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Sous Les Palmes by Paul Boyer

Paul Boyer – Sous Les Palmes

There are ten confirmed parfums from the short-lived house of Paul Boyer, released between 1940 and 1950, according to Perfume Intelligence.

Sous Les Palmes came to me in a sealed, half ounce bottle, with half evaporated. It is a sumptuous, dark, rich chypre, reminiscent of those made for Weil and its fur perfumes.

It is slightly sweet, and very sensual, combining Bulgarian rose and violet with an incense blanket. The anise, basil, tarragon, cedarwood and musk are beautifully blended and quietly present, never over-powering or center stage. The dry down is remarkable for its subtlety.

A floral, animalic, chypre of high quality. I will be on the lookout for more from this house, surfacing on the internet.



Bravo! by Lili Bermuda

Lili Bermuda – BRAVO!

Lili Bermuda’s first incarnation spanned the years 1928 to 1998. The company closed, was bought out in 2001, and opened under its current owner with new bottles, new scents, and a few revived colognes from their past, most notably the Easter Lily and Cedarwood, which were their first productions back in, respectively, 1928 and 1932.

Only five masculine scents were created during their first tenure, as most of their scents were soliflores for the ladies. These masculine scents were: Cedarwood, Navy, Bambu, Bay Rhum and Bravo!. This latter has eluded my efforts to locate a bottle for the past decade, but now that is remedied. Bravo! did not appear in their 1965 catalogue, but did appear in their 1991 release. This makes sense, as it impresses me as an attempt to capture the “powerhouse” craze of the 1970s and 1980s among men’s colognes and edts.

Sold in shaving lotion strength, Bravo! is quite weak, although it seems to aim at a fougere presentation. It is like smelling the shadows of such scents as: Azzaro Pour Homme, Open, Aramis, and Quorum. As such, I can detect the following shared notes:

Bergamot, Lavender, Geranium, Anise, Clary Sage, Galbanum
Cardamom, Thyme, Sage, Cumin, Olibanum
Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Musk

It is a pleasant splash for use after shaving as it was intended, but is of no great originality or quality. Their finest men’s scent continues to be their Bermuda Cedarwood, but only in vintage bottles. In fact, these vintage bottles came in two presentations over the years. The originals were square with a metal top. These were quite strong, almost an edp concentration. The later releases were in round bottles with plastic tops and these were weaker, truly of after shave strength.

So, Bravo! is certainly a pleasant masculine splash, but not something to go out of your way for.




Demi-Jour by Dana

Demi-Jour (Houbigant) 1988

This review is for the original Houbigant version from a vintage sample.

The top notes have faded with time, so the first impression is that of a mélange of all the notes. This is a fine floral mixture, very well blended and balanced. Although strong, it is not over-bearing. It is powdery and beautiful, with an overall warmth and at the same time brightness, which is most charming.

The rose and jasmine combo take center stage at first with a hint of sweet violet and dry orris in the mix. The supporting woods (cedar, sandal) are ever so subtle and the oakmoss is only hinted at. The musk (and I believe this is real deer musk) has a buttery quality that makes me think a bit of civet might have been used in the note tree as well. This matches well with the already buttery ylang ylang. There is a subdued sweetness from the heliotrope and a restrained green note (the muguet) present in the background.

The dry down wraps the florals within the woods and here the dryness of the violet, cedar and sandalwood meld as a veil to bring the florals to their ultimate skin scent evolution.

An excellent and unusual floral mélange, well worth seeking out. I have not experienced the Dana recreation, but if and when I do, I will edit this review.

My husband described it as being of deep velvety florals, a scent to lounge in. If it were a color, it might be a golden amber. This is more of a personal scent, gentle, sensual and alluring. It does not shout or try to show off. A lovely definition of perfume – to delight the wearer’s senses – a real stunner.





Musc Outreblanc by Guerlain

Guerlain – Musc Outreblanc

Musk Beside White or Musk Outrageously White seem to be two possible translations of the name of this chemically derived new scent from the house of Guerlain.

In spite of the note tree, all I get is the impression of a slightly reedy, generic laundry dryer sheet, the ones called “white linen” or “fresh breeze,” and which resemble neither so much as bland chemical cheapie scents purchased for pennies at the local department store. I find the so called “white musk” scent to be remarkably dull and uninteresting and wonder why it is so prolifically used in modern perfumery.

It resembles dozens of others like it which I have experienced in the past and is for me not of the slightest interest.

To be fair, my husband finds it to be a very nice soft orange tinged splash, more geared toward a man than a woman, a rich but gentle, bright white floral with a citrus base, reminiscent of Trumper’s eau de colognes.

I woud give it a thumbs down, but in all fairness with my husband’s reaction, I am modifying it to a neutral vote.


Herbes Troublantes by Guerlain

Guerlain – Herbes Troublant

Translated as “disturbing herbs,” Herbes Troublant begins with what seems like a very light green tea impression. The pungent bergamot and the sweet orange blossom notes meld, the former to restrain the latter. The base mixture of herbs (rosemary, mint, thyme) is restrained and dusty, producing an orris-like impression.

The result is a light, green, slightly sweet, herbal floral that is quiet and restrained. This is probably best worn in the heat of summer days or nights. It stays close to the skin with hardly any projection or sillage. As such, it is more of a personal scent than one worn for others in social situations.

Certainly inoffensive and possibly uplifting to some noses, it is perfectly pleasant, but in no way singular or impressive. It is definitely not “disturbing,” so the name is misleading. I believe this would appeal more to the older audience than the younger, as it has a kind and gentle aura, reminiscent of days gone by.


Le Lion de Chanel by Chanel

Le Lion by Chanel

A green blast of patchouli greets me immediately upon spraying my edp sample. This is very earthy, very herbal, with a bitter twinge of raw cedar wood in the background.

I get no vanilla, zero resemblance to Shalimar, and no hints of suede or leather as a number of other reviewers do. It feels as though I am experiencing an entirely different scent than the one being written about in these fourteen reviews to date.

The experience is not a pleasant one. This smells like a raw base for a not as yet composed scent, hardly a complete scent creation on its own. I was hoping for a Shalimar flanker as I love that composition, but this is certainly not it. If there is sandalwood and musk in here, they are certainly cheap chemical replacements for the real thing, and not doing a good job at resembling their counterparts.

Highly unrecommended.





White Rose by Guerlain

Guerlain – White Rose (1890/1904/1920)

(Clove, Rose, Bourbon Geranium, Rose Absolute, Geranium, Rodinol, Hyacinth, Lilac, Orris, Heliotrope, Oak Moss, Musk)

Considering the age of White Rose, it is not surprising that it bears little resemblance to a modern take on the classic floral, such as Floris provides. This is an unusual scent with, for me, only a hint of rose. It is quite green, light, redolent of mint and clove with a slight leather undertone. Rose oil has such strength, it is interesting to find it relegated to the background here.

The geranium and lilac provide a strong herbal component that centers the heart and dry down. The light hyacinth and heliotrope notes have faded with time. After about an hour, White Rose settles down to a faint green rose scent (reminiscent of Tea Rose). For anyone into green scents, this is a must-try, but for rose lovers, it may be a disappointment.

The ingredient Rodinol, listed in its make-up, cannot be found on the internet. There is a black and white photo processing chemical that goes by this name, but that is all I could find.

The first White Rose scent of note was created in the early 19th century for US First Lady Dolley Madison (1768-1849), by Caswell Massey, a scent that remained in its catalog until the late 20th century. Perfume Intelligence has pages of White Rose parfums (over 125 listings), so it certainly was a most popular floral.







Musc by Guerlain

Guerlain – MUSC (1850)

From Cleopatra’s Boudoir, comes a number of 19th century formulae for creating musk scents, using variously the following ingredients:

Deer grain-musk, civet, ambergris, ambrette (musk mallow), rose, storax (benzoin), vanilla.

I am sampling a decant taken from a Guerlain flacon Carre, which came into being in the late 1870s and was used at least until 1939.

The linear impression I get from Musc is quite unique and hard to describe. My olfactory memory took me Immediately back to a childhood pharmacy, where I associate this scent with the alcohol fluid oral thermometers were kept in between uses. It has a resinous strength, but is very light and slightly sweet (ambrette?).

My spouse finds it soft and rosy, sweet and round, reminiscent of the rose-centered men’s sartorial edcs and edts of the late 19th century (Penhaligon’s Hammam Bouquet, for example).

Deer musk, civet and ambergris, being animal products, are unique to their historical time, and indeed the individual animals within that time. Trying to measure a 2022 nose up against an 1850 world of animalic perfumery seems an exercise in futility.

Guerlain’s Musc smells lovely and would in my opinion wear equally well on a man or woman. The rarity of this creation is such that it should be experienced by all perfume lovers, and particularly those interested in the history of Guerlain and/or musk itself.












Sinful Soul by Gabilla

Henrietta Gabilla – Sinful Soul (1934)

The house of Gabilla operated between 1910 and 1969. There are approximately 125 scents in their archive, the last being created in 1953. I currently own their Mon Cherie, a gorgeous classic chypre from 1910.

Sinful Soul was released in 1934 in a beautiful pagoda bottle. It is a very sweet feminine floral, but not cloying. I have the impression of honeysuckle and orange blossom, supported by jasmine. There is some sandalwood and vetiver in its unobtrusive base. This is hardly a scent for a sinner, more for a girl or very young woman. It is fresh and lovely, perfect for a warm spring day. It is very old fashioned and brings back to me impressions from my youth.

My husband found it soft and subdued, but a bit too heavy for every day modern usage. There is no development and there is limited sillage. He is reminded of face powders used by aunts in his childhood.

Overall, a lovely feminine floral, very much of its period, and a treat for collectors of vintage perfumes.







Caravane by Bienaimé

Bienaime – Caravane (1930/36)

Ylang, Jasmine, Taif Rose
Leather, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Anise
Sandalwood, Vetiver, Frankincense, Amber, Musk

The initial impression upon opening a bottle of Caravane is one of overwhelming, warm and re-assuring vanilla, yet this note is not listed in its make-up. This may be due to the initial presence of ylang and jasmine. The spiciness of the cinnamon, clove and nutmeg emerge next, yet these are not at all sharp, but blended beautifully in a sort of Christmas cookie aroma. The presence of Taif Rose is new to my nose. The internet tells me it is of the damask variety, hails from Saudi Arabia, and boasts an intense, powdery rose with hints of tea and honey. This emerges next to float over the spices. The solid base of sandalwood, vetiver, frankincense, amber and musk reminds me of so many other wonderful chypres from the 1930s and 1940s, so it seems to have been a popular combination. There is the experience of there being an encompassing dryness to the whole, as if a good deal of orris had been employed, yet again this is not in the note tree.

Thus, the overall impression is of a honeyed, subtly spiced rose with a rich chypre base. To say this is wonderful to experience is an understatement. Although created for women, this would today be perfectly acceptable for a man to wear, due to its subtle blending and restrained dryness.

My husband reacts to the amber and leather, finding it a rich, dark and thick combination. He notes that the florals are being constantly “refreshed” by the spices, which he finds to be darkly sweet. He envisions this worn by a woman of quality and vibrancy, a bon vivant with a warm and sensual presence.

One of the very finest rose centered perfumes I have experienced to date. Highly recommended. Although long out of production, there are thankfully internet sellers who can still provide bottles. This is one to seek out for all rose lovers.





L de Lubin by Lubin

Lubin – L de Lubin (1975)

With its 17 notes, L is described as a floral oriental, despite reviews here calling it both a chypre and a fougere. I am experiencing a bottle of vintage parfum and it strikes me as neither chypre nor fougere, and hardly oriental. This is an indolic white floral mélange.

To my nose, L opens with a waxy gardenia/ylang note, which is quite pleasant. It is supported by the restrained use of pepper. The lemon and bergamot notes seem to have faded over time.
It takes a while for the heart to develop, but when it does, we get more of the indolic white floral notes of jasmine and lily to expand the initial gardenia/ylang impression. The rose de mai takes over the job of the pepper in providing a contrasting edge.

The dry down disappoints as it deteriorates into a plastic note, observed by other reviewers here. So, what begins as a luscious white floral is unable to sustain itself over time. From the other reviews here, it would seem that we are all experiencing different incarnations. For example, I get no green notes at all (comparisons to Givenchy III and Caleche) and definitely no oak moss in the base.

This is one to sample before purchase and perhaps to research bottle types to determine whether you are getting a vintage original or a later re-formulation.







Hacivat by Nishane

Nishane – Hacivat

Don’t be fooled by the esoteric notes of “Clearwood” and “Timberwood.” Read, “loud, raw oud.” Hacivat is nothing but pineapple and oud. I loathe oud, so this is a scrubber for me.

My husband terms it “oud, rotting flowers – a mess – unctuously sweet and acid. A bad attempt by a child playing with notes – let’s make a chemical scent.” Definitely a thumbs down.


Incident Diplomatique by Jovoy

Jovoy – Incident Diplomatique

This is the first fragrance I have tried from this house, and being a vetiver lover, I was intrigued by the polarity in the eight reviews on Basenotes thus far.

On first application my olfactory memory registered the smell of vintage plastic band-aids from the 1950s and the medicinal pungency of the antiseptic mercurochrome, used for anointing scrapes and bruises.

As this impression faded, I detected a very raw, unrefined, woody element, which I could not identify as sandalwood, vetiver or patchouli, nor did I detect any of the citrus top notes. This is all I was left with- rather a great big raw, woody nothing. The scent has no character and no complexity. It is not awful, but neither is it good, hence the neutral rating. A truer name for it might have been Generic Wood Mill.


New York Intense by Nicolaï

Nicolai – New York Intense

Lemon, bergamot, petitgrain
Lavender, peppers, armoise (artemisia/mugwort)
Patchouli, cedar, leather, vanilla

The lemon, leather, peppers and vanilla present themselves immediately and are so well balanced that it spells “sophistication” at the outset. I had to look up “armoise” to learn that it is artemisia/mugwort, which provides a dry, reedy note, blending with the peppers in a way that calms them down and prevents any screechiness from occurring.

The lavender and patchouli/cedar combo provide a solid heart and base that are unobtrusive, warm and familiar.

It has been ages since I have smelled a modern scent and found it even basically tolerable, let alone attractive, and New York Intense provides this exception to the rule. Other reviewers’ comparisons to Guerlain’s Derby are right on the money. This is old school, vintage, and a true gentleman’s scent. Assuredly smooth, warm and masculine.

At around $70 for 30 ml. of an eau de parfum concentration, this seems amazingly affordable for its quality and size. A very positive thumbs up.

My husband found it to be soft and complex, a significant beauty, but found it to be too fleeting in its sillage and projection on his skin. This is one you must try before you buy. Luckily, samples are available and very affordable.


Green Eyes by Esmé of Paris

Esme of Paris – Green Eyes (1941)

Esme of Paris was an obscure parfum house, whose twelve scents (identified to date) all fell within the 1940s: A May Morning, Ballet, Green Eyes, Hubava, Sea Lady, Secret Garden, The Lady Wore Black, Totem Pole (all appearing in 1941, followed by Sophisticated Lady in 1942, On Fifth Avenue in 1943, and finally Indian Summer and In The Forest, both appearing in 1946.

Esme Davis is best known by an autobiography, published in 1944, which reads like a Penny Dreadful, jam-packed with melodrama and incident. Esme was supposedly descended from a family which worked in vaudeville, circuses, ballet, night clubs and acrobatics. She was the grand-daughter of a gypsy dancer and snake charmer, daughter of a singer and an Irish Canadian business man, born in the United States (West Virginia), but brought up in Europe, primarily in Paris. In this motley family she seemed a Renaissance woman, dabbling in painting, set and costume design, training circus animals, operating night clubs, choreographing ballets, traveling to South America, Africa, Russia, Canada, Japan, China and finally settling back in the USA in 1937. The family met with many personal disasters along the way. How Esme found the time to create a dozen perfumes is one of those mysteries of life that may never be solved.

All of this may just be fiction, organized to sell her book, but there have been as strange and seemingly impossible lives (Lola Montes, Emma Hamilton), so who knows, perhaps it is all true.

Which brings us to Green Eyes, released in 1941. This is another wonderfully rich, deep chypre with a decided green note, but unlike the usual galbanum “green” note, this gives a darker, mossier impression. There is a hint of sweetness, but one that is of a syrupy resin, boiled down to its oily essence. As it dries down, there is a hint of cuir de russie. It is so well blended that no individual note stands out. Nor can I refer to any other parfum in my experience to compare it to. As with Sophisticated Lady, it is referential only to the perfumes of Weil, designed to be worn on and with furs. Green Eyes is quite exceptional in my opinion, and further fascinates me as to this mysterious Esme, and the quality of the two scents I have experienced thus far make me yearn for more.

Also of note, there is a perfume house with the name, Anita of Paris, which used bottles unique to both Esme’s and its own blends. Two Anita scents are: Wild Flowers (1940/1945) and The Queen’s Own (1944). Could Esme also be Anita? The plot thickens.


Sophisticated Lady by Esmé of Paris

Esme of Paris – Sophisticated Lady (1942/44/46)

Esme of Paris was an obscure parfum house, whose twelve scents (identified to date) all fell within the 1940s: A May Morning, Ballet, Green Eyes, Hubava, Sea Lady, Secret Garden, The Lady Wore Black, Totem Pole (all appearing in 1941, followed by Sophisticated Lady in 1942, On Fifth Avenue in 1943, and finally Indian Summer and In The Forest, both appearing in 1946.

Esme Davis is best known by an autobiography, published in 1944, which reads like a Penny Dreadful, jam-packed with melodrama and incident. Esme was supposedly descended from a family which worked in vaudeville, circuses, ballet, night clubs and acrobatics. She was the grand-daughter of a gypsy dancer and snake charmer, daughter of a singer and an Irish Canadian business man, born in the United States (West Virginia), but brought up in Europe, primarily in Paris. In this motley family she seemed a Renaissance woman, dabbling in painting, set and costume design, training circus animals, operating night clubs, choreographing ballets, traveling to South America, Africa, Russia, Canada, Japan, China and finally settling back in the USA in 1937. The family met with many personal disasters along the way. How Esme found the time to create a dozen perfumes is one of those mysteries of life that may never be solved.

All of this may just be fiction, organized to sell her book, but there have been as strange and seemingly impossible lives (Lola Montes, Emma Hamilton), so who knows, perhaps it is all true.

Which brings us to Sophisticated Lady, one of her twelve scents, variously reported to have been released in 1942, 1944, or 1946. This is a very rich, deep and dark, animalic chypre. It is typical of its kind to be found in the 1940s and resembles many of the perfumes of the House of Weil, designed to be worn on and with furs. It also bears a remarkable resemblance to the holy grail of chypres, Guerlain’s Bouquet de Faunes (1923).

The top notes have vanished from my bottle, but the middle and base notes may contain the following: orris, lavender, rose, jasmine, marjoram, carnation, geranium, rosewood, violet, musk, costus, tonka, vanilla, tobacco, ambergris, civet, castoreum, patchouli, vetiver. These are the major notes of Bouquet de Faunes and are copied here to give the reader an impression of the experience of Sophisticated Lady.

The perfume is masterly created, and is soft, dark, moist and earthy. The carnation note weaves throughout the experience, the first detectable floral upon application, and the last, hours later as the dry down fades. In this characteristic it most resembles the impression of the Guerlain masterpiece. The warmth of the tonka and vanilla notes weave in and around the earthy civet, castoreum, patchouli/ambergris impression to add attractive and comforting vibes to the earthiness. This is the scent of a mature woman, confident and poised, with a lifetime of experience behind her.

Also of note, there is a perfume house with the name, Anita of Paris, which used bottles unique to both Esme’s and its own blends. Two Anita scents are: Wild Flowers (1940/1945) and
The Queen’s Own (1944). Could Esme also be Anita? The plot thickens.


Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

Hermes – Eau de Gentiane Blanche

A green opening, yes, but a gentle green. Slightly minty, but subdued. There's fig here as well. Heart of orris, but minimal. Bright, cool and fresh. After ten minutes or so, one can detect the scent of the gentian root and the sweetness of the flower (it is a violet).

This strikes me as a very happy scent, very subtle and worn close to the skin, perfect for spring and summer. It dries down to a very dry, very fragrant, slightly sweet, herbal cologne.

What a find! Hermes does it again. Bravo!


Sans Nom by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – SANS NOM

Bourbon French describes its SANS NOM as a spicy, oriental fragrance. There is a central accord of amber and cinnamon, which immediately leaps out upon application. These are enveloped in a veil of cardamom, which wraps around the central accord and rises like smoke to give the impression of mist. Some labdanum is present I believe.

It has depth but it is not heavy. In fact, it is surprisingly light. I am most reminded of their men's scent, WJL, where cinnamon combines with rose and sandalwood. It has been compared favorably to OPIUM and CINNABAR.

SANS NOM is certainly unisex and would be most at home with a vibrant and outgoing personality. It is both sexy and romantic, combining the best of both worlds.

Another winner from this remarkable New Orleans perfumery.



Quadroon by Bourbon French Parfums

QUADROON/EPIPHONIE

Bourbon French's latest creation, revealed last year in 2020, is named Epiphonie. Yet, it is not a new scent. It is a re-named scent. It is the same formula as the company's Quadroon. This verification I received from the owner. I imagine the re-naming was a sensitivity decision, since the name Quadroon could be perceived as racist (meaning a person made up of one quarter Negroid blood and three quarter Caucasian blood), a word politically inappropriate for today's racial equality consciousness.

The scent under either name is a deliciously balanced spicy floral with a note tree that looks something like this:

Bergamot, Cherry Blossom, Jasmine, Carnation, Clove, Sandalwood, Amber, Vetiver.

It is light, refreshing, soft, gentle and breezy. Both the floral notes and the spicy clove note are restrained and rest on a warm bed of fragrant woods. I imagine this could be worn for any occasion. It is equally appropriate for office wear, casual wear and formal wear. It seems to me to be safely unisex. A very personal scent with limited sillage.

Since the scent is still available on BF's site under both names, I imagine established clients of Quadroon will be encouraged to deplete the existing stores and then re-routed to the new name. Under either name, it is a delight.




Mon Idée by Bourbon French Parfums

BOURBON FRENCH – MON IDEE

Bourbon French translates Mon Idee to “My Whim” and calls it a sharp carnation fragrance. That it is, with a prominent green presence and a good deal of menthol.

I did think it odd that although BF boasts 29 soliflores for women and 4 for men, carnation is not among them.

Mon Idee is certainly sharp, seeming to use only a very green carnation oil (thank goodness no clove), but the effect is not a pleasant one. There is no sweetness whatsoever. It comes across as very earthy, dry and herbal.

There is an impression of cigarette ash. Caron used this impression for their classic Tabac Blond, but while that house rounded this note out with linden, lime blossom, iris and vetiver among many other notes, in Mon Idee, the impression is flat and uninteresting. It is hard to ascertain when one would wear it and indeed, why one would wear it at all.

While not unpleasant, it is certainly not appealing. One of the very few BF scents that does not work for me.



Perfume of Paradise by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Perfume of Paradise

Bourbon French describes its Perfume of Paradise as containing white florals, while also being green and spicy.

Upon application, I am immediately struck by a sumptuous tuberose, sweet and unctuous. This is joined by a slightly green jasmine, the greenness of which alerts me to a true jasmine accord. (This is odd, because I do not find their jasmine soliflore scent to have this required greenness of a true jasmine.) A white lily joins the floral group to add to the olaceousness of the blend. However, the real stand out is center stage, the Gentian Violet, a rarely used floral scent, most famously in Corday's Possession. This is a unique floral scent and its place here raises Perfume of Paradise to a very high level indeed.

In the background hovers a very light spiciness with a true carnation, not compromised by heavy clove notes. The balance of notes is impressive.

This is an old-fashioned, heavy, mixed floral perfume, very feminine and very mature. I am reminded of the perfumes from the 1930s and 1940s. The quality of the oils is high. In the heat of New Orleans, the slightest application would be quite prominent. Thus, this would be a very economical purchase in that a tiny dab would be sufficient to perfume a personal space.

In my estimation one of the very best creations of this Louisiana house.





Marguerite by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Marguerite

Described simply by Bourbon French as “spicy, light, clean and fresh,” Marguerite is certainly all of these. The spice is quite subdued with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a dominant floral note of sweet olive blossom. This is center stage, supported by the powdery spice notes.

As the scent progresses, there is a carnation/clove note, which enters and subtly mixes with the olive. Very nice and quite pleasant, though I do wonder why this is necessary with two other scents (Sweet Olive and Olive Blossom) in their fragrance line devoted to this soliflore.

Perfectly pleasant but a bit redundant.



Sweet Pea by Bourbon French Parfums

Bourbon French – Sweet Pea

There are but six scents listed in the Basenotes data base, centered on the soliflore, Sweet Pea, and only three of them are contemporary. The flower itself was popular in the first half of the 20th century, but one never hears of it these days, and it is one of the most elusive of florals. It used to be part of the bride's floral bouquet in Victorian and Edwardian weddings.

Bourbon French's take on it is an exceptionally strong, sweet, sweet floral, which is very “girlish” and which would make a lovely gift for a teen-aged young woman or one in her very early twenties. There is a strong, slightly anisic, underlying green note that helps to calm the sweet tones into the dry down. Hints of violet (at the same time sweet and dry) add to the complexity. It reminds me very much of Lutens' A La Nuit in its strength and indeed may contain jasmine as well.

This is truly a scent that is difficult to describe in full justice. It has to be experienced. Those into florals, who are curious, should take advantage of Bourbon French's very affordable prices and sample this little gem. Because of its strength, a little bit goes a long way.




Vétiver (original) by Carven

Carven – Vetiver

I have no way of knowing which of the versions of this scent I am reviewing. The sample card is dark green with a silver pencil tip chevron in the middle and three notes (vetiver, citron de Grasse, lavender) listed inside. It is an edt concentration.

The scent opens with prominent vetiver leaf (as opposed to vetiver root), dry and true, surrounded by a medley of other dry notes, somewhat resembling a cardboard box into which oils have been spilled and evaporated. There is the indication of some citrus in the beginning (this could be lemon, petitgrain and mandarin of the original note tree).

I don't get any other wood or moss notes, just the dry vetiver as the scent unfolds. My spouse can detect a green lavender, as well. For him, it is a sweet lavender leaf scent, supported by vetiver leaf, not the other way around. There is in the dry down the slightest touch of myrrh.

This is a perfectly pleasant vetiver, reminiscent of the Guerlain and Givenchy takes, but in no way as rich or opulent. Its only drawback is its weakness. Ten minutes into the wearing, it has faded so much that one has to bring hand to nose to detect it.

In summary, a light green leaf vetiver and lavender edt. Not great, just average. Decent, but not outstanding.


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