After reviewing L’ Homme de Coeur I felt I had to take a break from my iris series to talk about Parfums Divine. There is a lot of talk about how modern perfumes lack imagination and boldness. This is a house that definitely doesn’t so why not talk about it a little more. My quick sniffs are based on skin tests of the perfumes from a a sample kit I purchased long time ago so the expression of appreciation to Yvon Mouchel,creator of the house, is long overdue. The sample pack itself is one of the best bargains around, at only 12 euros plus shipping for 12 generous samples. The bottles themselves are very reasonably priced as well. So if you are bored with what is around you don’t have much to lose by trying.
L‘ Être Aimé Homme (Yann Vasnier): this is the immortelle to end all immortelles. The most beautifully used immortelle note in fragrance. If to you everlasting flower is all about maple syrup and curry you should allow Yann Vasnier to change your mind. He has stricken the perfect balance between the delicate golden hue of El Atarine and the sweet oriental (overpowering?) gourmandise of Eau Noire. It starts of like herbal tea which slowly warms up with the addition of honey. There is a floral element keeping everything light and cool. In the heart the immortelle appears with all its vegetal, sun dried glory. No curry, no bacon, no maple syrup I assure you. Only someone who has smelled fresh immortelle can relate to what L’Être Aimé Homme really is and those who have not now have the perfect chance to understand why all of us who love immortelle do! Mental note to self: get a bottle of this!
L’Être Aimé Femme (Yann Vasnier): this one is good but as Tom of Perfume Smelling Things says here it has to compete with the masculine version for attention and it is loosing. Admittedly immortelle can be tough to handle and in a feminine context the obvious way would be to go spicy. Yann Vasnier didn’t do that because I guess he hates obvious solutions. This one is predominantly floral with spicy hints. The immortelle is more restrained, in fact it adds a herbal bitterness. In the deep drydown the immortelle is winning but ladies, give L’ Être Aimé Homme a try too.
L’ Homme Sage (Yann Vasnier): it takes a lot of wisdom to create a perfume for A Wise Man. This is a powdery woody fragrance with a soft leathery nuance. No note is big here. Nothing competes. Everything is beautifully balanced. To list any individual notes would be misleading as Yann Vasnier has created a seamless winter jacket for a man who feels comfortable not shouting out about his presence. Fruit and patchouli are listed but you would be mistaken to expect a masculine frutchouli. Immortelle is also listed but it is only used to give the leathery nuance and even sworn enemies will not detect it individually. Be warned: ladies who prefer to impress with their presence after they have left the room will also find something interesting here.
L’Infante: The innocense of white flowers. Sparkling opening with a green hint, brings to mind Diorissimo but only briefly. The heart and base are more mature. Amber is added to the jasmin-gardinia-ylang company.
L’Inspiratrice (Richard Ibanez): This is the feminine star of the line. The Inspiring One, The Muse, is truly inspired and inspiring. It is supposed to be a rose and patchouli combination but notes start quickly popping off the skin, like the colors of firework. Pepper, vetiver, vanilla and tonka, tonka, tonka. This is very close to Habanita, only better behaved. L’Inspiratrice doesn’t have the teeth of Habanita and does know when to say stop to sugar. Needless to say after this that a man can pull this one off and this is another one on my wishlist.
Divine (Richard Ibanez/ Yann Vasnier): The nomenclature is a bit confusing with this one , as it bares the same name as the entire line and it is followed by L’ Eau Divine. In reality it is the older sister of L’ Infante. More sophisticated, luscious, buttery tuberose, never cloying, staying afloat on the shoulders of accompanying notes. Without the strange camphor note it manages to bring to mind Tubereuse Criminelle.
L’Eau Divine: If you are looking for a cologne that does not bore look no further. Strong, uplifting, bitter, citrus opening followed by a mix of cool herbs and spices. Just when you expect the whole mix to pop into non existence like a bubble, the artistry of the perfumer hides a warm, luscious heart of neroli and violette into this bubble.