Fqjcior's Perfume Blog
The latest perfume proposal from Marc-Antoine Corticchiato – Le Cri de la Lumière – is a very feminine and sensual perfume, at the same time surprisingly modern as for the rather classic style of this talented perfumer. It also amazes me with its unusual construction and delights with distinct evolution on the skin.
Le Cri de La Lumière (Cry of light – what a poetic name!) is made of five essential notes/ ingredients. Intro owes its unusual sound of ambertte seed known as vegetable musk. This essence from the seeds of Indian hibiscus (Abelmoschus moschatus) has an unusual, slightly botanical, slightly musky and at the same time subtly fruity character, which can be smelled in its full splendor in Peruvian Ambrette from Essenze Zegna series. Also here, this note is expressive and smells very natural. Forwarding it to the head phase of the fragrance was a rare and brave step. This ingredient usually builds a perfume base – like musk – deepening and fixing the main note. Here it plays its main role at the beginning what can make the opening of Le Cri de la Lumière surprising and quite demanding. We immediately know that this is a perfume addressed to more sophisticated users, as is the entire Parfum d’Empire offer.
For an untrained nose, this aroma may be an obstacle that cannot be overcome. Well, that would be a shame, because Le Cri de La Lumière – like a well-written book – reveals its next chapters over time. The further, the more beautiful they are and lead to a truly charming finale.
Ambrette has been combined here with a very natural note of iris that matches it naturally. This extremely precious ingredient adds seriousness and sophisticated elegance to the initial phase. Iris is unique in its kind, refined, powdery-floral-earthy. In a word – amazing, immediately introducing the aura of chic, refined elegance and distance. After next two quarters nostrils begin – quite unexpectedly – smell the aroma in its provenance as classical as the iris but given in a much more contemporary way. From now on, Le Cri de La Lumière gradually loses his serious face and begins to smile flirtatiously…
Here, in its heart a beautiful and stunningly fragrant Turkish rose was planted. It was then poured with a large portion of musk on a subtle wood foundation, approaching to the signature of one of my absolutely favorite women’s perfumes – For Her from Narciso Rodriguez! Say what you want, but this work by Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdjian is a genius perfume and completely timeless in its overwhelming femininity! It is true that Corticchiato presented this wonderful, extremely feminine and sensual chord in a slightly less spectacular and more cautious manner, but still very beautiful.
If someone did not survive ambrette and iris intro, she/ he will not be lucky enough to experience the beauty of the heart of this scent. Therefore – I beg you – do not judge this perfume after the head notes or even after the first 3-4 quarters, because in this case that would be an essential error!
Le Cri de La Lumière was created for you to slowly, step by step, contemplate and admire its changing aroma. The aforementioned charming rose-wood-musky chord persists on the skin for quite a long time, slowly fading out, not being, however, for a single moment clamorous or intrusive. Elegance and moderation is here above everything.
Le Cri de La Lumière enchanted me. This perfectly designed perfume contains various faces of femininity – from the somewhat wild, uncouth, through proud and intimidatingly beautiful to the romantic, passionate, sensual and smiling. The last one is in its majority in Le Cri de La Lumière. And that’s probably why I like this perfume so much…
main notes: ambrette seed, irys, turkish rose, musk, woods
launched in: 2017
perfumer: Marc-Antoine Corticchiato
Perfumer Dominique Ropion, and Frederic Malle get on with each other quite well, which can be proved by 5 scents from the serie Editions De Parfums: Carnal Flower, Geranium Pour Monsieur, Une Fleur de Cassie, Vetiver Extraordinaire and the most popular one among the true connoisseurs of perfumes Portrait of a Lady. Those who are more familiar with Frederic Malle’s offer know that most of Ropion’s scents are usually those graded the highest and the most marketable ones from all the others launched by this exceptional and exclusive brand.
Both gentlemen admitted that balancing Portrait of a Lady needed a lot of time and hundreds of trials. Their actions though, of which the starting point was Geranium Pour Monsieur, brought up a rose-cantered smell, which for me is undoubtedly the best I have ever tried out. Ropion combined in this smell rose essence with patchouli note, which is not that revealing after all but highly efficient and effective – as both those components get on together as any other components in perfumery. The characteristic smell of patchouli has been cleverly modified by cinnamon and frankincense in a way that it does not dominate that clearly – the lack of dominance also concerns other used here components, apart from the previously-mentioned rose. The components create a coherent oriental theme that entwines the rose essence. The base of the scent is strongly musky with some sandal wood and benzoin. The top accord, to be clear, consists of black currant and raspberry. Still, the beautiful warm and balanced rose dominates here most of the time.
Despite the name which might indicate feminine nature of the smell, the scent proves very well on man’s skin which I tested many many times. With its oriental rose nature the smell does not differ much from Cartier’s Declaration d’Un Soir , even though it is much heavier, saturated and thick in comparison to very successful scents by Mathilde Laurent. Other similar scents based on a modern connection of rose and patchouli are earlier reviewed Hippie Rose by James Heeley and Lumiere Noire Pour Homme by Francis Kurkdjian.
Portrait of a Lady is very clear, strong and lasts over 12h. The smell is perfectly constructed in its every aspect. It presents a modern way of a rose that is not that overwhelming, perfectly balanced and beautiful. It is a great smell, that gives a lot of satisfaction. I highly recommended it.
top notes: black currant, raspberry
middle notes: turkish rose, cinammon, clove, patchouli
base notes: sandalwood, ambroxan, white musk, benzoin, incense
launched in: 2010
perfumer: Dominique Ropion
How will the end of the World smell like? Each of us has their own different idea (I am guessing that many of those ideas would be influenced by Hollywood productions). Quentin Bisch had had a very untypical imagination of the smell, which had been then transformed into perfumes, which in 2013 Etat Libre d’Orange – a niche perfumery brand added to their portfolio. Bisch is a young and promising perfumer, known to those who have seen Perfume series at BBC. In the show Bisch, as a young Givaudan perfumery school adept, with tears in his eyes tells us how his dreams are coming true to become a true perfumer. This touching the heartstrings scene shows us how sensitive and full of limitless passion are perfume creators and how important these traits are in this remarkable profession. The founder of Etat Libre d’Orange – Etienne de Swardt – had known Bisch even before he joined Givaudan. Bisch had been regularly visiting flag perfumery shop EldO in Paris and introduced himself as a big fan of the brand and de Swardt’s perfumery conception. So when Etienne decided to create a scent inspired by book ”The End of the World Filmed by the Angel of Notre-Dame” Bisch was the first one that came to his mind. La Fin du Monde was the first solo and fully commercial composition made by Quentin. With this smell he proved his undeniable talent. I will say more – he got off to a very good start – as it was a very strong debut!
The start-off stuns with exquisite and at the same time very present-day version of iris (which resembles the one used in Dior Homme), which was skilfully enhanced by carrot seeds that harmonize with the iris perfectly – this was already proved by Rosine Courage in Nirmal for Laboratorio Olfattivo and Bertrand Duchaufour in Bois d’Ombrie for Eau D’Italie. Cumin and sesame brilliantly fulfill the innovative and very eloquent popcorn cord that lends a kind of surprising and intriguing aura(we can also smell the characteristic popcorn butter theme there as well). Popcorn was Bisch’s first idea for the smell. During one of his talks with de Swardt, Bisch tried to convince him that every idea for the end of the World comes from different movies, American movies mostly. Popcorn was an ideal ingredient for this how perverse conception… Ingenious, is it not? I myself like and admire such ideas very much.
With time this very intense at the beginning scent looses its power but is well present within the next couple of hours. It gains warm sensuality due to sandalwood and ambrette, which together enrich the sensual and physical base of the smell(the essence from ambrette seeds was used earlier by James Heeley in cool as Autumn rain Iris de Nuit). The base of the smell is very characteristic and it engrosses as well as stages of the smell. As we can see here La Fin du Monde as a whole smells surprisingly pleasant and at the same time very intriguing as it is very familiar and alien at the same time.
La Fin du Monde wins me over to itself from the very first second till the very last one (the distance is quite far by the way). It is a fantastic fragrance that presents pure perfumery ingenuity. I have not had a chance to wear this kind of scent – created with great passion, inventiveness and fresh look for a long time. Bisch skilfully made a use of well-trodden paths and at the same time found new ones. With great courage he connected uncommon notes in one absolutely convincing whole, that makes fully operational – and what is even more important – wearable perfume, which is far from those niche ”freaks” but perfectly matches the style of Etat Libre d’Orange which is known for its original ideas and brave pushing of boundaries of what is known as perfumes. Quentin Bisch has created fully original, modern and with avantgarde taste fragrance, that is worn with pure pleasure and satisfaction, the one that you have when you wear special perfume.
I do not think La Fin du Monde is either female or male. I would rather say it is bit more masculine only because it lacks archetype female notes, and present iris is totally served as unisex. I would say that more female is Dior Homme, especially when we talk about Intense version of the smell rather than La Fin du Monde, which I think of as an important flask to test not only by those who admire Dior Homme.
main notes: popcorn, carrot seed, cumin, sesame, black pepper, freesia, vetiver, sandalwood, ambrette, iris, styrax, gunpowder
launched in: 2013
perfumer: Quentin Bisch
“At first smell” Journey Man seems like a typical Amouage scent – having this woody-spicy and incense character. It is not the first time when the brand uses pepper, incense, musk, ambergris and lots more of other used in this recipe ingredients. It has to be admitted though that the Sichuan pepper essence smells stunningly beautiful, aromatic and vibrating here. Still the start-off would not be like it actually is if it was not for a quite big dose of cardamom, which in this amount appears for the second time in the Omani perfumes (previously, fans of this intense fragrance could be satisfied like that in 2010 when Opus IV was launched). This quite intense and ruthless pepper-cardamom start-off has been coated with a mix of bergamon and neroli. The heart incorporates vibrating molecules of juniper berries, which link the spicy pepper with dry-woody cypriol, smoky incense and strongly present note of tobacco. According to the list of notes we can find also here pure geraniol, subtle rose-smelling molecule that in nature appears, among others, in ripe tobacco (worth noting, cigarette manufactures use geraniol to scent their products). It is clear then that perfumers decided to strengthen and in a way to ripe the tobacco note by adding geraniol. These procedures that consist of mixing the natural aromatic essence with one or more aromatic molecules, which in fact are present in nature but in limited amounts, to strengthen chosen aspects of natural fragrance are quite common in modern perfumery. For the surprisingly strong note of tobacco we have to wait though. In my case it appeared after 3-4h after settling and when there is no more pepper and cardamom going on in the air and the smell itself starts to get more dry, rough and woody-incense. At this stage cypriol can be vividly smelled. This, as it turned out, became my favourite aromatic molecule responsible for this dry, powdery woody tones present in such smells like Opus VI by Pierre Negrin and Dora Arnaud and also Opus VII by Negrin and Alberto Morillas (the same duet that introduced Journey Man), Timbuktu by L’Artisan or deeply regretted Gucci Pour Homme. Nonetheless, Journey Man is partly penetrating similar olfactory regions as Michael Almairac’s perfume so I recommend this scent to all those keen on Gucci.
The base is quite characteristic, mixing sweet and bitter note of strengthen with geraniol tobacco with a characteristic dry and woody note of cypriol. Everything intensified by tonka, musk and ambrox. During the last stage Journey Man resembles some other perfume which I reviewed earlier but unfortunately I cannot recall the name now. Anyway, the smell gets masculine, elegant and intriguing. It is really good. With every next try I come to a conclusion that the tobacco note is the dark horse of the whole composition. The note has been put into the whole smell perfectly, so when it comes to the fore, it smells incredibly – realistically but not in the negative way of course, at the same time it is intriguing and sensual. Above all it is purely masculine.
The so called working parameters of the scent can be classified as very good. Sillage is very good. The smell as a whole is strong and vivid and during the first few hours projects around the bearer within a couple of meters and can be easily noticeable by interested environment. It has been 7 hours after I sprayed it onto me and I can still smell it quite vividly; the smell itself can last more than 12 hours.
I have no doubt that Journey Man is yet another great fragrance introduced by Amouage that is slowly becoming one of my favourites of this brand, right next to Opus VII and Interlude Man. Having it on me is a pure pleasure. It makes me feel really special. In fact that is the quintessence of this hobby…
main notes: Sichuan pepper, cardamon, bergamot, neroli, juniper berries, incense, geraniol, tobacco leaf, tonka, cypriol, leather, musc, ambrox
launched in: 2014
perfumer: Alberto Morillas/ Pierre Negrin
Grenadille d’Afrique means as much as “black wood” in Latin. Dalbergia melanoxylon. The tree from which the wood is obtained known as ebony. This ebony and the natural environment in which there were the inspiration for the creation of New York’s latest fragrance by Aedes de Venustas, which had its premiere at this year’s Pitti Fragranze in Florence and soon to appear in selected perfumeries worldwide. Grenadille d’Afrique was created by Alberto Morillas (as Palissandre D’Or from 2015). So it is the second perfume which the Master has created for gentlemen Karl Bradl and Robert Gerstner. Interestingly, both smells really woody and has wood in the name.
The woodiness of Grenadille d’Afrique comes down to his vetiver dominant. Vetiver is present from the beginning, although at first for a short period “refreshed” with the bergamot and eventually supported by juniper, violet and lavender. At the base you can still smell mostly Haitian vetiver, set on a dark, almost charcoal in its character chord composed of vanilla and labdanum. Besides its evident woodiness the fragrance has also a distinctive mineral aura. The just mentioned ingredients accompanying to vetiver work here on the final result, without “taking control” individually. They have been subordinated to the vision of the creators, which in one sentence characterizes Alberto Morillas:
Fossilized wood rubbed in a vanilla accord
When testing a perfume, I am always looking for comparisons with other fragrances to let the readers not knowing the scent imagine its nature. With Grenadille d’Afrique there is a lot of such to compare. But the most adequate seems to be Encre Noire by Lalique (eau de toilette). Alberto Morillas work reminds me precisely of the cult perfume composed by Nathalie Lorson in 2006. But of course there are differences. In Grenadille d’Afrique we will not find – to my delight – sour notes of Encre Noire and that big dose of cashmeran. The juniper took here over the role of the cypress. Morillas work smells fresher, it s more stylish and seems to be more pleasant and easier to wear, at least for me. It projects politely and lasts on the skin over 8 hours. As a whole, Grenadille d’Afrique convinces me even though it is not so original as Palissandre d’Or and not so mesmerizingly beautiful as Iris Nazarena. Nevertheless, it is a very solid position not only in the portfolio of Aedes de Venustas but also in the family of vetiver centered fragrances.
main notes: bergamot, lavender, juniper, vetiver from Haiti, cistus (labdanum), vanilla, musk
launched in: 2016
perfumer: Alberto Morillas