Strenesse Gabriele Strehle
Almond seems to me to be one of the popular and sought after notes in the perfume universe, especially in the niche galaxy. I know that I am always on the lookout for something almondy. There are almond scents out there, but not so many that a fan can afford to miss one. Even (or perhaps especially) one as obscure as the 2001 Maurice Roucel creation for a German clothing brand, Strenesse.
On a scale of almondiness, Strenesse is perhaps a 5. The note teases you, seemingly weaving in and out of the composition. Here is a hint of it in the delicate peachiness of the top notes, made airy by the presence of citrus. Here is another hint in the heart of heliotrope, jasmine and lily of the valley, dominated by the latter. And you will smell a whiff of it in the orrisy, vanillic base too. The base, to me is the best part of Strenesse, there is something subtly delectable in the pairing of iris and almond. And I actually like the fact that almond play hide and seek here; as much as I love the note, when it is constantly present, it becomes grating.
The overall impression I get from the scent is that of whiteness, of childlike gentleness, of transparent fluffiness...It's not a masterpiece by any stretch of imagination. Slight soapiness, a side effect of muguet and in fact almond itself, spoils it a little bit for me. That said, I find the quiet, soft, translucent Strenesse to be utterly enjoyable, a perfect scent for a night or for a weekend.
Discontinued, but can be fairly easily found online, for example on Amazon and Overstock, for $25.00-$30.00.
Image source, Americana Manhasset