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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Perfume Review: Parfumerie Generale Psychotrope

Psychotrope is a perfume created by Parfumerie Generale exclusively for a store in Moscow, called Aromateka. It is described as a leather-jasmine scent and has notes of cyclamen, violet, “dark jasmine”, lilac wood, black leather and musk... The inspiration for a fragrance came from a vision of a flower with leather petals, dark, strange, intoxicating. Although I do not perceive Psychotrope as dark, I think that the image is very fitting. If a leather flower existed in some odd and elegant parallel universe, that’s how it would smell. The color of that flower would be silver (think the color of Chloe’s silver Paddington bag)…

The beginning of Psychotrope is green, or rather floral-green (unopened white flowers and grass on a cold spring morning, dew glistening on the leaves) and fairly aquatic. Those familiar with Creed Cuir de Russie and S-Perfume S-ex would recognize the salty-watery smell that I loosely called “aquatic” and that, in Psychotrope, heralds the arrival of the leather. Just like there are no flowers with leather petals, there is no transparent leather, but in the strange world of Psychotrope anything is possible, and so I will say that the leather note in this fragrance smells transparent. Shimmering, silvery-grey transparent leather perfumed with the honeyed aroma of virginal-white jasmine. The scent grows somewhat sweeter and darker as it progresses, the flowers become more apparent and the leather acquires a cold kind of smokiness. The salty-watery accord that was distinct in the beginning becomes fainter, but it is still there, still enhancing the illusion of transparency and freshness. I am sure you know by now that I am NOT a fan of marine scents, but here the note is actually enjoyable, not to mention functional. Apart from creating the effect of translucency, it also provides a twist, an unexpected little something that I always love in perfumes.

Often, in Pierre Guillaume’s creations, this twist is achieved by adding a surprisingly gourmand undertone to the composition. Psychotrope is one of the few Parfumerie Generale scents that completely lack even a slightest hint of gourmand. It is an elegant perfume, edgy (just the right amount of "edgy", not too much) and aloof, enigmatic in a cold rather than sultry sort of way. I think of it as “Grace Kelly for the 2000s”, dressed in Comme des Garcons rather than Dior garments. I liked Psychotrope very much and would love to own a bottle.

If I understand correctly, Psychotrope will be available starting in February, in Aromateka in Moscow.

Москва, Галерея ZAR, Рублевское шоссе, д. 42, стр. 1
тел.: +7 (495) 509-7287

Moscow, Gallery ZAR, Rublyovskoe Avenue, 42/1

I am not sure whether it is possible to buy this scent directly from Parfumerie Generale. If you find out more, please share the info!

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Blogger tmp00 said...

oooooh, so lemming for this one.

Now who the heck do I know in Moscow?

11:23 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think you'll like this one a lot. Let's see if it is really sold in February at that store, how much it is, etc, and maybe we'll find a way to somehow get a bottle over here :-) Or maybe PG will just start selling it in a regular way...fingers crossed.

11:26 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conflicting feelings here... What's up with city-specific scents? Ugh. But then again, another reason to go to Moscow!

11:37 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I have a feeling that it was not meant to be city-specific in a Le Labo sort of way. I think the store might have asked for a scent to be created just for them, and PG did. We probably were not even meant to know about it, really, but we found out, because we are nosy perfume addicts :-)

11:43 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We sure are! We always find out about everything, we surely do. We rock!

11:47 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Spies R Us

11:48 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Why do I see Columbina in a black leather trench-coat and Christian Louboutin boots very mysteriously buying 14 or so bottles of this. Wearing large sunglasses and warning the clerks not to speak of the trasaction..

12:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I see someone leaked the details of the top secret Operation Psych. Team Moscow, abort the mission. I repeat, abort the mission.

*this message will self-destruct in 10 seconds*

12:50 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Crap! now I feel like Food and Wine Magazine!

1:23 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Spies

Whatever happened to Plan B? Surely every self-respecting spy has a backup plan? And I won't object to a bottle of this as a thank-you for reminding you, either.....

3:11 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

Ah, another thing I can't get. Marina, I swear, you could launch your own Perfume version of snipe-hunting with one of these posts. Let's go look for the Magical Leprichaun perfume available in Monrovia every other Thursday on a Full Moon day when the Month begins with a J. :)

6:34 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

How much do I need to get this scent? Just askin' Also==weren't the Private Collection scents originally just sold in Russia? Then they came here (well, to France and Canada:)

7:02 AM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

You are amazing-
I've no doubt, that you could schmaichel your way into a bottle of this from PG, just like talking a hungry dog off a meat wagon, lol !

Sounds fascinating, complex, and COLD...

[I loves my spy girls !]

7:11 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Wow -- this sounds amazing. I hope they end up importing it. Wonderful illustration!

7:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How appealing you make this sound! I'm glad to hear that it does not have even a hint of the gourmand about it. I'm glad I'm not a leather fiend (I like leather scents but don't crave them) since this one sounds very exclusive. I will cross my fingers for you though, Marina, that this becomes more widely available.

8:03 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Dear Spy Master,
Yes, I'm wondering the same thing as Judith - how much? Do I need to hook up w/ an oligarch or will a mid-level mafioso do? I love the name and the scent sounds amazing. Last year lemmings seemed nicely spaced out. This year is starting out w/ a record breaking crowd. Sob!

8:05 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I hacker- realtity TV more nerdy can one get? :-)
I do hate that The One with a Tiny Mouth wins. :-(

8:59 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah, Dina, Dina...The first rule of Plan B is we don't speak of Plan B :-D

9:05 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Magical Leprechaun...sounds like a scent that would be green, earthy and skanky. OK, I am up for it, let's go find it :-)

9:07 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think you'd love it. Thank you for giving me hope. I didn't realize that the Private Scents also started in Russia. (am proud for my country :-))

9:08 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It is a cold scent. I just loved that quality about it.

9:08 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope so too. Fingers crossed.

9:08 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! Please keep the fingers crossed, because I really want this one. It is my most favorite PG scent at the moment :-)

9:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I have a feeling that it is on the same price level as other PGs. I.E. -doable without help of small-time mafiosis, let alone oligarchs.

For some reason it seems to me that Etat's Vraie Blond might smell along those lines, I don't know why I think so. Have you tried that one?

9:12 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I now have a mini movie playing in my mind, Boris and Natasha: Psychotrope Psychophants. M stars as the tall, thin, glamorous Natasha; I as the short, zaftig Boris. Spy mission: to capture a bottle of the secret formula. However, we are really in league with double agent Moose who will release the formula in his native Canada. I shall begin practicing my fakey Russian accent.

10:22 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

What is that moron Moose doing, releasing the formula in Canada of all places? Is he not aware that Canada is not fond of perfume and prohibits its use in some places. Jeez!
As for you, you'd get an Oscar for your performance as Boris, because playing him would require the sort of transformation that always guarantees an Oscar.

10:31 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe me, not much of a transformation would be needed. Granted, my mustache is not quite as dark as Boris', but in most other respects, I quite resemble a cartoon character.

11:15 AM EST  
Blogger donanicola said...

Based on your lovely description - I want to at least smell this!! And now I have the theme tune to "From Russia with Love" running through my head. Hm, do you think we could club together and get Bond, James Bond to go get? By the way, I smelled Intreccio 1 last night - and now I want that too! Sob!

11:20 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

TSK TSK TSK! - is all I am going to say!

12:32 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am all for getting the Bond to do it, but can we please have Pierce and not the new guy? :-)Better yet, let's ask Sean.

12:33 PM EST  
Blogger donanicola said...

Well I'm a fan of Mr Craigs but having bumped into Pierce Brosnan once (in Fendi in Rome! the Glamour!)I can quite understand your request. He was so charming and I behaved like an over grown school girl.....Anyway, I'm sorry - that was off the point. Lovely review!

12:45 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Whoa! School girl is great. I would have been like a kinder-gardener at best. Blushing, giggling, unable to say a word...:-)

12:47 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Friends of mine and I stalked Mr. Brosnan, goggle-eyed through the Malibu country mart one weekday several years ago. He took it very well. Yes, he is that good looking.

1:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so envious, Tom! Lohan crashing her cars right in front of you, Brosnan in a mall...jeez! *sulks*

1:28 PM EST  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

This sounds very alluring, although I have to confess that most of PG's are downright unpleasant on me (especially Tubereuse Couture, which still gives me nightmares). Of course, it is your lovely description that is to be blamed for my sudden interest in this perfume. :)

1:40 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Sorry to hear that! Well, this one does seem quite different from other PGs. For one, there is no sweetness. It also has a certain transparent coldness about it. Maybe it would work better than others for you.

1:45 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Hmmm...this sounds like I will either love it (green jasmine, edgy) or hate it (aquatic! leather!). From the sounds of things, I'll never have to find out for sure :-)

4:35 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL Yeah...well, I hope it does come to the US and you'll find out for yourself. :-) Do you like S-Perfume S-ex? Because the leather here is quite similar, I think.

4:48 PM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

1. Nancy does NOT look like a cartoon character.

2. Like V., I cannot do Tub Cout (achingly sweet on me).

3. I NEEEED this perfume. I wrote them (in French, no less), but received no answer:(

1:44 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

They will reply, I am sure, they always do...

1:45 PM EST  
Blogger Eric said...

Ah….the sweet, smell of perfume! Today's market is flooded with hundreds and hundreds of different fragrances ranging from floral to woodsy. Most women love the smell of perfume, wearing it even when going to the grocery store. The problem is that perfume allergy for some women, is anything but nice.

12:06 PM EST  

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