Histoires de Parfums 1740 (Marquis de Sade)

1740 was the birth year of the Marquis de Sade, a man linked to such infamy that his very name became a byword for the most heinous acts of licentiousness and cruelty. 1740 is also the name of a fragrance created by Histoires de Parfums, a French niche perfume house founded in 2000 by Gérald Ghislain, that seeks to encapsulate the essence of historical figures in olfactory form.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Source: telegraph.co.uk

At first glance, the choice to immortalize the Marquis de Sade in scent might seem to be an odd one. After all, his actions often amounted to an extreme form of sadism, and there is debate as to whether all the women involved actually consented. Many were prostitutes which would seem to negate much free will in the matter (even if others loved him to the every end). Plus, the ideas expressed in de Sade’s books are rather unpalatable, taking matters outside the arena of “Fifty Shades of Grey” erotica. (Not that I’ve read the latter, as I’ve heard the writing is atrocious.)

"The Marquis de Sade's Personal Devils," 1912, unknown artist. Source: calicultural.net

“The Marquis de Sade’s Personal Devils,” 1912, unknown artist. Source: calicultural.net

However, there is a new school of thought regarding the infamous Marquis which puts him in the context of the aristos’ behavior of the time, as well as the precarious political situation of the Ancien Regime. In The Marquis de Sade: A New Biography, Donald Thomas explains that the Marquis shared the sexual proclivities of many “grand seigneurs,” such that there was even a law going back to 1319 providing fines for various levels of sexual misconduct. His acts were nothing new, particularly at the highest levels, like the notorious Regent, the Duc d’Orleans, who ran the country for an infant Louis XV. Sade’s difficulties came not from unorthodox behavior, but from having that behavior made public in the press at a time when the Ancien Regime was teetering on political revolution. So, he was made a convenient scapegoat, one designed to draw attention from many similar acts happening at Versailles. Whether he deserve the full extent of his subsequent infamy is the subject of debate, but Donald Thomas’ book is one that I highly recommend for anyone who is interested in the matter.

The bottom-line, though, is that there is a different way of looking at de Sade and his BDSM preferences. Some have issues with Histoires de Parfums’ decision to name a scent after him, but I tend towards the revisionist view, and don’t have problems with it. That said, I confess I find his writings in Justine and 120 Days of Sodom to be completely unreadable, unpalatable, and depressing. (However, as Wikipedia explains, Sade’s works have been interpreted as expressing, alternatively, theories of progressive Enlightenment, revolutionary, libertarian, existentialist, Kant-ian, nihilist, and even socialist philosophy. The feminist, Susan Sontag, allegedly defended Sade’s writings as “transgressive” theory that shouldn’t be censored.)

Source: Fragrantica

Source: Fragrantica

1740 puts aside issues of the historical man’s character to focus on (consensual) sensual pleasure via leather and darkened sweetness. It is an eau de parfum created by Gérald Ghislain and released in 2000. On its website, Histoires de Parfums describes the perfume as a Woody Chypre whose sensuality would have appealed to the licentious Marquis:

Birth year of a Parisian gentleman, named Donatien-Alphonse-François, which posterity remembers as the Marquis de Sade. For this man, whose licentious morals had him imprisoned many times, luxury rhymes with literature. The libertine writer would undoubtedly have enjoyed the audacity of this spiced wooded scent, an invitation to pleasure with its bergamot and Davana Sensualis hints, rounded with patchouli and everlasting flower.

Originality: liquor leather tones, davana sensualis, labdanum, patchouli and dry fig. Timeless perfume.
(Chypre composition: bergamot, cedar moss, labdanum, patchouli).

The official notes in 1740 do not list the fig mentioned in the description, nor the flecks of the cumin and cloves that I smell on my skin. Instead, the list is merely:

Bergamot, Davana Sensualis, Patchouli, Coriander, Cardamom, Cedar, Birch, Labdanum, Leather, Vanilla, Elemi, Immortelle.

Source: newallpaper.com

Source: newallpaper.com

Marquis de Sade opens on my skin with a small burst of bergamot that is quickly dwarfed by juicy, apricot-rich davana infused with spicy patchouli, darkened leather, and resinous balsams. Slivers of spicy elemi woods hint at both black pepper and lemon, though the woodiness is quite subtle. The whole mix is then sprinkled by what feels like cloves, as well as a dash of cumin. Cardamom brings up the rear, while the base is lashed (pun intended) with streaks of immortelle that smells primarily of golden sweetness, instead of its more common maple syrup tonality.

Source: specially4u.ru

Source: specially4u.ru

I have to admit, the opening took me a few times to get used to. I first tested 1740 a few years ago, and was simultaneously fascinated and slightly repelled by the opening notes — which pretty much mirrors most people’s reaction to hearing about the Marquis de Sade to begin with. There is something about the perfume version that screams sex with its intensely musky, deeply resinous, spicy, and smoky notes; something so bold, so intensely sensual, that it almost feels like a figurative slap in the face. My main problem, however, was that the muskiness not only verged on meatiness at times (probably due to the unlisted cloves and possible cumin), but that it also consistently evoked the image of men’s ass-less leather chaps and heated skin that was almost sweaty.

And yet…. it’s not completely that. Something about 1740 is so oddly… mesmerizing… at times, even in those opening minutes that are the toughest with its leather that feels almost raw and its bouquet that evokes hot, nasty, dirty sex. Something about it draws you back, again and again, for another sniff, as you try to decide if you’re in lust with the scent or wholly repelled. It’s all so utterly perfect for a fragrance named after le Marquis de Sade that I can’t get over it. And — with time, patience, and a few tries — I’ve fallen wholly on the “lust” side of the equation in my feelings about the scent.

Photo, "Bodyscaping" by Mauricio Torres on Flickr. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Photo, “Bodyscaping” by Mauricio Torres on Flickr. (Direct website link embedded within.)

It also helps that the opening burst of raunchiness segues in as little as 10 minutes into something more purely sensual that, thankfully, loses the imagery of hot, sweaty, ass-less leather chaps. It’s in large part due to two things. First, the immortelle which sweeps over the spices and leather like a wave of golden warmth and sweetness. Second, the interplay between the notes. I would swear that Marquis de Sade contains styrax, and that streak of smoke running through the base sends out curlers that winds its way around all the other notes. It helps keep the immortelle’s sweetness in check, as well as the apricot fruitiness from the davana. And it works so beautifully with 1740’s dark sweetness and rich patchouli.

The leather in Marquis de Sade is interesting. It doesn’t smell purely of traditional birch tar but primarily of something that is resinous and balsamic, amplified by labdanum. The latter is not clearly delineated or traditional either, because there are none of its usual toffee’d, ambered facets. Instead, there is merely a deep, sticky darkness, as well as general warmth, that just happens to feel leathery in nature. It’s all fully subsumed into a multi-faceted bouquet where all the elements play off of each other, instead of acting alone or being individual entities. They work seamlessly to create a very spicy, musky, leathered darkness that oozes sensual fleshiness above all else.

Painting by Peter Colstee via home.planet.nl

Painting by Peter Colstee via home.planet.nl

In a way, it’s as though the leather has melted into sex, skin, and darkness, offset by warmth that glows like candlelight upon the shadows. There is a heatedness to the bouquet, a ripeness that hints at things being peeled back and flesh left exposed, all of it somehow transcending the individual notes to scream sex and lust in a way that is hard to believe unless you experience it. When you break down the notes, it’s clear that the responsible parties are the dark, almost prune-like fruitiness, the bodily fleshiness of the cloves and cumin, the muskiness of the leather, the earthiness of the patchouli, and the warmth of the molasses-like resins, but 1740 still manages to be more than its individual parts.

Source: footage.shutterstock.com

Source: footage.shutterstock.com

15 minutes into its development, the fragrance begins to shift. The smokiness grows stronger, while the patchouli melts into the base where it merges with the resins, labdanum, and leather. At times, the strength of the styrax makes 1740 feel like a cousin to SHL 777‘s gorgeous Black Gemstone, though with different fruits. Instead of crisp, concentrated lemon, there is the sweeter note of apricot, but the similarities in vibe outweigh the differences, especially in conjunction with the patchouli, resins, and spices.

Speaking of the latter, the cardamom and coriander slowly grow more noticeable. The former smells slightly earthy, while the latter gives off whiffs of greenness at the edges. Something about the way they intersect with the smokiness, birch, and patchouli calls to mind Kilian‘s Intoxicated and Light My Fire. Perhaps it’s because the greenness of the cardamom and the darkness of the notes creates a feel of something tobacco’d and almost expresso-like lurking under the main bouquet of musky, warm, sweetened, and fleshy leather. The connection to the two Kilians is not as strong as to Black Gemstone, but it is there in the first hour.

Photo: my own.

Photo: my own.

Marquis de Sade isn’t a fragrance that twists and turns with multiple changes. It shifts only in small degrees, with the styrax smokiness, patchouli, and tobacco-like nuances being the most obvious fluctuating elements during the first three hours, but the scent generally feels quite linear. The fruitiness weakens substantially at the end of the 2nd hour, leaving a mix that is primarily spicy leather with muskiness, immortelle, subtle smokiness, and a touch of fruited sweetness, all within a warm, golden embrace. By the end of the 3rd hour, there is a sliver of creaminess that appears in the base, but 1740’s general contours remain essentially unchanged. All that really happens is that the notes blur into each other, leading into the heart of the fragrance which is nothing more than immortelle leather with amorphous spicy, smoky, musky, and ambered elements.

Source: popularscreensavers.com

Source: popularscreensavers.com

The final drydown begins at the 6th hour with a simple bouquet that is merely golden sweetness with a touch of spiciness and a vaguely suede-like feel. It strongly reminds me of the drydown of Nobile 1942‘s Rudis. Soon thereafter, Marquis de Sade feels like it’s about to die, and it is so discreet on my skin that, midway during the 6th hour, I had to put my nose right on the skin to detect it. Like its namesake, though, the scent somehow perseveres in almost hidden ways, clinging on as the sheerest of wisps against the skin, simmering away quietly and occasionally wafting a simple maple syrup aroma. All in all, and to my surprise, 1740 lasted roughly 9.5 hours, though only 6 of those were easy to detect.

When taken as a whole, 1740 has moderate sillage. Using 3 large smears equal to 2 sprays from an actual bottle, the perfume opens with 3-4 inches of projection. It is a very strong cloud that feels rich and full, but is actually rather airy at the same time. The projection drops to about 2 inches after 30 minutes, roughly 1.5 after 75 minutes, and then becomes a skin scent at the 2.75 mark. Something about the way the scent plays out on my skin makes me think that 1740 would actually have far greater projection and a decent sillage trail if it were sprayed, instead of dabbed, at least for the first few hours. Yet, I suspect that the projection would be quite soft and intimate once the middle phase began.

Leather. Source: atulperx.com

Leather. Source: atulperx.com

On Fragrantica, there are a lot of really positive reviews for 1740. My favorite comment is from “Big70tom” who says its his favorite fragrance but his wife hates it, resulting in “such a quandry… almost kept this and got a new wife.” Less joking reviews talk about the narcotic, sexy, and very masculine nature of the scent. Some don’t think the fragrance is animalic enough for the name, while a handful think the “spectacular” opening is not matched by the more “boring,” simple drydown. A few people find 1740 to be “Patchouli with a wicked side,” more than immortelle or leather driven. Finally, lot of people say 1740 has monster projection and excellent longevity on their skin.

Sadly, a handful of 2014 comments talk about the scent being reformulated in 2012 with the result reportedly gutting its character and rendering 1740 “more generic.” One poster called “Snowtree” elaborates in detail:

Sometime in the middle 2012 they changed a complete masterpiece, probably due to a restriction, even though Gérald Ghislain swears they didn’t. Ignore him, they did. Gérald is amazing but he is not being honest 🙂 To quickly summarize the difference between the two (I do have both…. and enough of the original to last me for years thankfully), the first version is much smoother in its spice and immortelle. Overall it does have a stellar buttery vibe that Turin alludes to in his review. It is flawless from start to finish. The new one has a slight, and I hate to use this word, chemical feel to it. It is good, I like it, but it smells a tad petroleum-esque, and then turns to an almost pancake-syrupy vibe as it heads towards the dry down. The original stays with an ever so tasteful spice and leather-tobacco dry down that is truly compelling. If one were to never smell the “vintage”, you would be correct in saying that this is a good fragrance. If you are familiar with the initial creation, you more than likely would be very disappointed, not to mention heartbroken that you would never be able to smell such a masterful version of this fragrance again at some point.

My sample is an old manufacturer’s one that I obtained in 2013 and who knows when it was actually bottled. All I can say is that I like 1740 enough to consider buying a new bottle even if it’s been diluted down. I truly think it’s that good, and I’m not particularly an immortelle lover. The only reason I’m hesitating is that I’m equally tempted by 1740’s sister version, Tubereuse 3- Animale, which has the tuberose that I love so much, and there is a lot of overlap between the two, in my opinion.

In terms of the masculine-feminine divide, some people on Fragrantica may describe 1740 as purely “masculine” but I know a number of women who adore the fragrance. Certainly, a lot of female bloggers do. Take, for example, Marina of Perfume-Smellin’ Things whose 2007 review states:

Is the Histores de Parfums scent fit to bear the legendary name? It is, as much as any other fairly smoky, pleasurably harsh leather scent would be. It could perhaps have been a little more forceful, a little more tarry and much more animalic…a little more…cruel.

Source: Basenotes.

Source: Basenotes.

The pressures of the name aside, this is a wonderful scent, lush, deep, darkly sensual. The three notes that I smell the most are leather, patchouli and… prunes. Patchouli here has that chocolate-like quality that I love in the note, and it adds an unexpectedly gourmand undertone to the black leathery brew. The image that the scent evokes in my mind is not of any sort of orgy, but of prunes covered in bitter, dark chocolate (my absolute favorite candy in the whole world), kept in an old leather trunk. Marquis de Sade is not a complex scent, but it compensates for the lack of intricate detail and sophisticated development by the glorious richness of the notes. On me, it is astonishingly comforting, truly the most unlikely comfort scent I have ever found. On The Other it is jaw-droppingly sexy …in fact, the smell makes me want to bite the wrist that wears it. Which, after all, might be a reaction the Marquis would approve.

Photo by Daniel Fox. Source: petapixel.com. (Direct website link embedded within.)

Photo by Daniel Fox. Source: petapixel.com. (Direct website link embedded within.)

The Non-Blonde also finds it “sexy,” in addition to be “addictive” and “very unique,” with a sweet darkness that is “dangerously poisonous and tempting.” She doesn’t think it’s particularly masculine, either. Her 2013 review reads, in part, as follows:

It’s unquestionably sexy, thick and leathery, seductive in its sweetness and very unique. The perfume is intriguing and at times cerebral. It’s also addictive. […][¶] There’s something almost oily in the opening of 1740. In theory there’s also bergamot in the top notes, but on me this thing goes right into the core and base with no niceties to break the ice. It always reminds me at first of Annick Goutal’s Duel, before Histoires takes the Marquis even darker and sweeter. There’s lots of spices, something that smells suspiciously like body heat (no cumin, surprisingly), a syrupy molasses-like note that is both dangerously poisonous and tempting, and leather. Lots and lots of soft black leather.

The gourmand honeyed thread that runs parallel to everything else going on in 1740 is what makes it stand out among other leather perfumes. It’s so sweet you want to dive in and lick every last drop, just when the whip is cracked and you smell that this is not your grandma’s kitchen with its pie drizzled with maple syrup. It’s the other kind of delicious, the one that’s less caloric but just as much fun. 1740 is also a shapeshifter. At times it smells quite impolite (the blending of labdanum and leather will do that, creating a carnal musky aroma), and other times the Marquis wears his aristocratic face and intellectual robe. It makes you stop and think about the thing you’re smelling. Is it skin? is it the kitchen? or are you in a dungeon? Marquis de Sade, after all, spent long years in various prisons (and an insane asylum), including the Bastille.

I wear 1740 without hesitation. I love leather and adore immortelle, so it sits well with me. I don’t think it’s particularly masculine, despite being designated for men (and placed on the far right of Luckyscent’s gender spectrum).

Source: motherboard.vice.com

Source: motherboard.vice.com

Birgit at Olfactoria’s Travels is yet another fan but, regardless of gender, you should not go near 1740 if you dislike immortelle or spicy patchouli. Take the horror of Victoria from EauMG as a warning. Her 2013 review reads, in part, as follows:

1740 opens with a birch tar leather and camphoric patchouli. There’s a dash of cool spices and citrus but I’d never call 1740 bright. It’s rugged and worn. It’s an earthy, dark, animalic potion. With time I get civet and dried fig, some rum and brown sugar, and the smell of stale, musty, leather steamer trunks. Now here’s when I become the sadomasochist. I hate immortelle and 1740 contains it, lots of it. The immortelle is maple syrup with less curry than usual. It’s sweet and reminds me of diabetic sweat. It’s like sugary sweat. I also get candle wax, smoke and moss from this perfume. The scent starts to imprison me and make me feel claustrophobic. It’s difficult to explain but I think I’m being smothered by immortelle in a chypre scented dungeon. […][¶]

1740 is a Marquis de Sade fragrance…but subtle. It’s not overly Marquis de Sade. It’s leathery. It’s filthy. It’s dirty. It’s fecal. It’s dank. It smells good but at the same time it doesn’t. It’s almost a fragrance for a sensory sadist. The opening is medicinal, almost like a poison. The heart is edible but stale. The base has a super sweet gluttonous immortelle. Some say that this one isn’t “Marquis de Sade” enough. I think it is. If it were “Marquis de Sade” enough, it’d be shit. Literally. And all the perfume fanatics would be griping about it smelling like feces. Trust me, this is as Marquis de Sade as any fragrance should be.

It’s true, some people don’t think 1740 is “Marquis de Sade enough,” all that bold, or even particularly animalic. I think the fragrance straddles the line between dirty and sensual almost perfectly. That said, if you want try to it, you may want to remember The Non-Blonde’s comment about occasional “impolite” carnality, and my initial difficulties with the scent the first few times I tried it due to the whole “ass-less chaps” raunchiness of the opening 10-15 minutes.

In short, this is a scent that may require patience and a few wearings, in addition to the requisite love for immortelle, patchouli, and musky leather. If those notes are up your alley, then you should definitely give 1740 a test sniff. This is one version of the Marquis de Sade that I find to be incredibly addictive.

Cost & Availability: 1740 is an eau de parfum that comes in two sizes: 2 oz/60 ml for $125, £125, or €87; or 4 oz/120 ml for $205 or €145. Some places also have a 14 ml decant for $36. All those options are available on the Histoires de Parfums website, which also has a sample program (6 samples out of a limited selection) whose $20 price is credited to you if you later buy a large 4 oz. bottle. You can read here for the details. Shipping is free for all orders anywhere in the world over $130; below that, there is a $10 shipping fee. In the U.S.: Luckyscent has 1740 in both sizes. At the time of this review, it is discounting the $205 bottle to $170. Twisted Lily sells the small 60 ml bottle, the 14 ml decant for $36, and a sample. BeautyHabit sells both sizes, along with the decant for $36. Parfum1 also has all 3 options. Outside the U.S.: In Canada, Etiket carries Histoires de Parfums, though only a few are shown on their website. 1740 is not listed. In the UK, Roullier White has 1740 in both sizes, along with a sample. Harvey Nichols only sells the line in their Knightsbridge store, and not online. In Paris, Jovoy has the full HdP line for €87 or €145, depending on size. You can also find select fragrances in the small size at the Nose boutique in Paris. In the Netherlands, you can find HdP at ParfuMaria. For the rest of Europe, Premiere Avenue has all the fragrances in the small 2 oz/60 ml size for €87, with a decant available for €15. First in Fragrance sells HdP in the large 4 oz bottles, not the smaller size. In Australia, you can find HdP at Peony Melbourne. For all other countries, Histoires de Parfums’ Store Locator page lists retailers from South Africa to Korea, Sweden and Kuwait. Samples: You can find samples at a number of the retailers linked to above. Surrender to Chance offers 1740 starting at $4.99 for a 1 ml vial.

26 thoughts on “Histoires de Parfums 1740 (Marquis de Sade)

  1. Hi Kafka, I’m glad you reviewed 1740 since that was in my last batch of samples, but think I should sample it again. It felt rather tame to me. I couldn’t wait to smell it because of the mostly positive reviews and that it’s the Marquis encapsulated. What could be more licentious. At least they haven’t named a scent after La Voisin. Donald Thomas’ book is one I’ll read. Now, about those leather chaps…..:/

    • It’s certainly not an animalic or extremely wild fragrance, so, that extent, it’s not going to encapsulate the Marquis. You clearly fall into the “it’s not Marquis de Sade enough” camp. LOL. And I can understand that, because it’s quite a name to live up to. 🙂

  2. For me this is quite tame, and I actually wear it as a comfort scent and not for seduction. It brings almost no erotic connotations to my mind,apart from the impression of warm, slightly musky, sweaty skin, but hey we all have different perceptions of what is erotic and what not.In any case I love it and I have a full bottle, which I bought in 2014 so it’s probably the reformulated version,and to be honest I had, or still have an old sample acquired in 2011.From what I remember I didn’t notice any difference between the two versions.

    • No, it’s not an animalic fragrance, and nothing like Maai or Montecristo. If that degree of skankiness or dirtiness is the required threshold or standard for “erotic,” then yes, 1740 falls quite short. On my skin, it’s lusty, fleshy, and sensuous in the opening with an occasional, brief undertone of something that is almost raunchy but not quite.

      For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t describe 1740 as “erotic,” either, because that word has a different definition and olfactory smell to me. As you said, what is required to define each of those words will depend on the individual. 🙂

      • Yes, I agree it is not an animalic fragrance, and I think I need some kind of waxy,fatty,dirty smell going on in order to put it in the sex category.For me 1740 is indeed sensual, but not sexual.it’s gorgeous, and I’m glad you like it.

        • It sounds dirtier or raunchier on me than on you, even if it’s only to a small degree, but I definitely agree that a sort of fatty, waxy, dirty… bodily (??)… quality is necessary to elevate it to the “erotic” category.

          You know what I kept thinking of when reading your original comment and even more so now? How much you would probably enjoy Mandy Aftel’s Boudoir Scents chapter in her book “Essence & Alchemy.” She goes through some history of truly sexualized aromas but also talks about the role of bodily… um… odors in fragrances. It’s only a short portion amidst all the rest, but I think you’d find it very interesting. There is even a historian physician’s breakdown of the 8 smells that are “the bedrock of olfactory arousal” with the classifications ranked in increasing order of “erotogenic effect.” General, musky skin odor — of the sort you primarily experience in 1740 — is the least at #1. #4 is the odor of the armpit, while 6, 7, and 8 are pretty explicit, personal fluids or parts, indeed. It goes to your point about what is needed to fit your personal definition of “erotic,” and how #1 (mere musky skin) is inadequate or insufficient.

          The ranking also underscores how definitions will vary from one person to the next, because I can see some people finding the vast majority of Havelock Ellis’ list to be very unpalatable odors for their fragrance. (Smegma!) lol Consider the fact that the main reason (according to Aftel’s Book) why H.G. Wells managed to be such a successful sexual lech was because his lovers thought his skin smelled like honey — and, yet, most people don’t think honey is the road to seduction. So, as you said, what’s required to define “erotic” or “seductive” depends on each person. Anyway, you might want to see if you can get the book as I think you might enjoy it with its varied explanations of perfume notes, fragrance composition, literature, alchemy, history, and sex.

          • Thank you so much for your suggestions, my darling. Yes, i will definitely get this book and others. In fact,you mentioning Essence and Alchemy it’s an amazing coincidence, as lately I’m feeling very tempted to invest in some books about perfume, rather than perfume itself., so your recommendation emboldens me even more. I definitely want to expand and refine my perfume vocabulary and knowledge, as I feel that I’m not using the terms correctly.Especially as English is not my mother tongue.

  3. You really hit the nail on the head with this review! My relationship with this fragrance is complicated! Apparently I liked it enough during my initial testing to get the 15ml travel spray. I like the dark prune-like, sweet leathery quality, but I do find it to be very thick and easily overwhelming sometimes. I think application is key for me with this one. It needs to be dabbed not sprayed, or I do experience that claustrophobia Victoria describes (I’m a girl that likes a nice hefty doses of Absolu Pour Le Soir and Muscs Koublai Khan so I do like thick sensual fragrances) Ultimately, I think I like the way this smells on others more than myself, where I can have the right amount of distance to enjoy it. I gravitate towards a lot of masculine/unisex scents but this was the first one that jumped out as being great on a man. Because I don’t have a boyfriend to be tested/tortured, I made my little brother dab on a little and it smelled amazingly suave on him! I gave it to him and he said he would report back with any and all impressions!

    • I love hearing about complicated, thorny perfume relationships. This one, though, is particularly fascinating to me because you love thick, sensual scents like APLS and MKK and at a hefty dosage level, no less! On top of all that, you actually gravitate towards a lot of masculine/unisex scents. So what was it about this one — a scent hardly as thick, rich, intense, or close to the degree of boldness of Absolue Pour Le Soir — what about *this* scent felt too much?! The only thing I can think of is that the immortelle might be a note that you struggle with in general, or perhaps spicy, traditional patchouli? Notes in conjunction? Perhaps something else?

      I’m so intrigued now, particularly as I think APLS is a significantly richer, sweeter, denser fragrance than 1740. I’m equally curious about what in the bouquet made 1740e seem best suited for a guy when you yourself actually wear a lot of masculine/unisex fragrances. If you ever figure out the paradox, please let me know, Boo. 🙂

      • I can’t figure it out either Kafka!! It’s the one glaring anomaly in my perfume collection! Maybe it is the immortelle( I’m not overly familiar with this note). I love the Patchouli in Coromandel, Borneo and PG L’Ombre Fauve. I can struggle with leather notes sometimes. APLS is totally dense and too much, but it’s too much of everything I love! Honey, rose, incense muscy goodness. I can’t be objective about that one! MKK is also very masculine/unisex, but maybe its the rose and ambergris note that makes it feel like salty skin, melding with my own personal chemistry more. 1740 feels more like this thing sitting on my skin that doesn’t meld, if that make any sense.

        It’s not that I think 1740 is best suited for a guy in general. It’s only one of two fragrances, for no explicable reason, that I’ve instantly had a strong desire to smell on a man rather than taking ownership of it myself There is something darkly, smooth and suave about it for a man to me. When my brother obliged me and tried it, it just smelled so much better on him!

        I let you know if I ever solve this mystery!

        • I can understand how some fragrances simply don’t mesh well with one, and seem better on others. I’m sure your brother smells wonderful in 1740. As for you, I suspect that you’re having issues with immortelle. It’s not the easiest note for me, either, because I don’t like the way that it usually manifests itself as maple syrup. (I don’t mind eating the thing, but I don’t like waves of maple syrup radiating off my skin!)

          None of the other fragrances that you’ve mentioned here contain immortelle that I recall, and I think you may want to explore the note more for your own sake as it seems to be an increasingly common one in fragrances these days. It can manifest itself as banana curry leaf, as a sort of dry herbal floralcy, as maple syrup, as sweet golden warmth, and a few other forms as well. You may want to explore immortelle as a sort of scientific experiment, if only to know whether to avoid fragrances with it in the future. And, if you’re really interested in learning more about your perfume tastes or the notes that you have issues with, you may want to consider going through some of your favorite fragrances on Fragrantica to see if there are common elements, then do the same for those fragrances that you know you hate. You may be surprised at what you discover and you will definitely learn more about your specific perfume tastes. I have also posted a sort of questionnaire to help people think about and analyse the notes they love, hate, struggle with, are indifferent to, or only like depending on the note’s treatment. There are a LOT of notes listed — many that you may not normally think about — and it seems to help people in pinpointing their tastes more. If you’re interested, you can find it in a post entitled: “Let’s Play Questions… Vol. 9.”

          I can tell you one thing, though: I suspect you love ambrette because that is a key part of MKK’s musc note and it may be in APLS, too. I can’t recall all its many notes now to remember if it has ambrette, but MKK definitely does. So does Musc Tonkin and Musc Ravageur. I also suspect that you love the sweetness of honey, but that the immortelle version of sweetness is reading as “cloying” on you. It would be interesting to find out what you think of the usual maple syrup manifestation of the note. 🙂

  4. I too find it not too animalic. Good for me! 😛 I like how the leather starts kind of rough, then melts into the spicy yet sensual amber, and finally resurfaces as spice-infused soft suede.

    It’s interesting that you mentioned apricot and clove. I do feel the leathery fruitiness of apricot. I also find it has a sort of muskiness aspect like some fragrances that suppose to have clove in it. Can clove be kind of musky when it’s not too spicy at the forefront?

    I agree that 1740 and Tubéreuse 3 have quite some overlapping. I fancy a couple wearing these two, though. That’s kind of cool! 😀

    • Apricot can be musky, just like peach can be in perfumery. Here, the apricot stems from the davana flower, one of my favorite notes precisely because of the way it always manifests that sort of liqueured apricot aroma. That said, I really do feel as though 1740 must have cloves in it, and I know I’m not the only one. Generally, it’s not a musky note, at least not in the true sense or manner of musky elements, but it can create a meaty earthiness that — in conjunction with other elements and on some skins — can come across as musky. Personally, I suspect that something else is responsible for that quality in 1740 or, perhaps, a combination thereof.

      • Thank you so much for the reply! 😀 I think what I meant as ‘musky’ is actually the ‘meaty earthiness’ that you described, and that’s exactly what I smelt, especially in Serge Noire.

        • Definitely the cloves then! That’s a massive part of Serge Noire. (And one of the big reasons why that fragrance is so polarizing.) 🙂

  5. You describe this so well – so well, in fact, that I’m wearing it today! I’m actually surprised to hear about the overlap between Tubereuse 3 and this (I thought for some reason you hated Tubereuse 3!) – they are so different to me that I can hardly find any commonality! With that said, Tubereuse 3 is one I loved from first sniff (and if you want some, let me know, I have plenty). 1740 took me longer to “get” but now I really like it a lot. It’s pretty skanky for me, but unlike anything in my collection. Plus, the sillage and longevity are quite strong – I get whiffs of it all day, and it’s 8 hours in and still going strong. I definitely find it very sexy and weirdly alluring.

    • How great that you have strong sillage, as I know that your skin is a sillage-eating monster. As for Tubereuse 3, I’ll explain properly in my review my initial stumbling blocks with the scent but, in a nutshell, I think applying a lot of it in the middle of the summer heat was part of the problem. (This despite the fact that I always have constant air conditioning on, but something seriously went wrong those first 2 times.) The thing is, as I told you back then, I always liked T3 after the opening faded, but those first 20 minutes were much like 1740 in that it was a struggle. I think I had to reconcile myself more with immortelle, though the note remains a bit iffy for me as shown by the Questions/Vol. 9 list of notes. (You may want to take that, btw, when you get the chance.)

      Regardless, I do think there is a lot of connection between 1740 and T3. On my skin, T3 is essentially the floral sister or cousin to the Marquis de Sade, an immortelle-leather with fruitiness just like 1740 only this one has tuberose and some hay as well. It’s a golden tuberose scent, yes, but it is also very much an immortelle one with a leather underpinning and streaks of darkly liqueured fruits, all in an ambered glow. On my skin, T3 is definitely a floral relative. It will be the subject of the next review, assuming I can get all my other work done in the meantime. 🙂

  6. Kafka, I enjoyed the way your review made me think about this complex fragrance and the ways different people respond to it. I haven’t smelled it since I used up my sample years ago (from 2011 or 2012), but I loved it and found it so gourmand-leaning that, to my nose, as commenter Ana Maria said above, it’s a very sensual fragrance rather than a sexual one. Then again, I think about how the opening of it smelled to me like blackstrap molasses, which is a very sulfuric smell, and I can see how that might translate quite well to ass-less leather chaps. 😀 I guess the reason it doesn’t quite go that far for me is because I find it so weighted with its fruited and liquour-like Davana note that it smoothes over the sulfur smell and becomes more R-rated than X-rated.

    At any rate, your review has me wondering why I never purchased a bottle of this charismatic stuff! Thanks for writing about it so fully and, as usual, so well.

    • R-rated vs. X-rated….. I love your movie-rating comparisons and, if you don’t mind, I shall completely appropriate it for myself. LOLOL! 😀 😀 Utterly perfect, my dear. I definitely don’t think Marquis de Sade is x-rated but, then, I think few things are. On me, it is primarily PG-13 with an opening that is PG-13 with some occasional R-rated nudity scenes in the first 20 minutes or so. Yes, ass-less leather chaps. Heh. I find it interesting that 1740 took on a sulfuric quality on your skin. I wonder if that was from the styrax resin, the birch tar, the immortelle taking on honey-like vestiges, or some combination of the above. I bet it’s the latter. 🙂 xoxoxox

  7. i too found myself in a quandry between this and tubereuse 3 (“animale”?). i ended up choosing…. the latter, as it was the first and only tub i could actually wear and after the first hour they are roughly 90% the same on me. i also don’t get ‘animal’ with 1740 and indeed it treats immortelle in a way that is not only wearable for me, but has a roundness, a depth that conjures leather. excellent work, and as usual a fine review 🙂

    • How cool that a guy who doesn’t like tuberose found a perfect one in T3. 🙂 A lot of guys seem to have that response to the scent, and they almost seem surprised that there is finally a tuberose scent they can wear without it feeling overly feminine. I’m also glad to hear that I’m not alone in finding big similarities between T3 and 1740. Not a lot of people have drawn such comparisons on the various groups, but skin chemistry is partially responsible for differences, no doubt.

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