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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Perfume Review: Histoires de Parfums 1740 Marquis de Sade

I am not going to preface the review with an aside on Marquis de Sade. We all know who he is and what he stands for. Is the Histores de Parfums scent fit to bear the legendary name? It is, as much as any other fairly smoky, pleasurably harsh leather scent would be. It could perhaps have been a little more forceful, a little more tarry and much more animalic...a little more...cruel.

The pressures of the name aside, this is a wonderful scent, lush, deep, darkly sensual. The three notes that I smell the most are leather, patchouli and... prunes. Patchouli here has that chocolate-like quality that I love in the note, and it adds an unexpectedly gourmand undertone to the black leathery brew. The image that the scent evokes in my mind is not of any sort of orgy, but of prunes covered in bitter, dark chocolate (my absolute favorite candy in the whole world), kept in an old leather trunk. Marquis de Sade is not a complex scent, but it compensates for the lack of intricate detail and sophisticated development by the glorious richness of the notes. On me, it is astonishingly comforting, truly the most unlikely comfort scent I have ever found. On The Other it is jaw-droppingly sexy fact, the smell makes me want to bite the wrist that wears it. Which, after all, might be a reaction the Marquis would approve.

1740 Marquis de Sade is available at MioMia, $115.00 for 4oz.


Blogger Renee said...

Hee hee...your last sentence has me giggling. This sounds intriguing! Prunes. Hmmm. I have to try this one just because of the name!

9:49 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

OK, it's a damn good thing it's back ordered at MioMia or I might have placed an unsniffed order. Sounds divine!

9:54 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Chocolate covered prunes? Yummy!

10:34 PM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Prunes? still, I'm with Elle. Checked before I commented, and if it hadn't been backordered. . .

11:46 PM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Oh(shivers with chills of delight).....I am so there.
Thank you darling for the thrill:)

12:49 AM EST  
Blogger Lynn said...

Mmm! That perfume sounds delightful!

12:53 AM EST  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Actually, nowhere in the works of the Marquis de Sade is there any leather fetish! And there are remarkably few smells except those of waste, and of the rosewater used to bathe the libertine's skins. The real leather fiend (or at least shoe sniffing "aficionado") was his arch-enemy, the libertine writer Restif de la Bretonne! However, Sade was quite a glutton and during his various stays in jail, he pestered his wife for various foodstuffs, which as a nobleman he could get served up.
So he'd probably be going for the prunes rather than the cuirs.

1:31 AM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

Sounds beautiful, and dammit, there goes the last of my patchouliphobia. Maybe. Definitely.

The name definitely conjures some big shoes to fill! I can hardly help but laugh when the celebrity behind an honorarily named fragrance is a literary figure... it's always so utterly and wonderfully absurd. Oh well, goes with the territory.

Haha, Carmencanada, I'm with you! I've done my share of quoting the Marquis (I actually used that political pamphlet in the center of Philosophe dans le Boudoir as a source for my first Master's paper), but I've never, ever, ever thought to associate him with something I wanted to sniff.

1:55 AM EST  
Blogger donanicola said...

Yum! Want!

6:45 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am glad it intrigued you, ti is very much worth the sniff.

7:37 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It was there on Sunday. Are people stuffing their beloveds' stockings with bottles of de Sade? :-)
FiF carries it too. Just sayin' :-)

7:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

In a leather trunk. Don't forget that. :-)

7:39 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

First in Fragrance has them.....

7:39 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I am glad you liked!

7:39 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It's strange to use the word with regards of anything de Sade, but it IS delightful.

7:40 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

You made me wondering what a perfect de Sade scent would be. We are talking wearable now :-) Some dry spice, patchouli, musk?

7:40 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Away with patchouliphobia! :-)

7:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Exactly :-)

7:41 AM EST  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Believe me, if a smell rises from the pages of the Divine Marquis, it's nothing you'd want on your skin. Sécrétions Magnifiques is the only close thing, blended with pure indoles! In Sade's time, light florals were all the rage. Heavy musks briefly came back into fashion after the French Revolution but as I said, there is nary a mention of perfume in his opus.
Ducks, I did my masters and PhD on de Sade too. Talk about "meeting" in an unlikely place...

8:10 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

None of that for me, please! :-) I'll stick with my idealized version, by Histoires :-)

8:13 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't say the mental image of prunes in an old trunk makes me swoon, & I'm suspect of chocolate scents but then, it IS leather & so I'm there. Must have. Esp if it's jaw droppingly sexy on your Other. Mmmm wrist biting. And deep red lipstick.

Was going to say something about historically informed about how leather became iconic in BDSM imagery & blah blah gay biker clubs blah blah. But now that I've read your comment to Tom all I can think of is Eddie Izzard, "In a plastic cup". It's so wrong that Eddie totally distracts me from writing about sex. Just so wrong lol

8:26 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Eddie Izzard and sex should not be used in the same sentence, because...there are some images one just rather not have in one's head :-)

8:30 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, yes, I do need this scent. And, given the name, how lucky that one can purchase it on-line. About 30 years ago I fell in love with a fragrance at the old Kiehl's on Third Avenue. It was very embarrassing to walk to the counter and whisper, "I'd like one ounce of Submission, please."

10:54 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, I really haven't paid adequate attention to the HdP author/historical line, or whatever they call it. This one, admittedly, probably isn't for me, but are there any others you think are worthy?

10:58 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too need to start sniffing this line - my fingers are twitching in a First-in-Fragrance direction...

1:31 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Marina, I had no idea this existed! It does sound really nice, though, even if I am not a huge fan of prunes. Although I love me some chocolate ;-)

3:12 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

LOL. Love that :-) I feel kind of like that saying I'd like Sex on a Beach, in a bar. I always feel the barman is going to reply, well, who doesn't? :-)

3:14 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I actually don't know any others in the line. I think I sniffed the George Sand one and wasn't impressed.

3:15 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Set you fingers free in the direction of FiF :-)

3:15 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

but, most importantly, how do you feel about leather? :-)

3:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds fascinating! I don't know how I'd feel about prunes either...but anything with leather is worth a try!

4:14 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Prunes is what my (strange) nose finds there. It's not like they are really there, so don't be afraid :-)

4:15 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This one is new to me as well, but WOW! I am more than eager to try it. Prunes, dark chocolate and leather...sounds just perfect. What a good scent for winter, no?

2:47 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

A perfect scent for winter!

6:37 AM EST  
Blogger James said...

This scent is a wonderful example of being a unisex fragrance that I would say takes a man's nose to appreciate. For women, it's kind of a simplistic dried fruit over basenote composition, almost gourmand. However for a man who craves depth to his fragrances, this one is amazing.

I do get the wonderful prune topnote, a note I happen to love. It rounds out to a labdanum/patchouli combination that I could see being labeled "leather" in broad perfumista parliance, but this is no leather fragrance to me! Its evolution leads to one of the best showcases I have experienced for one of my favorite baseontes: cured tobacco leaf.

I would say in its own way it rivals Creed Tabarome Private Label, which takes an oakmoss/musk spin on the same subject.

With its tobacco/prune/labdanum evolution, 1740 offers only the most transparent of white musk notes, which allow it to remain transparent throughout its drydown.

My only criticism of this wonderful scent, and it is a minor one, is that it evolves into a slight powderiness, which I don't like, perhaps from some amber used in the composition.

This powdery quality, which follows its boozy fruity opening, are what allow it to remain truly unisex.

11:13 PM EST  

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