That said, for some reason Galimard, a house which remarkably pre-dates the French revolution, does not charge niche prices for its wares, so this might be a good place to acquire your coveted shampoo-conditioner frags!
Once the fragrance has fully developed, it is a big, beautiful, dark woody perfume with a somewhat overwhelming sillage, given how out of the ordinary the scent itself is. I would compare the overall effect to that of freshly cut mahogany chips soaked in absinthe and then set out under the hot sun to dry (so that the alcohol all evaporates away). The longevity is impressive. The sheer eccentricity of this composition probably explains its discontinuation as well, since it really smells nothing like the standard categories of feminine perfumes. I would not be at all surprised if some women who purchased FEU D'ISSEY scent unsniffed–or received it as a gift–ended up passing it on to their husband. That's how masculine this so-called feminine composition is. Without having read the entry in The Guide, I am surmising that this one got rave reviews, since LT (a man) happens to favor perfumes with a masculine edge–imagine that!
The florals in this composition are rather, as they say, abstract, meaning not easy to discern much less identify. Everything is so finely blended together by the end that RELENT becomes virtually a skin scent. I would recommend this composition to people who really love musk, since that's the star of the show. There are some brief appearances of other detectable components, but they are all rather short-lived. The musk, in contrast, abides on and on, becoming lightly tinged with amber in the drydown...
What I do not find here at all is anything at all very sweet: and no vanilla, in particular. Although the opening seems somewhat feminine to me, the drydown becomes far more masculine, as though Napoleon arrived home after one of his military adventures to usurp Josephine of her domestic authority. The servants suddenly turn all of their attention to the little emperor, ignoring the fair lady of the house. I like both the Josephine and the Napoleon phases of GOCCI DI NAPOLEON and would happily wear this perfume, if I had a bottle.