Courtesan (2005)

Courtesan by Worth
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Courtesan is a perfume by Worth for women and was released in 2005. The scent is spicy-gourmand. It is still in production.

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Perfumer

Pierre Bourdon

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesPineapple, Bergamot, Clove, Cardamom, Red berries, Cinnamon
Heart Notes Heart NotesJasmine, Magnolia, Orange blossom, Rose
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Dark chocolate, Raspberry, Cocoa, Caramel, Musk, Peach, Sandalwood, Vanilla

Ratings

Scent

7.3 (106 Ratings)

Longevity

7.8 (75 Ratings)

Sillage

6.3 (66 Ratings)

Bottle

6.7 (63 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 07.08.2019
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Reviews

7.0 5.0 8.0 9.0/10
First

0 Reviews
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First
First
Greatly helpful Review    12
Through the wild Courtesan

The headline summarizes my associations with this truly extraordinary fragrance in condensed form. I almost don't want to add anything to it anymore, since it seems difficult to describe the impression in a more differentiated way. Sometimes too many words destroy the essential. Nevertheless, I fear that not everyone associates the heading with the same thing as I do. Even if I took it as a statement, it would still need an explanation:

Durchs wild Kurdistan is known to be a novel by Karl May. The protagonists travel through the Middle East to Kurdistan and experience various adventures, fight, make friends and ultimately create peace between hostile camps.

Kurtisans were educated prostitutes, paid partners, often at the same time musicians, who were not as recognized as ladies or nuns in the Renaissance, but nevertheless respected by all. Both for a marriage (lady) and for joining a monastery (nun) a dowry was required which only wealthy families could pay. The role of the courtesan offered many advantages to women and girls who, due to poverty, were not able to follow these paths, such as education and access to the arts, access to key spiritual and secular figures, prosperity, and a higher reputation than ordinary prostitutes or the other single women who had to work in lower jobs for a starvation wage in order to survive.
(Source: Wikipedia)

What does that have to do with the smell of Worth for me?
Everything's in this scent: The smells of adventurous journeys on horseback through deserts, steppes and mountains. The smell of wild plants and animals, exotic spices, the sweat on skin and saddles, of heat, of escape, of fear, as well as the smell of the feeling of perfect freedom and the curious look into the big, wide world of adventures.
And then there's the impression of the cultivated, the smell of those who can wash and perfume themselves every day, a smell of historical folios and brocade-related ottomans. The scent of attractive ladies half sitting and half lying on this furniture. Ladies who are not ladies in the sense of that time, but courtesans, women who have at least managed to free themselves from poverty, exploitation and contempt by their own efforts. As far as it was possible for women of their origin at that time. And also that must have been a fight, an adventure, a desire for more freedom, even if of a completely different kind.

In the first moment Courtesan surprises with a Cologne freshness, cultivated confidence, cheerful freedom and vastness. Here, I mainly identify bergamot as the person responsible. The other fruits remain rather in the background and are also fresh and unsweet.
Now spices are added quickly. It's beginning to show: The journey goes in the direction of the Orient. Cinnamon, cardamom and clove combine with some flowers to a warm, powdery-spicy melange as it is sometimes boiled up to Tchai.
Sometimes more sometimes less it changes into a smell that transports the fear of destitute women without a lobby in the presence of powerful and unscrupulous men or the fear of men who fight for their lives in battles or seek their salvation in flight with their last strength. Here sweaty cardamom with biting orange blossom plays the role of the villain.

But all our protagonists manage to escape the threat: Soon they find themselves with even more Tchai, now also finely sweetened, in peaceful rooms with large bouquets of lush, fragrant flowers. Now our heroines and heroes can relax: You made it. They survived, they're safe.
This mixture of sweet spices and flowers is downright beguiling, even intoxicating, like a drug that lets them all sink into another, but nevertheless very erotic, physical world for many hours and later glide into precognitive dreams of cocoa with vanilla and a last breath of cinnamon
The next morning they wash themselves, spray after, and then it goes on with the freshness of bergamot and a few light fruits into a new, adventurous day.

I find Courtesan to be an extremely impressive, multi-layered fragrance with a concise, changeable course, which cannot be compared with any other fragrance I know. I can understand that he is displeased to some by sweaty, pungent and indeed sometimes plastic reminiscent echoes. Interestingly, these notes are not of the same intensity and length every day. At the first test they lasted maybe one hour and were very dominant. I found that very unpleasant. At the second test I wondered where this phase was, I felt only a short response right after spraying and it was immediately gone again. Today she had to wait for herself, but vanilla came through much more and much earlier and the fragrance became more pompous than on the other two days. Nevertheless, I still notice some of the stinky notes in my clothes from yesterday, which are now discreet and no longer unpleasant.
Perhaps the differences in wearing them are also related to temperature and humidity. To find out more, I have to test the scent a bit more often and also in other seasons.

One thing is clear: Courtesan offers new adventures every day you wear it.
And although it is definitely not for every day, for some days it is the only true thing.
6 Replies
8.0/10
ScentFan

325 Reviews
ScentFan
ScentFan
3
Works for Me
Courtesan reminds me of Amytis Parfum Fin. I expected similar notes but they only share Jasmine, Vanilla, Musk and Woods. Courtesan's gourmand notes do mimic the effect of the Almond, Honey and Praline in Amytis, so they are somewhat similar in style. I've found nothing quite like Courtesan in the database, though. It's both a proper oriental (Bergamot-Jasmine-Amber-Musk-Vanilla) and a textbook gourmand, accented by mild spices. It almost smells good enough to eat. The Pineapple in the top note woke up my nose then the lovely heart flowers added prettiness. Finally came the base, smelling like my favorite chocolate dessert. To me this makes Courtesan a hybrid scent. After wearing it a while, I think I like it. The top is fresh, the heart is beautiful and the base is kind of deep and sexy, actually. Guess that's why they called it Courtesan.
Omni

69 Reviews
Omni
Omni
2
Blind Buy, Is it 'Off' ?
I ponder at this fragrance, ponder some more and realise I am pondering its raison d’etre. Prompted by Victoria Frolova’s reaction to ‘Pineapple Compound’ in her perfumery training I question why it had to open with pineapple. I’ve been wearing Annick Goutal’s Musc Nomade in recent times, it being the epitome of sheer gauzy musk and so the transition to wearing Courtesan was not out on a limb; they are both ephemeral and arcane. At first I thought there was no fragrance at all; applied on freshly showered skin it simply disappeared like a wraith. I’m still not sure if the bottle I got (online discounter) was past its best.

The next morning, still warm from sleep I sprayed it on some bare skin and went downstairs to make tea and toast. It transmogrified into a pineapple fruit salad and the dry down asserted itself, soft floral, a little like Eau Claire des Merveilles. (EDCM is far superior IMO) Now, this was a little more like it, the Isoamyl acetate (Juicy Fruit) was tamed and there were soft skin scents. These wispy tendrils that emanate from a woman’s thigh were called ‘Cuisse de Nymph’ ...sigh, petal soft, and the French named a rose such to titillate. The Victorian English couldn’t cope and called the rose ‘Maiden’s Blush’

There are better roses, better accords, better musks and better pineapple. I don’t know why they bothered. I don’t know Courtesan’s ‘reason to be’ I would be grateful for other contributors input as to how this perfume should smell. It will nag at me, is my blind buy ‘off’?

The perfume was named for Cora Pearl, a Courtesan, associated with the Worth family and its ‘Haute Couture’ The gorgeous creature looked like Viven Leigh if the pictures are anythng to go by.

There is an experiment for Courtesan that I will leave you with. If, whilst wearing the perfume, you enjoyed a little lovemaking, might it bloom into a sex siren’s scent?.

I won’t tell and I don’t expect you to either. Cora Pearl’s life was not a family show, but
it could be its ‘reason to be’
7.5 6.0/10
Very

18 Reviews
Very
Very
3
The bitch
Why doesn't the top note smell on my skin as nice as it does on paper, cotton and co? It is a chemical mistery!
Sweet gum! Dear Courtesan, you are really a bitch!

In the heart it is flowery, powdery absolutely beautiful and the more the fragrance develops more mmmmmh! The base is just yummi! Amber, musk and cocoa with a berry for decoration. More and more dark chocolate appears.
And all of that without indulging in sticky sweetness. A gourmand made for me!

And the durability is sensational!

If the head of the bitch would harmonize better with my skin, 100 '% would be safe!
Sky

24 Reviews
Sky
Sky
Helpful Review    3
Cold spice
Oooo this courtesan has a cold, cold heart - it's true!

In some ways, Courtesan is Roma's odd little sister - they share a note that reminds me of cold, dry, grey slate & baked earth.

Where they differ is in their warmth & level of spice. Roma embraces you with a truly cosy & comely beauty, full of voluptuous curves & womanly charms. Courtesan knows her magnetic attraction & holds it like a steely gun to your head, keeping you at arm’s length with her chilly reserve & firey nature.

I adore spices & here they are all on show, not heavily & daringly as in Jungle, but in a refined way. I also find a distinct white pepper note that remains in the foreground throughout. Looking at the notes you may wonder where all the fruits, caramel & chocolate are: on my skin Courtesan isn’t candied, “frooty” or juicy in any way. It showcases the natural sweetness of cinnamon with its calm, dusty & dryness, echoed again in the cacao, & offers the wearer a grown up bitter-sweet berry tartness.

The base is very sensual…she knows how to please……soft musk, creamy woodsy sandalwood & a gentle amber. Yet, throughout the life of Courtesan a cold, grey blood pulses through her veins: the whole fragrance is built upon these great, grey foundations!

The longevity is good & the trail is obvious but modest, it is one if the most mysterious fragrances I own. This perfume is very unusual & well worth a try if you like distinct, dry fragrances with a cold, white heat. If you have ever read Memoirs of a Geisha I am reminded of Sayuri, the beautiful, tough Geisha with cold, blue eyes. Such beauty held in such a cold embrace.
LiliumLibido

51 Reviews
LiliumLibido
LiliumLibido
Helpful Review    3
Rich!
This is one of the rare perfumes that I reserve for cooler weather. I normally wear my scents year round, but this one is cloying in the heat.
However as soon as the mercury drops, it's delectable.
The notes suggest an unbearable mess of olfactory confusion, but somehow, it's not: The top is bracing, a little tart, with the texture of powdered spices.
The heart is all flowers, soft and feminine, with the barest touch of indoles.
The base is all yumminess, but not really sweet, very sensual and lingering.

Less is more, with this one, so apply lightly: It will expand on your skin instead of fading and will easily last until your next shower, no matter how hard you party!

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