I generally think that it’s a good idea for a perfume lover to go outside their comfort zone from time to time, and to stretch themselves by trying a different sort of olfactory style than what they are usually drawn to, so long as the scent in question has a few notes which they really love. Yet, even with that last part as a solid and absolute requirement, I usually end up wondering why I bothered, because the end result is almost invariably, inevitably, a failure. “Stretching oneself” seems to be great in theory, but actual perfume experimentation outside of my olfactory comfort zone — and, most particularly, amongst brands whose aesthetic I don’t enjoy — rarely results in a happy surprise or a miraculous find. More often than not, I’m left feeling greatly irritated.
That was the case with two new releases that I tried recently: Diptyque‘s Florabellio and L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s Rose Privée. Diptyque is not a brand whose aesthetic I enjoy, because I find their scents to be excessively synthetic, fresh, clean, and sheer, but Florabellio tempted me with claims of coffee, saltiness, and toasted sesame seeds. Hmmph. L’Artisan is another brand that rarely works for me, primarily due to synthetics, sheerness, and longevity issues, though I did really love the great, once discontinued Safran Troublant (which, alas, was also badly flawed by unusually brief longevity on my skin). Nevertheless, the new Rose Privée beckoned to me, not only because it was created by Bertrand Duchaufour, but also because it contains lilac, carnation, basil, patchouli, hay, and amber. What an intriguing set of elements to go with rose, I thought. It can’t be too bad. Well, it wasn’t the worst thing that I’ve ever tried; it had a few bits that were quite interesting or intriguing in the first hour; it was far from the rose soliflore that I was dreading; and it was an A/P scent that actually lasted on my skin for a change. Unfortunately, I also found it to be schizophrenic in its changes, and unappealing as a whole. I’ll cover each fragrance in turn.