Perfume Review: Comptoir Sud Pacifique Piroguier
There was a time when Comptoir Sud Pacifique was not all about the smell of pastries and candies, and when their Eaux de Voyage took a wearer to places more diverse than just same old "tropical paradise" (yes, there still are a couple of "spicy" and "woody" fragrances in the lineup, but they are rather tame and more or less lost in the sea of vanillas and fruits). There were Eau Grise and Eau de Cypres, Opoponax and Cotonnade, Eau des Arts, and Chensylang...Granted, there still was Vanilla This and Vanilla That and quite a lot of things tropique, and dull blends were undoubtedly still being hyped up by the use of intriguing/exotic names, but overall the line offered much greater variety and originality. Knowing Comptoir Sud Pacifique as it is now, it is hard to believe it once had in its collection a leathery, tarry, mossy brew like Piroguier...
I was once told that in one of my previous lives I was a conquistador ...and not that I really believe in previous lives, but there is a brooding, dangerous, ruthless, essentially masculine spot deep, deep down inside me that would invariably react in a visceral manner to a smoky, barbarous, brutishly sensual leather scent like Piroguier. Wearing Piroguier makes me want to brandish a sword, to sail the seven seas, to discover a new land, and to generally act in an appallingly politically incorrect and socially unacceptable manner. Poetry aside, Piroguier is quite a simple scent, all notes seem to be apparent at once, and there are not many of them; the composition does not go through any sort of development on me ...but such simplicity is conceptually justified- after all, there is no time for subtleties and complexities, when one has new worlds to conquer, and the spareness of the notes is more than made up for by their sumptuousness. The leather here has the rich, tarry undertone that I adore and that adds wonderful, fleshy robustness to the blend. The meaty smokiness of leather is, however, not heavy or overwhelming, since it is balanced by a green, dry and earthy accord, which I take to be vetiver and oakmoss. And that is basically all there is to Piroguier: the heartiness of luxurious leather and the dry austerity of the green/earthy/mossy/herbal accord. Sensual, brutal, irresistibly primal, paradoxically, thanks to that dry-green note and the purposefully unembellished feel of the blend, rather elegant - this is Piroguier.
I will leave you with one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite Russian authors, Nicolai Gumilev:
Conquistador, set in the iron armor,
I gaily follow the outgoing star,
I go over precipices, harbors
And rest in joyful groves, so far.
Oh, how wild and starless heaven's shelter!
The haze is growing, but, silent, I must wait.
Conquistador, in iron armor set,
I'll find my love, find it sooner or later.
And if the stars are void of midday words,
I shall myself create them for the worlds,
And warmly charm them by the songs of battles.
I am a brother to the gulfs and storms,
But I will plait into my uniforms
A lily -- the blue star of flourishing valleys.
Piroguier has been discontinued. Hopefully a bottle will eventually pop up on eBay, but I must warn you, I am lying in wait and I will fight for it, fiercely.
The winner of the yesterday's prize draw is Amarie. Dear Amarie, please send me your address using the contact me link on the right. Thank you, everyone, for playing!