The Song of Achilles (La canzone di Achille)
Suddenly I wake up and recover from this trance state. I'm in my house, and there are no longer the substantial frescoed halls, the gardens, etc. But I still smell that austere scent made of citrus blossoms, roses, vanilla, and patchouli. And I realize it comes from the back of the hand I sprayed Femme Florale on.
This small and precious jewel opens floral with austere tones of rose petals drowned in bergamot peel, oranges, and mandarins. Imagine a potpourri of rose petals and dried citrus peels, darker and dirtier than modern patchouli, that reveals itself amid the initial explosion. It is a beautiful rose, important, imposing, and very fashionable. So intense and deep, virile, neither too soapy nor too powdery. And the citrus fruits and peels are creamy, not sour or harsh. Instead, the soiling of the patchouli leaves gives it a very masculine, androgynous momentum. And in all of this glow, the bittersweet note of orange blossom adds a touch that might feel gooey, but in a good way.
The middle stage comes with a creamier accord with plenty of rose and jasmine blossoms. It is so creamy and sweet, as if the yellow ylang-ylang was part of the bouquet. Perhaps that's the mellifluous edge I get in the mix. The rose is wet, covered with dewy raindrops, with no mineral or metallic edges. The combination of the rose and patchouli is quite exciting, and I can't help but experience this in other perfumes before.
As the perfume grows, some grassy and musky accords rise from the warm skin. There is a bit of sweetness among those earthy nuances and a cozy touch of coumarins from the tonka and vanilla blend. With patchouli and musk, I get a green and herbal vibe from the vetiver. I readily admit that I am fond of scents featuring rose petals and patchouli leaves.
The bottom line is that Femme Florale was a delightful surprise from the beginning. When I saw the bottle on the shelf, with some roses engraved on the glass and a pale rosy essence, next to its sibling Fleur Noir, my mind expected a redolence akin to Chloé (2007) Eau de Parfum. In lieu, Femme Florale recalls the dark sides of Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum. It is a pleasant smell, not too feminine despite the gentle blossoms and sweet, warm spices, thanks to the dirty touches of patchouli. Well composed, with no synthetic corners, I can wear it daily, during workdays, the weekend, and the evening outdoors. It has that kind of aroma that makes me reach for it during spring and fall months and even summer nights. If you are anything like me and don't care about market strategies or bottle shapes, you will love wearing this "Homme Fleuri" because fragrances and ingredients have no sex. It's just a matter of flavors. I am utterly unconcerned about the consequences of wearing feminine marketed colognes.
I base the review on a 60ml bottle I have owned since May 2022.
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