Russian Saturday: Le Parfum de Thérèse
What color is happiness? How does a summer evening taste? What does Le Parfum de Thérèse smell like? Le Parfum de Thérèse is love to the very bottom of the bottle. It is difficult to write about the one you love; it makes no sense to write about what leaves you indifferent.
Le Parfum de Thérèse is build upon three whales: aldehydes, fruits and leather. I can’t classify it. Thérèse should be given its own fragrance family, however, except for Femme Rochas (1944) and Diorama Dior (1948), I can’t remember other perfumes so harmoniously combining these three components. Aldehydes-leather, fruits-leather, aldehydes-fruits- there are plenty of those! But the perfume genius of Edmond Roudnitska remains unreachable.
Le Parfum de Thérèse is a bright, sunny, juicy aroma. I smell aldehydes throughout its development. This is practically the only thing that betrays the fact that the fragrance is man-made, otherwise it seems, it was created by nature itself. Aldehydes give it a shape, not letting the flowers and the fruits to float about. Nevertheless the scent remains very fluid. There are no rigid forms, snug cuts, tight knots, strained relations and awkward words. In the heart of the perfume, dazzling jasmine is balanced by the chilly wetness of violets; ripe melons and cherry-plums are oozing juice: this is summer afternoon, the sun is in the zenith. The leather in Le Parfum de Thérèse is the most evident on a cold, goose-bumpy skin. Jasmine closes up, fruits notes become more restrained and drier, the barely noticeable in the beginning spices are better defined and smells sharper. Is the leather worth such sacrifices is for you to decide. I am willing to be cold for it for 15 mins. With Thérèse, it’s not scary.
Le Parfum de Thérèse is a day-time fragrance. I never wear it after the sunset. Le Parfum de Thérèse lights up gloomy, dark days. It’s my sun in cold water. It’s a perfume of absolute happiness, when the parents were young and healthy, and the whole life still ahead.
Le Parfum de Thérèse Frederic Malle (Edmond Roudnitska, 2000): mandarin, melon, jasmine, pepper; violet, rose, plum, nutmeg; cedar, vetiver, leather.