O Patchouli, how I love thee, let me sing thy praises, let me revel in your beauty. There are many beautiful materials out there, but one of the most versatile, complex, heady, and instantaneously addictive to me is my beloved patchouli. What else can so perfectly enhance both a chypre’s oakmoss and an oriental’s amber, florals, vetiver, vanilla, florals, incense, or woods? With nuances ranging from boozy cognac to dark chocolate, smoke, spices, green leaves, dry woods, wet earth, ambered resins, camphor, menthol, and even oily turpentine and musky leatheriness, patchouli is the unsung hero in many compositions, elevating its individual components, amplifying them with even further richness and depth.
Today, I wanted to take a quick look at Incident Diplomatique, the new masculine vetiver-patchouli fragrance from Jovoy Paris. As always, my Reviews en Bref are for fragrances that — for whatever reason — didn’t seem to warrant my usual in-depth, detailed analysis. In this case, the reasons will become soon become apparent why I’ve opted for that approach.
Arbolé Arbolé, the latest fragrance from Hiram Green, weds spicy woods and powdery, sweet, floral-vanillic elements in holy matrimony with rings of dark resins. It was interesting to observe how the relationships at the core of the scent unfolded like a musical piece where the courtship took place during an unexpected overture or prelude, followed by a march up the aisle, a post-wedding reception dance where everyone joins in, and then, finally, the couple retires to cuddle in a cozy haze on the first night of their honeymoon.
Arbolé Arbolé (hereinafter spelled without the accent or just called “Arbole”) wasn’t my thing despite my love for many of the notes at the center of the composition, but it’s also one of those fragrances that seems to manifest itself quite differently from one person to the next. How it turns out on your skin, particularly in its opening, is likely to shape how you view the scent.
Eris Parfums is a new brand, founded by Barbara Herman, a vintage perfume expert who wrote the book, Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume (2013) after many years of being a blogger on her site, Yesterday’s Perfume. (Book links provided at the end in the Details section.) When she decided to launch her own line, she turned to perfumer Antoine Lie whom she’d first met as an interview source for her book. As she explains in her biography section on Eris Parfums, she wanted to “create a collection of fragrances as daring and erotic as fragrances of the past.”
The results were three eau de parfums launched earlier this year: Ma Bete, Belle de Jour, and Night Flower. I’ll look at each one in turn. As part of my new resolution of providing a more succinct analysis whenever the perfumes permit it, I’ll give a more generalized breakdown of a perfume’s development instead of my usual detail, and also skip discussing comparative reviews.