Safran Troublant by L'Artisan Parfumeur (2002) is really for vanilla lovers, despite what the name may otherwise suggest. Composed by the online fragrance community favorite Olivia Giacobetti, this L'Artisan scent is marketed towards women, but is really a good fit for any vanilla fan that doesn't mind crossing swords with a bit of saffron and rose. Safran Troublant could be called an oriental fragrance, and it does indeed have a pasty sort of indolic musk and sandalwood edge which reminds me of any number of Indian or Arabian-market oils; but if you insist on using that nomenclature, remember that it isn't the Western or ostensibly occidental interpretation of "oriental", and rather actually modeled after something that could be found in the middle or far east. That said, this isn't terribly animalic or challenging either as you might expect that description to make it, because vanilla is the dominant factor here once the dry down happens, and there is nothing challenging about that outside maybe the thick way it's presented by Giacobetti. Yeah, there is noticeable saffron coming and going enough to justify the name, even if perhaps something like "Safran Vanille" may have been a better title for the perfume. Giacobetti seems to have some of her greatest works discontinued like Penhaligon's Elixir (2009), but this one fortunately endures.
The opening of Safran Troublant is a blast of ginger, passion flower, and some white floral notes that uplift the core of rose, jasmine indole, and saffron. In some ways, this reminds me of a cross between Jasmin Impératrice Eugénie by Creed (1870) and Lust by Gorilla Perfume (2010) in these moments. Eventually, the floral and spiced opening give way to a creamy vanilla and sandalwood, held together by some musk and a bit of tonka. Some sites list a sugar note here, and I guess the sweetness could in and of itself be seen as a separate note, although I find it's just a symptom of other ingredients combined. Indole, vanilla, sandalwood, and traces of the florals becomes the final character of Safran Troublant, and wear time is considerably long. Safran Troublant is creamy, and just borders on the edge of cloying without crossing over the line. Projection and sillage are really good too, but with so many strong ingredients, you could almost expect that. Best use for this would be fall or winter time for me, somewhere cozy and relaxed. I don't see Safran Troublant as a particularly extroverted people-pleasing fragrance, no matter who wears it, and I don't see it working well in sticky heat or humidity. Naturally, vanilla can be seen as cloying to some, and is a particularly sweet, musky take on the note, so be warned. This stuff is the chamomile tea of vanilla fragrances.
L'Artisan Parfumeur has gone through a terrible shake-up since this stuff launched, with a great many of their more noteworthy and talked-about fragrances being discontinued in favor of more insipid watery floral dreck that the corporate bean counters think will bring in the nouveau-riche money that tends to keep niche brands like this a float these days. Scents like Dzing! (1999) and the previous Giacobetti-penned Tea for Two (2000) have been put out to pasture in favor of more uninspired Western oud takes and woody-amber things that are only a peg or two above what designers offer, but that's what pays the bills in today's "of rich and poor" society obsessed with fast-fashion. Safran Troublant alongside Al Oudh (2009), L'Eau d'Ambre (1978), Mûre et Musc (1978), L'Eau du Caporal (1985), Voluer de Roses (1993), Premier Figuer (1994), Méchant Loup (1997), and the immortal Timbuktu (2004) remain to remind some of what L'Artisan once was, but for how long? This used to be the counter-culture perfume house numero uno, now it's the bean counter house numero zero. Jean Laporte must rolling in his grave. My sample came from an older gold-capped bottle, so I don't know the state of newer black caps, although jasmine, rose, and sandalwood are all expensive materials that a shyster could cheap out on in reformulation. Thumbs up
Roses and saffron ? yes, for only for a few minutes. What you get after that is vanilla, sweet vanilla, and it lasts unfortunately: I had to wash my wardrobe the day after because the lingering smell was too strong and made me sick. Where have the roses and the saffron gone ?!
Delicate ? No. Elegant ? No. Sexy ? Is smelling like a vanilla rice pudding sexy ?
To me it's just plain chemical vanilla. I'm fine with the vanilla of Shalimar, but this is way too much on the foody/gourmand side.
Beautifully blended. Perfect, actually. Just the right amount of each note creates a powdered rose, tiniest spice, non-overbearing vanilla, and calming amounts of sandalwood potion. One of the prettiest Rose fragrances out there. I recommend trying, if you enjoy feminine, nearly "lipstick"-style, rose perfumes...
A little more vanilla appears later on.
Easy and gentle. The rose mingles nicely with the saffron and smells almost muggy in a way. Slightly spicy here and there and I get notes of holiday incense floating here and there, more like a whiffs of a specialty bakery. Very straightforward vanilla accents flit in and out.