Safran Troublant fragrance notes

    • red rose, saffron, vanilla, sandalwood

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Safran Troublant

Olivia Giacobetti's compositions are transportive and beguiling. They do not demand your attention. I liken them to ambient music. She could very well be the Brian Eno or Harold Budd of perfumers. The levels are never turned up to 11, and while quiet, her works are by no means weak. After all, returning to the music analogy, is quiet music any less real and valid than propulsive rhythms and loud rock? Evaluating fragrance on whether it is "noticed" is much like evaluating art by the lowest common denominator. "My favorite musician has reached number 1 on Billboard 10 times, and yours barely cracked the top 40." The false corollary follows that the former is inherently superior. Rather daft thinking, in my humble opinion, but all too common.

Safran Troublant opens with saffron realism and at this point I frankly don't care how she did it because I want to get lost in the story. It's that heavenly smell of stigmas, carotenoid-rich threads, macerated at the bottom of mortar by a pestle. There's nothing else like it, and Giacobetti captures it here. It soon smooths over within a vanilla cloud, sprinkled with sugar, doused with rose and underpinned by sandalwood. Simple as that, and simply beautiful it is: a harmony of all elements.

I feel happy that autumn is fast approaching as I wear this. While it makes for a pretty-sounding name, I am not sure why it's called "troublant" as it has quite the opposite effect, it soothes rather than seduces, like a hot cup of tea or a hug from a friend. It's a hug to perfumers from Olivia.
8th September 2022
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
12th September 2021

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.
18th February 2021
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.
19th August 2019
I like this. The saffron note is soft and round, and the whole thing has a nice, delicious balance, with rose and vanilla. The perfumer, Olivia Giacobetti, did a nice job.

This is kind of thing I would feel confident wearing anywhere or recommending to anyone, a safe, likable, lovely fragrance that smells competently made (not edgy, quirky, or clumsy).
26th March 2018
Young Woman in a Yellow Dress (Madame Modot) by Amedeo Modigliani 1918
5th November 2017
Chalked with vanilla,
This rose in saffron's name is
Disturbingly hot.
27th July 2017
Yes Safran Troublant is a comforting lovely work of delicate spicy alchemy by Olivia Giacobetti and another ideal jump in a dreamy universe of adolescent flashbacks, fairy tales, rosey gracious delicacy and fuzzy soporific projections. Olden Christmas-holidays' flashbacks jump serenely on mind (from the abysses of your childhood) with their background of cakes, sweets and caresses. Saffron is like an hook for sweet left back far memories of disappeared ages. Rose and saffron are well modulated in a light and fresh way, ending to be finally encompassed by a soft kiss of warm yummy (kind of nutty) vanilla. Overall the alchemy is poetic and soft. Not my ideal kind of work. Faint structure (unlike the most part of Giacobetti's renditions). An atmosphere (yes artistically rendered) more than a veritable structured fragrance in motion.
13th December 2016
I love this scent. It's a custardy rice pudding made with jasmine rice, rosewater, and a generous helping of saffron, creamy and redolent of sweet spices. It is a fine confection, with just enough suggestion of sensuality to give it an edge.

Alas, it is as ephemeral and fleeting as the scent in the kitchen after one has made dessert. It just doesn't last near long enough. Full disclosure, though: "long enough" when something smells this lovely would be "lasts for days on end." But still, it disappears in a matter of a couple of hours. Safran Troublant is a heartbreaker of a scent.
23rd April 2016
Safran Troublant opens with an extremely realistic smell of saffron, and I mean the actual ground saffron you can buy at the drugstore, just lightly enhanced by rose and vanilla, both blending with the floral and sweeter sides of saffron. The whole, quite simple ensemble is topped with a nose-tingling spicy note resembling to cumin, a slightly cheaper hint of eugenol (cloves, basically) and an odd, almost random touch that reminds me of a sort of a damp lemongrass-infused tampon - it may sound bizarre, but it works. I think it's due to rose. Anyway that's it, a graceful and quite refined blend of thin spices and gentle powdery-sweet accents, with a fascinating sort of subtle, almost transparent texture revolving around the edible heart of saffron. And well, a couple of cheap nuances, but tolerably covered by the good parts. The notes may make it seem a thick Oriental “bomb”, while on the contrary it has more of a British presence – diaphanous and discreet, with a sophisticated sort of camphorous, musky, earthy yet smooth cashmere-suede feel (I think due to saffron) that adds some further elegance to this mannered blend, slightly reminding me of Hermès Cuir d'Ange. I admit this fragrance is fairly pleasant to wear, at least for the first phases of its evolution, but there's a gigantic flaw I can't avoid to mention and which sadly, makes Safran Troublant look like (as so many - too many niche scents) a half-baked work: the longevity, which is unacceptably short and really subtle for my tastes. Way too much. Within 20-30 minutes, you already remain with the faint, nondescript drydown it should have after 5 or 6 hours. A time machine in a bottle. Still, one of L'Artisan Parfumeur's scents I enjoyed the most.

16th September 2015
This is delicious; a Perfumery equivalent of a Custard Tart but with Clove rather than Nutmeg. It opens soft and Vanilla sweet. Gradually Clove appears; the whole is beautifully blended. There may be some Saffron there but if there is I can hardly detect it. Judging by the colour of the fragrance, if there is some Saffron it is just a smidgeon, or a colourless variety was used.

Wish it lasted longer, but I'm happy with the strength. All in all a "thumbs up".
18th August 2015