more detail tomorrow.

After being totally smitten with T3, I ordered some samples from the Histoires de Parfums (HdP) line. One of these samples was Tubereuse 1: Capricieuse, which I promptly and utterly fell for.

Tubereuse 1 is described as follows:

“Miss Tuberose is a Super Diva! Stubborn, demanding, temperamental…Yes, she deserves it all! Natural yet sophisticated, she balances between modesty and pride! She delivers her powdered and adorned hypnotic iris and saffron.” (Quoted from the HdP website)

The notes for Tubereuse 1: Capricieuse, are as follows:

Top notes: Tuberose, Bergamot, Saffron.
Heart notes: Tuberose, Iris, Ylang-ylang.
Base notes: Tuberose, Suede, Cacao.

Does Tubereuse 1 (T1) match up to the description above? Not really. Do I mind? No! I adore this fragrance, just as it is. T1 is rich and restrained, warm and cool, flat and vibrant, and simply gorgeous. Six to seven sprays are enough to get me through a full six hours before this becomes a skin scent. It radiates enormously for at least the first two hours of wear. On fabric it will last until you wash your clothes.

On first blast I am almost overwhelmed by the yummiest, warmest almond, not listed in the notes; but my observation is supported by the ingredients list, where I notice farnesol is listed. Farnesol is the main constituent in mimosa (wattle) flowers, which have a similar almondy smell to them. The powdery, earthy note of saffron and the soft, fuzzy suede compliment and blend beautifully with the almond note, with the suede gradually dominating from around the 20 minute mark. The iris, flat, bitter and cool, adds another powdery facet to the composition, yet contrasts with the warmth of the other notes. Cacao seems present, again, in a warm, earthy, powdery form, but it’s not strong.

Predominantly, this is a duet between iris and suede, and a study in powdery notes: it is such a beautiful creation. Tubereuse 1: Capricieuse is a close relative to HdP’s 1889: Moulin Rouge, a similarly powdery fragrance that is heavy on the iris. Moulin Rouge is sweeter, more girlish, while Tubereuse 1 is more modern, original and striking.

But where is the tuberose? It is present, but is so well blended that it only adds a slight sweetness, a warm floral note that underpins the whole composition. During the opening of the fragrance, I occasionally catch the tiniest, most whispery glimpses of indole, as if from the very periphery of my vision, but these soon fade away. Apart from this, the tuberose could really be any sweet, warm floral smell; it isn’t really strongly identifiable to my nose as tuberose. There is no camphor, no screaming fuchsia, there is nothing cloying or overwhelming about it in this composition; it is my kind of tuberose: warm, soft and fuzzy. Dusty, rosy brown. Cosy.

Tubereuse 3: Animale review to come soon…

 

Perfume Review: 1740 Marquis de Sade by Histoires de Parfums

Depiction of the Marquis de Sade by H. Biberstein in L’Œuvre du marquis de Sade, Guillaume Apollinaire (Edit.), Bibliothèque des Curieux, Paris, 1912.

A few months ago, in my Facebook group For Love Not Money, some of us took part in a perfume review challenge. In this group task, we each chose a fragrance house that we wanted to become more familiar with, and wrote a review on a different scent from that house, every day for seven days. This was a great way to get through some of my samples, which seem to have multiplied faster than Mogwais in the movie Gremlins over the past 18 months, and to really explore both the fragrance house, and their scent compositions.

I chose to review seven fragrances by the French company Histoires de Parfums and I’ll be sharing some of these reviews with you here at Perfume Polytechnic.

Day 1: 1740 Marquis de Sade

Histoires de Parfums: Some Background

Histoires de Parfums describes its fragrances as “an olfactive library that is telling stories about famous characters, raw materials and mythical years. The collection created by Gérald Ghislain is governed by no rules other than inspiration. With his luxuriant imagination, this loquacious individual has chosen to bring his stories to life in perfumes, a sensitive and sensual medium. Histoires de Parfums releases its fragrances in a deluxe edition to be read on skin.” (Text quoted from Histoires de Parfums website.)

Ghislain is both a chef and an ISIPCA (Institut Supérieur International du Parfum, de la Cosmétique et de l’Aromatique Alimentaire) trained perfumer, and while he is clearly presented as the face of Histoires de Parfums (HdP), it remains unclear to me as to whether or not he is the perfumer behind HdP’s creations. Luca Turin, in The Guide, credits Sylvie Jourdet, Professor of Olfaction and Perfumery Accords at ISIPCA in Versailles, as the chief composer of most of HdP’s scents. In one online interview, Ghislain talks of a “small laboratory team” behind his creations. So, it might be that the conceptual ideas for HdP’s fragrances are generated by Ghislain, but translated into fragrance form by others.

Today’s reviewed perfume, 1740 Marquis de Sade, is from the first collection, or “volume” of fragrances released by HdP in 2000 (there have been several other collections added to the HdP fragrance “library” since then). As stated on the HdP website, this first collection was “inspired by famous people who influenced their generation. The name given to the perfume is that of their date of birth.” In this instance, 1740 refers to the birth year of the infamous Marquis de Sade. The HdP description for this perfume describes de Sade thus: “For this man, whose licentious morals had him imprisoned many times, luxury rhymes with literature.” It is from de Sade’s name that the words “sadist” and “sadism” were derived.

De Sade was a French aristocrat and writer of saucy tomes with a violent and/or blasphemous bent. He was a radical and a revolutionary who did not want his actions to be constrained by law, religion or morality; for his behaviour and for his lascivious writings, he spent more than 30 years in prison.

1740: The Fragrance

The following notes are listed on the HdP brochure that came with my samples:

Top notes: bergamot and davana sensualis.
Heart notes: patchouli, coriander and cardamom.
Base notes: cedar, elemi, leather and labdanum.

Last night I sprayed this on the palm of my hand, cupping it and bringing it to my nose, which created an intense little olfactory cocoon, perfect for a first, yet thorough examination. Today, I sprayed it ten times, on pulse points, the hollow of my neck, below my ear lobes and on my throat, and “wore” the fragrance, without reapplying throughout the day, which is my usual habit.

My first impressions of the opening of this glorious fragrance were that it was dark, rich, and intensely earthy: “masculine” in the extreme, and a very bold fragrance. I first visualised a heavy, black leather jacket, not the buttery kind, but the sort you would find in a vintage clothing store, stiff, sturdy and well-worn, like those from the late 1960s. Next, an entire scene came to mind: a drawing-room in an exclusive club, filled with Victorian gentlemen in smoking jackets, puffing on pipes. Men lounge on leather Chesterfields, cedar shelves line the walls, filled with thick volumes bound in embossed leather. Smoke tendrils fill the air, and civilised banter punctuates quiet contemplation. Is this image lascivious? No. Does it represent one aspect of de Sade’s character as an aristocrat (though not of the Victorian era)? Perhaps.

The leather used in 1740 is tinged with the sharp, repellent note of birch tar; which succeeds in somewhat matching, yet somewhat masking, the deep, slightly bitter note of labdanum deep beneath it. There is in intense blast of patchouli too, that extremely earthy type, which smells like cocoa powder and black potting mix combined, the kind used in Serge Lutens’ Borneo 1834. 1740 is a fragrance in which the base notes dominate and define. As for the other notes, I can smell most of them, but they are less integral to the fragrance’s character. I also detect something zingy, a zesty layer hovering somewhere midway above the earthy, grubby base notes. Is it cardamom? Like the labdanum, this note is well blended, perceivable, but not in its entirety. I also smell something very subtly sweet, just around the periphery of the composition. Is this vanilla? Or a sweet green halo of coriander leaf? The absinthe note (aka davana sensualis) makes a brief appearance, but the aniseed-y note blends so well with the other dark, luscious ingredients that it is only perceivable if you know it’s there.

The development of this fragrance seems to take place in two acts: the first, an overwhelmingly rich and exciting, dark brown blast of many co-ordinating notes, as described above, with radiance of at least an arm’s length and promising incredible tenacity. But the intensity fades, as does the complexity, from about an hour in, heralding the start of a very long act two, in which one of the starring ingredients of 1740, immortelle, gradually emerges and takes centre stage. After about two hours, the dry, hay-like note of immortelle becomes clearly obvious. At this stage, the composition is about a 50/50 blend, to my nose, of immortelle and birch tar. Six hours on, as I write this review, 1740 is a skin scent only, with no discernible wafts permeating the space around me.

1740 gets a five-star rating in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. It is a rich, sumptuous fragrance of significant depth and is composed of fine quality raw materials. It is redolent of gentlemen’s clubs and parlours with its dominant, deep and earthy, “masculine” notes, but whether or not it captures the more rebellious, transgressive side of de Sade’s character, I’m not so sure.

Have you smelt 1740 Marquis de Sade? If so, I’d love to know what you think; leave your thoughts on this fragrance in the comments below!