Millais Painting of Ophelia, covered in flowers and drowning tragically-yet-gorgeously.Heure Exquisite is a sister of Chanel No 19,definitely shares the same DNA.they are similar,especially in the opening,but different enough to definitely warrant having both in your collection. this is deeper,softer,and less bracingly green than the Chanel No 19.a melancholic green chypre that has a timeless quality that is interesting but familiar,you know this type of pungent greenness.
It opening is a crack of lightening.sharp and so green,and bitter galbanum-y that it is surprising. soon,like the pull of gravity on prescription,it settles beautifully on the skin-it is relieved from it's opening. hyacinth,rose and iris are playing quite a big role in the middle and finally a substance,a backbone, maybe from the oakmoss,that keeps it from being overly ethereal.reminds me of a garden in the tropics in high humidity,strong with hint of flowers.
Well, Divinity has arrived in the building.
Everything else, previously called divine, is looking a bit faint and dusty.
Being not too much in the habit of idolising flowers in a perfume, let alone idolise a 'flowers-only' scent (I'm an overall 'woody oriental' worshipper), I am confused by the fact that this perfume compels me to "throw heaps of praise upon it"..
So I question myself:
Would I want to smell like a goddess?
Would I want to own the stature of an empress?
Would I want heads to bow in awe and recognition?
After a brief aldehydic whiff the first main player enters the stage: Florentine iris. A gorgeous smooth iris; green with a characteristic aroma, and after the first hours exuding a pleasant powderiness. This is a powderiness with a touch gravitas and mature confidence, but is lacks any stuffiness on me.
The second main player arises soon after: a Turkish rose, quite bright, soft and never heavy, but is lacks the soul and character that is evident in the iris; this rose is a touch less deep and shows less texture.
The second half of the development builds on the initial components, but, after a brief appearance of a darker galbanum develops a sandalwood that is quite light and more in the background, but that contributes sufficient to the whole to be taken seriously. Most interesting is the vanilla that I detect during the last hours: a discrete restrainedly sweet vanilla, that, unlike most of its counterparts in other fragrances these days, is not pushing into the foreground or overwhelming the rest, but is skillfully interwoven with the other notes - this vanilla is the perfect team player and masterfully applied.
I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.
This beautiful and rich scent for spring evenings demonstrates that one does no need a large amount of notes to create a great fragrance. That is, if the ingredients are if such superb quality as here, and the blending is as skillful as in this creation. Vraiement pour an heure exquise. 3.75/5.
Garden flowers - armloads of purple blooms. An almost plastic, baby doll accord in the background. A new, doll smell. Must be the galbanum sidling up to the other notes of sandalwood, rose, and the purple flowers. Hints of dry, powdery, antique papers, and floral pollen. Iris, becomes rooty. Hiacynth, semi-pungent in character. Plastic note, still prevails. H E is exquisite - no doubt.
The house of Goutal surely knows how to create unusual floral scents. They all mesmerize, even if they don't always agree with me, or create a perfume-crush, in my heart...
Sandalwood increases in the background, with a slight burnt accord. A touch of vanilla, like a flavored brandy... I get a curry-like spice undertone from something here... The "plastic" note eventually fades. It becomes a mixed drink of iris and rose with a faint wood underneath. Lovely!
As a lover of this House (My romance with AG first began in the early 1990s withthe ORIGINAL FORMULATION of Eau dHadrian; I also adore Rose Absolue, Grand Amour, as well as the Splendide line), I can say about Heure Exquise, NO. Just no. Powdery, stuffy, heavy, depressing. Will be gifting my 3.4 oz. brand new EDP bottle of this (agree it is somewhere between Chanel No.s 19 & 5, though there is something else very heavy in this AG scent), which I purchased based upon positive Fragrantica reviews. (Who are these people who love this scent?!?) Reminds me of some, cheap,dank smell that would be worn by an older, professional woman (a certain judge comes to mind whom I regularly see in court..) who may also wear Depends lol. AS a professional woman.. I vote serious thumbs down on Heure Exquise. If you're looking for something mature and powdery, I would say rather, try Benevolence by House of Sillage, which has more highly sophisticated bergamot top/mid and base notes. Think high-country equestrian woman (instead of pamper-y local public servant, which IMO is evoked by HE).