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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Perfume Review: Parfum d'Empire Eau de Gloire, Eau Suave and Iskander

Parfum d’Empire are the creators of my beloved Ambre Russe and my new mad crush, Cuir Ottoman. I like those two scents so much that I tend to overlook the other three fragrances in the line. This review is a salute to Eau de Gloire, Eau Suave and Iskander.

Eau de Gloire is a homage to Napoleon Bonaparte. Inspired by his love for colognes, it has notes of Corsican everlasting flowers, cistus, oakmoss, anise, tea, licorice, incense and tobacco. This is not your average understated and fresh eau de cologne. Eau de Glorie is full of character and has a solid, substantial feel. The top notes are bracing and cool, the heart is rather sweet, heavy on anise and as forceful, domineering and passionate as the emperor himself must have been. This stage is Too Much for me, I find the anise to be overwhelming. The drydown, however, is incredibly gorgeous. It is dark and husky, with lots of sweet tobacco and some incense. To my nose, it has a very attractive leathery undertone. For that drydown alone I am prepared to tolerate the cloying middle stage. Wearing Eau de Gloire makes me suffer from folie de grandeur, an affliction I quite frankly enjoy.

Eau Suave is inspired by Empress Josephine and her love for roses. Having read about the inspiration, I was afraid the scent would turn out to be a rose soliflore, a genre I find very dull, but the scent is much more than just roses. It is a sophisticated, warm composition, in which the dark-red flowers are basking in the golden glow of saffron and are sweetened by honeyed apricots and raspberries. It is darkly-boozy and gorgeous. The fans of rose perfumes must try Eau Suave. For me, it is a little too sweet and a little too heavy on fruits, but, although I have no wish to actually wear it, I admire it a lot.

Iskander, dedicated to Alexander the Great, is a blend of citron, mandarin, grapefruit, estragon, coriander, orange blossom, oakmoss, amber and musk. It is my second favorite of the line (the first place being shared by Ambre Russe and Cuir Ottoman). Iskander is bracing, fresh, herbal, slightly spicy and has an unexpectedly warm, slightly earthy base. The grapefruit note is bright and tangy, the coriander is sweetly-piquant, the musk is ever so slightly “dirty”. The scent is not as potent as Eau de Gloire, but in its own, rather more understated, way, it is just as full of character. Layered together, Iskander and Eau de Glorie fill the wearer with the sense of enormous self-importance and give one the urge to conquer if not the whole world then at least a couple of countries.

Eau de Gloire, Eau Suave and Iskander are available at Aedes, $110 for 3.4oz..


Anonymous Anonymous said...

M, does Eau de Gloire have a strong citrus component, like most men's cologne's? It sounds so interesting, but I'm afraid of the tenacious citrus. If it's only in the opening, that's fine.

I have been meaning to try Eau Suave for a while. Is the fruitiness offset at all by the green of the moss? (There IS moss in there, right?)

Thank you, once again, for a lemming-creating review! :)

6:27 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Hello, dearest !
I share your enthusiasm for the EdG, but have not yet smelled the Iskandar...would you say it is perhaps not the ideal season ?
DO lie to me, and say so !
You know how I feel about CO and AR- I could rave all day.
And the Eau Suave is a lovely thing, for me, perhaps in the warmer weather.

Such a great job, as always...

7:12 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

I do like Eau Suave a lot (I found it more dark than sweet)--and I have samples of the other 2 around (well, at least of Eau de Gloire), which I keep meaning to spend time with. My first impression was of too much citrus for me.

7:52 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Citrus in EdeG is strong only in the beginning. It is present throughout, but from the middle stage forward, other notes are ruling the blend.
If there is moss in Eau Suave it did not show it's elegant face to me :-) On my skin, ES balances on the verge of chypre-ness, never really decisively stepping in that direction. I wish it did make a step there though :-)

8:19 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

*lies through her teeth*
Of course it is not the ideal season. What season could be ideal for a versatile, any-season-appropriate-Iskander!

OK, I tried :-)

8:20 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

If it was darkER on me, I'd have loved it more...and if it has less apricot-raspberry. Oh well, there must at least one scent in this line I don't madly love!

8:21 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Eau Suave is a new fav rose of mine and I adore Ambre Russe and Cuir Ottoman, but Eau de Gloire and Iskander had too much citrus for me. After reading your review, I'm now wondering if I wasn't perhaps seduced and then killed by some citrus drenched potentate in a past life, thus leaving me w/ my current wariness of citrus. :-)

8:22 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah, good one! What with the history of our sad little planet, chanes are, you were, if not personally by some treacheros and lecherous ruler then at least indirectly. :-)

8:25 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm totally in love with the whole line! Iskander is my least fave but I just tried Eau de Gloire again this week, and it was alarmingly good. Eau Suave is not boozy on my skin but definitely a fluffy, spicy rose. Cuir Ottoman and Ambre Russe still rock my world.

10:58 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

So if you had to put them in order of preference, what would be in the firts pace, what in the last? What in between?

12:06 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I think these cry out to your dark, Colombina heart...

12:58 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Yeah, and so does my wallet...probably even louder :-)

1:11 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina, here's my order of preference:
1. Cuir Ottoman
2. Eau Suave
3. Ambre Russe
4. Eau de Gloire
5. Iskander

1:46 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

What! AR is 3rd, after Suave? What! You, rose lover, you :-) ♥

Here would be mine
1) Ambre Russie and Cuir Ottoman, can't choose between them

1:47 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I liked Iskander, but so far nothing from this line has tempted me to buy. *runs away*

1:55 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The balance in the universe has been restored. We are still EFT :-)

2:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing I'm reading this a day late. If I had read this column yesterday (the day it was posted) I would have fainted and missed my meetings. Reading that you like Eau Gloire makes me dizzy. It's anise. Colombina + anise does not compute. But I am glad you like it. It's not my favorite of the bunch. The Russians (Ambre Russe) still still beat out

6:39 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Of course they do...I mean we do...of course we do beat out the Great Little Emperor :-)
The anise part is the part I hate in Eau de Gloire. But I do love the wonderful drydown and I'm prepared to tolerate anise for the sake of it :-)

6:46 PM EST  

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