, creator of Parfumerie Generale
describes his philosophy this way: “Luxury is not a question of being excessive and the quest for a modern note must not result in overly intellectual perfumes that are impossible to wear.” I could not agree more and I believe that the seven scents in Parfumerie Generale collection follow that principle to perfection. These are contemporary and complex fragarnces, most of them with a little twist, with a little unexpected note making them stand out, but, just as their creator claims, they are very wearable, intimate scents, meant to rouse emotions.Cologne Grand Siecle
With notes of lemon, tangerine, wheat, vetiver, cardamom, and bitter orange, this is fresh, sparkling cologne, which would be wonderful worn in summer, but which is not too light and transparent and thus is quite attractive in cold weather as well. The piercing lemon note is sweetened by fruitiness of tangerine; the drydown is quite “substantial” and earthy thanks to vetiver and ever so slightly sweet and spicy, because of the cardamom note.Coze
Parfumerie Generale intended this scent for men but I would urge the ladies to pay no attention to that; there is nothing overly masculine about this fragrance. It is my favorite of the line; with notes of Canapa Sativa seed oil, pepper, pimento, coffee, ebony, chocolate, and bourbon vanilla, this is a rich, sumptuous composition, with luxurious accords smoothly blended into a dark, spicy harmony. This is a “pitch black” perfume with woody and (very black) coffee notes being most prominent on my skin. Those, who, like me, are wary of chocolate in perfume, should not worry, the accord is very subtle and elegant here. This was without a doubt "full bottle worthy" for me.Cuir Venenum
My second favorite of the seven scents, and also very much "full bottle worthy", this “reinterpreted, modernized, feminized” leather perfume has notes of orange blossom absolute, citrus, myrrh, and “polyalcohols of coconut and musk”. This leather fragrance is both fresh due to the citrus notes and softly animalic due to the musk accord. I really like the musk Pierre Guillaume uses in his scents (and it is present in many if not most of Parfumerie Generale perfumes), it is sensual bordering on “dirty” but is not overwhelming. Cuir Venenum starts just a little too harshly green to my taste, but as it dries down, the scent sweetens and develops into an unusual gourmand leather fragrance with animalic base.Intrigant Patchouli
This is one of very few pacthouli scents that I would not mind wearing. With notes of ginger, patchouli, Mysore sandalwood, benzoin, amber, and musk, it is a little spicy and a little animalic (yet again); patchouli is of course evident but not overwhelming. I especially love the ginger note in Intrigant Patchouli, it adds a lovely kick to the composition.L’Eau de Circe
Damask rose, jasmine, osmanthus, orchid, ylang ylang, white peach leaves, tangerine, patchouli, wood, amber and honey balm combine in this sweet yet quite green floral blend with fruity undertone. This is my least favorite of the line; it is neither too heady, nor too sweet…it is just rather uninteresting. I doubt that Circe the Enchantress would have worn this light, inoffensive scent. I think she would have opted for Cuir Venenum or Coze instead.L’Eau Rare Matale
With notes of Matale black tea, woods and spices, this is a spicy, earthy and dark tea scent that somehow manages to be rather unremarkable. How can a “spicy, earthy and dark” fragrance be unremarkable you might ask. I don’t know the answer. I can only tell you that, despite being very well blended and very wearable, L’Eau Rare Matale lacks certain “oomph”. Please click here
to read Robin’s much more favorable review.Musc Maori
Musc Maori is an unusual gourmand scent that manages to be both almost-foody and animalic. It has notes of Cumaru wood, coffee tree blossom, white musk, cocoa bean, amber, and Tonka bean; according to Robin (Now Smell This),
it smells like New York Egg Cream. Uunfortunately I have never tasted that delicious sounding concoction and I can only describe Musc Maori as a creamy, dessert-like scent with chocolate and coffee undertones, with generous helpings of that very appealing Parfumerie Generale musk. It is just a tad too sweet for me but it is still one of my favorite scents in the line and I predict that fans of gourmand perfumes would love Musc Maori.
The seven scents are right now only available on Parfumerie Generale website. Miniature 7ml bottles cost EUR 8.00. Full size bottles retail for EUR 65.00- 135.00. I would recommend everyone to fill in their Malle-esque questionnaire; Parfumerie Generale does not offer to send free samples, but they will get back to you straightaway and will analyze your perfume tastes in great detail, at least that was my experience; I thought that part of their customer service was quite remarkable. The line is also availabe at The Perfume Shoppe
in Canada, they do ship to the US.*Images are from boutique-parfumerie-generale.com.