French Affair 2017

French Affair by Ex Nihilo
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8.3 / 1059 Ratings
French Affair is a popular perfume by Ex Nihilo for women and men and was released in 2017. The scent is floral-chypre. The longevity is above-average. It is still available to purchase.
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Perfumer

Quentin Bisch

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamotBergamot LycheeLychee Violet leaf absoluteViolet leaf absolute
Heart Notes Heart NotesRose absoluteRose absolute Atlas cedarAtlas cedar AngelicaAngelica
Base Notes Base NotesPatchouliPatchouli VetiverVetiver OakmossOakmoss

Ratings

Scent

8.359 Ratings

Longevity

8.156 Ratings

Sillage

7.456 Ratings

Bottle

8.147 Ratings

Value for money

6.114 Ratings
Submitted by Lilalu1983, last update on 04.04.2022.
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Reviews

1 in-depth fragrance description
4
Pricing
5
Bottle
8
Sillage
10
Longevity
10
Scent
Greenfaerie

85 Reviews
Greenfaerie
Greenfaerie
   1  
Elegant and modern
While it has vintage characteristics it’s very modern to me. Big vetiver fragrance that I think is quite feminine because it’s powdery and has some sweet creaminess as it dries down. Something green about it that is hard to pinpoint. I find it extremely classy. Reminds me of Dryad to some degree, but French Affair is more salty and sharp. I used up my sample vial and will be purchasing a bottle today. Something about keeps drawing me back for more.
0 Replies
8
Sillage
9
Longevity
6
Scent
NikEy
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NikEy
NikEy
Top Review    13  
The rhubarb musk scent - or: A perfume in a blind test
Those who have been dealing with perfumes and the background of their production for a longer time will surely already know: the pyramid as we get it in front of our nose is not always congruent with the actual ingredients of a fragrance. Not only is a large number of fragrances not listed at all (otherwise the pyramid would just scare many away), often the notes listed are more of a chord of different fragrances than individual natural or synthetic fragrances.

If you look at the two aspects, so that you can smell more or less than indicated in the pyramid, blind tests are of course even more fun. So also with French Affair.

The fragrance starts with a sweet and sour fruit with distinct green notes. The type of fruit is quite quickly identified and pretty clear: RHABARBER! Fresh, tart - only because of the sweetness, my thoughts went briefly in the direction of apple, but no, it remains with rhubarb.
Quickly moves bright musk into the heart of the fragrance, which is joined after a short time a warm-amber background noise. The combination of both provides - especially towards the end of the fragrance - a discreetly sweetish-powdery impression, although the tart rhubarb always gives a certain freshness. And the really extremely high-dose musk (don't get me wrong, everything here is soft and not piebald-synthetic) unfortunately reminds me of the typical Douglas fragrance mix in the women's department. Which is why I would have blindly classified French Affair in the mainstream.

The more surprised I am about the official pyramid of the perfume. Rose, moss, vetiver ... all aspects I have not perceived at all. Even from Chypre is here in classification and statements the speech. Not at all, for me the fragrance is an uncomplicated summer refresher with a soft base, which reminds me of many well-known women's fragrances.
And the conclusion? Blind testing is fun and brings one or the other surprise, with which one would never have expected. So let you send from friends perfumofreunden quiet times a few numbered sample...
6 Replies
8
Bottle
8
Sillage
8
Longevity
9
Scent
Yatagan
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Yatagan
Yatagan
Top Review    51  
A comment is due!
I have rarely struggled with a fragrance for as long as I have with this one and in my experience irritation is often not a bad sign. Bulky scents get stuck in the memory more easily and longer lasting. Here, however, I was disturbed at first because I perceive an almost animalistic chord in the top note of this postmodern chypre. I can't say for certain where it comes from, but lychee may seem similar to grapefruit, which is also described by some as urine-like - and this note actually reminds me of grapefruit, with the difference that grapefruit itself is quite insensitive and I find it downright pleasant, but here I was almost a bit shocked.
In the meantime, this impression has vanished and I recommend everybody (because the fragrance is equally wearable by all genders, but perhaps the closest it comes to the idea of metrosexuality) to get involved with the fragrance.

In the next step, the fragrance develops a green note, which might come from the violet leaf. A short time later, the rose, which Profumo has described very beautifully as a velvety rose accord, sets the mood. The fragrance then remains linear for a long time, which I find pleasant, because the fresh, tart accents of bergamot and lychee hold up surprisingly well, while the rose doesn't get the upper hand. Especially the scent rose often dominates depending on the dosage and then appears generic. This is never the case here - as in a good classic chypre. In drydown the woody base with the oak moss substitute develops more strongly, which I find very successful, but which should have been even stronger for my taste.

I find the deconstructively productive approach to the classic chypre genre very exciting. Profumo reports on its revival in several well-researched commentaries, and also fundamentally addresses the creative redesign of the chypre through the innovative use of new substitutes for the natural oak moss that is banned by the IRFA. Therefore, here just so much to add: This redesign would not be creative if it was only based on the reproduction of old fragrances. Instead, I have the impression that the elements (in the case of the classic chypre these would be: bergamot / Hesperidian - rose and jasmine oil - oakmoss and musk; possibly patchouli or vetiver) have been broken down and from this deconstruction something new and surprising has been created.

My initial resistance to sustained irritation led me to increased curiosity and ultimately fascination. Expressed in ratings: from 6 to 7 and finally to 8.5. I have really rarely experienced this.
39 Replies
9
Bottle
8
Sillage
9
Longevity
10
Scent
Profumo
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Profumo
Profumo
Top Review    45  
The Rebirth of Chypres
Anyone who still claims today that true chypre fragrances are a thing of the past will be punished by 'French Affair' lies. Like 'Maai', 'Chypre Palatin', 'The Afternoon of a Faun' or 'Chypre Shot', the fragrance shows that Chypres of the classic type are still feasible today, and that thanks to the latest, largely allergen-free oak moss, they can even survive alongside the classics However, since there was a long dry spell in which the development of a chypre scent was basically impossible and there was therefore no continuity in the further development of the genre, these new creations are often given the attribute 'neo-classical' And indeed, the reference points mostly lie in the time span that was a classic for chypre fragrances: from the 50s to well into the 70s.
French Affair' clearly cites the last great decade of the Chypres, the 70s. And here especially a variation of the rose patchouli chypres, whose most prominent representatives were 'Aromatics Elixir' and 'Aramis 900', both created by Bernard Chant at the beginning of the 70s.
The fact that the young French company Ex Nihilo came around the corner almost half a century later with a factory quoting precisely these fragrances shows some courage, since the originals no longer play a role at all in today's fragrance scene, unlike in the past. On the other hand, however, it fits in with the omnipresent efforts to revive the 'good old days': rows and rows of new 'classic' Fougères suddenly appear, patchouli, amber and musk as well, the hippies' favourite fragrances are heavy 'en vogue' again, just as oriental heavyweights à la 'opium' are gladly quoted again.
So why not the rosy patchouli chypres from Bernard Chant.

Quentin Bisch, his successor, has created with 'French Affair' a genuine chypre fragrance that seemed unimaginable until a few years ago. The ball that IFRA had directed directly into the heart of the chypre genre was too placed. The delinquent seemed dead as a doornail, but was actually only comatose, and only temporarily.
So 'French Affair' again shows up with a chypre gesture as if nothing had happened, nothing at all.
Right at the beginning of the fragrance, the typical bitter-woody, woody, olfactory chord of Chypres swells, initially accompanied by a fruity, sweet-sour lychee, which contrasts beautifully with the dry, green-grassy violet leaf, which in turn leads to a beautiful, velvety, powerful rose chord, which in turn comes to rest on a rich, woody, earthy patchouli, bitter oak moss and smoky, green vetiver.
All phases of the fragrance process reveal themselves at the same time, only the focus changes slowly. Even after many hours you can smell yourself back to the beginning, how you can sniff your way from there into the depth, through to the end. French Affair' unfolds quite a volume, without appearing overloaded and all too difficult Despite this enormous presence, the fragrance doesn't seem loud or even intrusive, but wonderfully keeps the balance between a strong performance on the one hand and appropriate restraint on the other hand This is a kind of a line between his predecessors 'Aromatics Elixier' and 'Aramis 900': not as full-sounding as one and a bit more courageous than the other.

The idea for this fragrance allegedly arose from the wish to pay homage to that type of Parisian dandy of the 70s, this rare, yet gossip-filled species that meandered between a dazzling world of fashion, a glamorous jet set and existentialist Rive Gauche chic.
Jacques de Bascher, for example, became the epitome of this type: A companion of Karl Lagerfeld and a temporary lover of Yves-Saint Laurent - an elegant stance with a melancholic shaded gaze and cultivated moustache. Also Marcel Proust was once such a Beau, as it is today Pierre Niney, the actor who impersonated Yves-Saint Laurent in the movie.
Yeah, I think that's a good fit. The link with these typical Parisian scene plants works.
But it's not as if this inspiration had forced itself upon me, you had to come across it. In the case of Patricia de Nicolaï's 'Patchouli Homme', today's 'Patchouli Intense', also a Patchouli-Rosen-combo, I actually had this association with a Marcel Proust type.

Just as those dandies played with their feminine side, 'French Affair' is an absolute gender-bender, at least in my opinion. A fragrance-savvy colleague, who was completely enthusiastic about 'French Affair' and was always hanging around my neck, repeated several times: "Ah, what a fragrance, so masculine!
Strange how different the perceptions are after all. A fragrance like Givenchys 'Gentleman' from 1974, which was also a Patchouli Rose fragrance, but with a much higher Patchouli content (here this woody earthy chord was really creaking), I would rather call it masculine - although I had a good friend who wore it for years...
But French Affair?
No, I think this scent is absolutely unisex. Just as 'Aramis 900' was unisex, respectively is, although Bernard Chant developed it as a male counterpart to 'Aromatics Elixier'. Aromatics Elixier', on the other hand, is clearly feminine - too pronounced and superficial, the floral part seems to me here.

In any case, 'French Affair' is a wonderful chypre with clear vintage vibes, in a modern garb at the same time: lychee gives the bitter-citric bergamot, which is indispensable for any chypre, a more fruity colour, a good pinch of pepper and a little bit of herb-herbal angelica accentuate the floral components, cedar and vetiver aerate the mossy-resin base Lychee, angelica, pepper and cedar form the contemporary Terre d'Hermès/French Lover outfit, so to speak, in which 'French Affair' confronts us as a good old friend.

But as good as the scent is in my opinion, you won't meet it often. The fragrances of Ex Nihilo are not only quite expensive, but also hard to get, which is a pity, because the combination of inspiration, skill and good choice of materials is rather rare. Most of the time there's a problem with the former, often with the latter and sometimes with everything.
Not with Ex Nihilo, and certainly not with French Affair.

Maybe one day the company will reconsider its distribution policy, so that 'French Affair' might become 'Worldwide Affair' after all.
Please!
8 Replies

Statements

1 short view on the fragrance
SharpdartSharpdart 2 years ago
8
Bottle
7
Sillage
8
Longevity
8
Scent
Absolutely stunning. To me similar to Experimentum Crucis, but a little more subdued, vintage (but still modern), and masculine.
0 Replies

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