It began as a complicated deep old-style chypre - greenish, wet, patchouli and rose. It's enticing and note-filled, a little bewitching.
Rose and patchouli is the song and the smoulder of French Affair, and its dance in the heartnote is quite sensual - both flirting with other notes - violet, lychee, pepper - but irresistibly coming together in the center. As it dries down that courtship starts becoming more a marriage. I may like the courtship best, but the union is still satisfying, and predestined.
What arose, as the heartnotes started drying off, was the specter of Opone, a rose-saffron-patchouli fragrance. It isn't a replication, but reminiscence - some of the powdered echo of dried rose and patchouli dust Opone' has - gave French Affair a memory that may be more personal than actual.
Its longevity is around seven to eight hours, and ends with a pale Opone note and a smearing of smooth subtle Atlas cedar.
The drydown ended up in fairly different territory than the beginning, yet it was all wrapped around patchouli and rose. I've always loved a good patchouli-rose, so this was a journey I really liked.